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iZombie: The Complete First Season DVD Review

iZombie: The Complete First Season DVD Review

If there’s one underrated TV show that deserves way more attention than it gets, it’s iZombie. Loosely adapted from the comic book of the same name, the American comedy-drama/crime-horror – developed by Veronica Mars’ Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright – is a refreshing and quick-witted take on the over-used zombie theme that’s populated both the cinema and small screen over the last few years. It’s got that Warm Bodies quirkiness with a plucky female protagonist that’s not unlike Kristen Bell’s crime-busting Veronica – perfect if you’ve become a little jaded with The Walking Dead and its younger sibling show.

What iZombie lacks in big scale drama, it makes up for in humour and offbeat weirdness. The fantastic Rose McIver (The Lovely Bones, Masters of Sex) stars as Liv Moore, a Seattle medical resident who gets turned into a zombie during a boat party. Suddenly unable to function like a normal human being, Liv drops out of life, gives up on her medical career and breaks off her engagement to charming social worker fiancé, Major. She’s scared of infecting him and it’s not easy hiding a craving for brains.izombie-still-02Liv’s change in diet forces her to take a job at the local morgue where she has a regular supply of fresh food to devour in all manner of inventive ways (and if you’re not grossed out by it, there’s something oddly amusing about the different meals Liv prepares to make the main ingredient more visually appetising). She also befriends her boss, Ravi, who soon discovers Liv’s secret, though he’s more fascinated than freaked out by her proclivity for feasting on brains, and vows to find a cure for the condition.

If you’ve never watched an episode of iZombie, you’re probably wondering where the crime element of the series comes in, right? Well, when Liv eats a victim’s brain she gets flashbacks/visions that give clues as to how the person died. Liv uses this information to help Seattle Detective Clive Babineaux solve the multitude of strange and unexplained cases that fall onto his desk. Babineaux realises something’s off with Liv but he can’t put his finger on it and the two become something of an odd yet brilliant crime-solving duo, with all the banter you’d expect from such a mismatched partnership.izombie-still-03In addition to the beneficial visions, Liv temporarily gains the personality traits of the person whose brain she’s just eaten. Whether it’s developing a sudden painting obsession or gaining the maternal instincts of a murdered pregnant woman, McIver effortlessly swings between the different personalities. She’s so compelling as Liv that it’s difficult to imagine any other actress slotting into the role so perfectly. And that goes for all the other actors in the show too; from Rahul Kohli’s loveable and loyal Ravi to David Anders’ entrepreneurial dealer-turned-zombie Blaine, this is a cast that delivers consistently great and endearing performances.

izombie-packshotThe thing that made Veronica Mars so watchable was the witty and clever script, and it’s the same thing that makes iZombie such a hit. The drama and comedy is skillfully balanced, with just the right amount of zombie horror to keep genre fans happy. It also isn’t afraid of veering away from the source material but there are still nods to the comic book, right down to the opening credits that were drawn by original artist Michael Allred.

With a second season on Netflix and a third, highly anticipated season on the way, iZombie has many more miles in the tank before it splutters out and gets boring like its vampire TV show counterparts. You’re missing out if you haven’t watched it yet.


The Complete First Season of iZombie is out on DVD now.

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