I’m always looking for new mysteries and the ways in which the mystery draws in a “younger” audience. Series such as Veronica Mars give me faith in the continuation of the mystery in 2015 and beyond. One of those series that is giving me continued hope in the growth of the mystery is the CW’s iZombie. Based on the comic book series by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright adapted the series to bring it to television. There are many changes as the comics moved to television. The premise–a young girl (in the comics a revenant and the television show a zombie) needs to eat brains to stay alive. In eating those brains, she takes on the memories and personalities of those whose brain she consumed.
The television series is a procedural. Olivia “Liv” Moore, the main character, became a zombie after being scratched by one at a boat party she went to. She is a medical resident in Seattle, Washington, working at the King County Morgue as a way to have access to the brains she needs to survive. (Yum, brains.) Every week a dead body comes in, murdered. And, every week Liv eats the brains (with chopsticks ’cause she’s that kind of zombie–classy), gains some of their experiences, and has flashbacks in their lives. She works with Detective Clive Babineaux as a “psychic” to help solve the murders. The medical examiner and her boss, Dr. Ravi Chakrabart, knows of her condition and is working on a cure. Her ex-fiancé, her mother, and her best friend have no clue what’s going on and Liv chooses not to tell them. Her entrance into the world of zombies becomes complicated as she realized there are more zombies in Seattle and some are not necessarily really nice. Street kids are disappearing and not all zombies have good intentions like Liv, but they all need brains.
iZombie is a series you need to watch from the beginning. In addition to the murders she helps solve each episode, there is the underlying storyline of how she became a zombie, what is the cause of the growing zombie population in Seattle (why does Seattle get all the luck?) and how to stop the zombie antagonist whose motives are not so altruistic.
I also love the playfulness of the series. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that makes it work. There are times when the strong focus on her relationship with her ex-fiancé Major Lilywhite (yes, they have some great names which adds to the appeal) and how she does not want to infect him so she chooses to end the relationship sometimes becomes a bit too much for me. But, as the season has progressed I’m happy with how Major’s character has evolved and am hoping for more changes and twists as we move along.
I’m also pleased that the CW has renewed the series for a second year. My frustration with fabulous series like Backstrom being cancelled before they can really get their momentum allows me at least one series that is smart and funny and worth continuing to watch in the fall. Check it out and tell me what you think.