I took a gander at “iZombie” because it was based in Seattle, and with a new wave of comic book-based television shows, the adaptation of a police drama with an undead theme seemed like a new creative risk. Olivia ‘Liv’ Moore (Rose McIver) was a talented medical student until she went to a crazy boat party and got assaulted by zombies. Moore gets infected and her hair and skin turns completely pale. She dumps her spouse and gig at the hospital for a new job at a Coroner’s Office at the Seattle Police Department.
I have difficulty imagining how much makeup is used to make her look completely white. Her bright features stand out in dark shots in crime and nightlife scenes. “The Godfather” had oranges to contrast cinematographer Gordon Willis’ shots because he had a tendency to have very dark shots and I think it is interesting to have a similar effect directly applied to the protagonist.
However, the scenes are not always very believable. It’s clear how much they stretch the budget in this show when the computer graphics are examined.
The primary sets in the show are nice though. The city morgue is simplistic and interesting because the furniture and smaller decorative items are all clustered around the office while there is still plenty of real estate.
The first base the zombie antagonists ran their combination blackmail and brain cuisine industry was in a charcuterie. It sort of reminds me of the film “Delicatessen” that sold meat pies made of humans to unsuspecting customers. There are a lot of film and television tropes but since the show is built upon a combination of genres it makes sense to present a mashup of ideas.
I like how the show still incorporates still shots of comic panels to allude to its roots. The plot was developed from Vertigo, a child company of DC Comics known for their controversial storytelling and satire.
While the zombie outbreak is a major plot point for the overarching development of the series, there is very little interaction between zombies and humans aside from brain victims. It’s just a little strange to me that they are so secretive instead of negotiating with people in high places in politics.
To help with open cases, Moore eats brains of the recently deceased so she can adopt memories and characteristics of homicide victims. This is a convenient and heavily used plot device used by the show because it adds a story gimmick between episodes to add humor and bizarre police interview scenes. Moore convinces her partner that she is psychic to cover her excuses for strange actions and behavior.
I think that the show is decent in terms of serialized television but it doesn’t have any real special value to make it a great one.