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iZombie has just finished its run on the CW Network. Overall, I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely. By a large margin, it is definitely the comic book show that I will say ranks as the best. Even more than the more well-known fan favorite: The Flash. Even if I was a fan of The Flash, this would still be way ahead of it. So, it stands to reason that I make a list of the four best things. Be warned – here be SPOILERS.
Procedurals have been done to death. That’s just a basic fact, especially in the years since Murder, She Wrote, which pretty much did everything a mystery procedural can do. So, selling a show like this isn’t making any waves, not anymore, and a gimmick is even more bland. Gimmicks have become so passe, because at the end of the day it boils down to just being a mystery show. No matter how many ghosts, or neurotic tics, your main character has. With any gimmick, the best way to play it is if it ties (distinctly) into characterization. Something that is done to the hilt here, with alcoholic brains, to self-centered brains, each working to bring Liv to a new level.
One of my biggest concerns going on with this show was that it was going to be too wink-wink, nudge, with the premise. Zombies are now the next in line for a modern recapitalization. and there’s the risk that it would lean too hard on audience expectations for jokes. Self-deprecation and self-awareness – which would have been unbearable. There’s that aspect in show, of that there is no doubt, but it’s sprinkled about. It’s not done again and again, and zombies as a whole are treated with seriousness. It has weight, and while Liv might joke with Ravi about it, it’s used more as a calm. There’s a head on this show’s shoulders and brings it a bit above your standard teen-aimed network show in this regard, it feels like it’s aiming for something more mature, but still being accessible.
It’s hard to imagine a show like this, a procedural, having the width in narrative to create a great seasonal threat. Usually it’s something that wouldn’t necessarily get the appropriate amount of time or space to really get the audience invested. You have to juggle different story beats for what each aspect of the show is is trying to do. Of course, iZombie excels here, as it does the smart thing and keeps the threat small. Small in scale, that is, but definitely not in terms of actual impact. With a more focused and intimate antagonistic force, it’s able to give it smaller screen time than you might expect but still keep it a thrilling experience. It’s not the Zombie apocalypse, it’s just some hood trying to create a Zombie mafia. It’s not Umbrella Corp – it’s an energy drink. It’s not the end of the world – it’s the end of a life.
I mean, there’s no contest on what the best part of this season was – and it was Major. Major, Major, Major. He started out looking like your cliche heartthrob romantic interest – but became so much more. Before going anywhere though, it’s vastly important to know that Major was the main thing keeping the main plot moving. While Liv was focused on the mysteries, Major was in the thick of the Zombie Mafia. Other than that, it was amazing to see such a nice, “lily white”, character become a knight templar. He’s put through the wringer so much that when it comes for the show to deliver catharsis – IT DOES! All set to some kickin’ 80’s tunes no less. It’s just a great way to satisfy an audience who has been rooting from the start.
I am deeply enchanted with this show. It wasn’t perfect, but it was really well done and had a good head on its shoulders. It felt completely different than other CW fare, in a good way, and I can’t wait for the next season. There’s a lot of sub-plots to go into, and I hope it can handle them with the same dexterity it did with the first season. Comments and thoughts would be appreciated below.