Episode Title: Pilot
Original Airdate: 3-17-2015
I have never watched a single episode of Veronica Mars, nor had I even heard of the comic iZombie before this show came on my radar. Not only that, but my experience with the “nice zombie” genre has been fairly mediocre. While I enjoyed Warm Bodies, I wasn’t too fond of Life After Beth, and this felt like it could fit right along those lines. Instead, I got a really likable main character with Liv, and a really hilarious detective show. I’ve heard it called “Veronica Mars meets Buffy” and while I already mentioned that I’ve never seen one of those shows, based on this first episode and what I know of the other’s fanbase, I could get on board with that. From the very beginning, I am hooked on this show and really looking forward to where it takes off from here.
Like many Zombie films, there’s very little explanation about how this happened aside from this random designer drug on an isolated boat party. Unlike many Zombie movies, there is no zombie apocalypse just yet. Five months later and there are apparently only two zombies roaming around. Before her zombification, Liv was a promising medical student with a fiance. Afterwards, she has withdrawn from much of her life, traded her career for one in the morgue, distanced herself from her fiance, and spends most of her time watching zombie movies as “research”. But what I really love about this show is the sense of humor. It has a really sharp wit to it that really does feel Whedonesque at times. When her co-worker at the morgue Ravi reveals that he has suspected for quite a while that she has been a zombie, and treats it like an exciting discovery rather than with shock and horror, it’s played out perfectly.
But what really gives the show an edge is the detective side of the story. And how Liv is still discovering certain aspects about being a zombie even several months down the road. When she eats a corpse’s brains, she will occasionally get flashes from their life, and inherit certain unconscious traits. In the pilot, the victim was a kleptomaniac and spoke Romanian, Liv happens to gain both of these traits for a certain period of time. What that period of time is, they haven’t yet revealed on the show yet though it is at least a couple days. Her “partner” is a rookie cop named Babineaux who takes her along with him under the guise of her being a psychic. The show also skillfully reveals how it would be a bad idea to tell him about her condition any time soon based on how he jumps in on their “hypothetical” zombie apocalypse conversation.
On top of everything else, the show looks fantastic. There is a great use of color throughout this episode, and I hope it’s not just because pilot episodes tend to have a larger budget than the rest of the series. Liv’s apartment is entirely white-tinged-blue, and when she gets kleptomania she only steals random bright red objects, like a red stapler which I really hope is a very subtle Office Space reference. While my wife and I have been looking forward to this show based on the trailers, it has more than exceeded my expectations. I can’t wait to see what next week brings.