Seattle medical resident Olivia ‘Liv’ Moore (Rose McIver) is on track for a successful career until she accidentally gets turned into a zombie during a party. As she deals with her new way of life, Liz breaks off her engagement to long-term boyfriend Major (Robert Buckley), withdraws from her family and takes a job in the morgue working alongside medical examiner Ravi (Rahul Kohli). Letting Ravi in on her secret, Liv gets access to the brains she needs but after consuming them she starts to have visions of how the person died. With Ravi’s encouragement, Liv starts to work alongside Detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) to help him solve cases claiming to be psychic.
iZombie is based on the comic books by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred and was developed for TV by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright. The show took its sweet time to arrive in the UK, only debuting on Netflix after the second season had aired in the US. Already renewed for a third season, iZombie is a show that is criminally underrated and easily one of the sharpest and smartest shows on television.
The loose format of the series is that of a typical procedural but where iZombie forges its own path is incorporating season long arcs into the narrative too. The ‘case of the week’ approach gives lead actress Rose McIver an opportunity to shine as she takes on the various personality traits of the murder victims whose brains she consumes. Her performance is a masterclass to watch and during the first season she takes on a range of different characters including a sociopathic hitman and a skilled computer hacker.
Alongside the procedural elements of the show, iZombie sets up an arc involving an energy drinks company known as Max Rager and the underground brain trade led by morally questionable zombie Blaine (David Anders). Live gets drawn into both worlds putting her life, and the lives of her friends in danger. As Liv tries to keep her own status as a zombie under wraps, she’s forced to constantly lie to everyone around her, fearing what may happen should they find out.
McIver’s fantastic performance isn’t the only thing iZombie has going for it. Rahul Kohli brings comic relief as bumbling Brit Ravi and David Anders is deliciously dastardly as nemesis/frenemy Blaine. It’s also great to see Robert Buckley getting a meaty role in a show like this as it shows off a different side of his acting abilities and allows him to get involved a little more in comedy than we’ve seen before.
Special features on the disc include a featurette on the 2014 Comic-Con panel and a selection of deleted scenes.
iZombie: The Complete First Season is a stellar beginning to a fantastic season. The 13 episodes are an addictive watch and the show finds its footing very quickly. It has a style and energy that makes it unique, and if it were up to me I’d give Rose McIver all the awards for her portrayal of Liv. If you haven’t seen iZombie yet, put it to the top of your ‘must watch’ list and thank me for the recommendation later.
Cast: Rose McIver, Robert Buckley, David Anders, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli Cartificate: 15 Duration: 527 mins Released By: Warner Bros Release Date: 24th October 2016