Arrow and The Flash may be the face of The CW’s thriving comic book adaptation genre, but for those who need a break from domino masks and vigilante code names the network has an alternative to offer. iZombie, a supernatural detective show based on the Vertigo series of the same name by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, stars Rose McIver as a medical resident called Olivia “Liv” Moore (get it?) whose career is derailed when a boat party gone wrong transforms her into a zombie, complete with a lust for brains but without the inconvenience of rotting flesh and drooling mindlessness (well, most of the time).
In Season 1, Liv managed to piece together a semblance of a normal life by getting a job in a morgue (easy brain access) and using her zombie abilities to help homicide detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) solve murders. At the start of the series only Liv’s friend and coworker Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli) knew her secret, but by the end of Season 1 a lot more people were let into the zombie circle – including Liv’s former fiancé Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley) and her roommate Peyton Charles (Aly Michalka).
iZombie definitely won a lot of fans in its first season, but it had some weaker episodes in between its strong start and finish, and the second season is often where good shows can start to stumble. We’re hoping that this won’t happen to The CW’s latest supernatural offering, and here are 10 Things We Want to See in iZombie Season 2.
Getting the right amount of humor in a drama series like iZombie is always a balancing act. Going too far in either direction can turn a show into a dull and joyless experience, or fill it with cartoonish slapstick and scenes that feel like they’re straight out of a nineties sitcom (and not in a good way). iZombie‘s best humor lies in Liv’s bone-dry wit and clever wordplay, with the character’s sharp mind and sharper tongue becoming an essential part of what makes her so likable. While broad comedy can work well, the back-and-forth banter is more than enough to keep things feeling light-hearted without detracting from the drama.
Crazy brain effects
One of the best parts of Quantum Leap was the very end of each episode, when Sam Beckett would leap from one body to the next, find himself in a crazy new situation, and utter the catchphrase, “Oh boy!“ iZombie has a similar hook, with Liv undergoing a radical change in personality each time she eats the brains of another victim, and previous character traits and skills have included an artist’s eye for beauty, a sociopath’s lack of compassion, a sudden burst of maternal instincts, and a brief bout of alcoholism.
Not only is it fun to watch Clive react to Liv’s sudden changes in personality, it’s also fun for the audience to see Rose McIver taking on a different set of characteristics in each episode. The more creative the writers get with these brains, the better. What happens if Liv eats animal brains? What if she ate the brains of someone with amnesia, and forgot she was a zombie? What if she ate her own brains? The possibilities are endless.
Experiencing a sudden shift in personality with every new meal should also surely lead to some kind of identity crisis. After all, Liv’s zombie status forced her to give up her old job, her fiancé, her lifestyle and even her hair color, and now she has to deal with warring personalities as well. The struggle to hold on to who she used to be could definitely make for an interesting character arc (or even just the subject of one episode) in iZombie‘s sophomore season.
Moreover, what are the long-term effects of being a zombie? Are there sides to Liv’s condition that we haven’t discovered yet? Do zombies continue to slowly deteriorate even if they have a steady supply of brains? With a scientist close at hand, surely there’s plenty more that Liv can discover about her zombie status.
The crime procedural format is a real workhorse that’s flexible enough to fit into all genres, but it can be so much more than a basic template for episodes. Since Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero have chosen to go with a theme of new murder mysteries every week, it would be great to see some real head-scratchers thrown into the mix, rather than straightforward whodunnit plots.
This could include everything from locked door mysteries to cryptic clues, and could take the form of either single-episode puzzles or a mystery that is slowly unlocked over the course of the season. Either way, we want iZombie to confuse us and keep us guessing. Some mind-bending plot twists would also be very welcome.
Flesh out the supporting characters
The latter half of iZombie‘s first season seemed to better address the problem of no one outside of Liv having any kind of character arc, but there’s still plenty of work to be done in better establishing the show’s supporting characters. For example, we still know virtually nothing about Peyton, and we’ve barely been introduced to Liv’s family. Easily the best supporting characters is Ravi, and a Ravi-centric episode definitely feels like a must, but it would also be good to see more of Clive’s backstory. Perhaps Clive could even get his own investigation subplot, similar to Major’s discovery of zombies in Season 1. After all, Clive is one of the few people in Liv’s life who’s still out of the loop.
The odd couple
Though Blaine and Liv’s respective storylines were a major part of iZombie Season 1, the two characters had very little shared screen time. All that’s about to change in Season 2, however, as the two of them find a common enemy in Max Rager CEO Vaughn Du Clark (Steven Weber), who has made it his mission to wipe out all the zombies in Seattle. This, according to Rob Thomas, “will make very strange bedfellows of Liv and Blaine,” and there’s nothing more fun than watching good guys and bad guys working together.
By virtue of being the main antagonist in Season 1, Blaine so far has been a little one-note. Perhaps there’s a nice person somewhere deep down inside him, or perhaps his brand of evil simply has more interesting layers. Either way, working with Liv could help put some extra detail into his characterization. Bring on the dream team.
A new love interest for Liv
Liv and Major might finally be on the road to repairing their engagement – now that Major knows all about Liv’s condition and Liv has saved Major’s life at least once – but that’s a long road with a lot of trust that needs rebuilding, and Season 2 is far too early for Liv to find herself in an endgame relationship. Besides, since Liv’s only other boyfriend so far has been another zombie, we’ve missed out on all the fun of watching her try to date a human who doesn’t know about her condition.
For those who are hoping to see Liv and Blaine get back together, a love triangle could be the magic ingredient that helps to reignite their passion for each other. Let’s have a brand new romantic interest for Season 2, along with all the troubles that come with it.
Strategic brain use
Something that was touched on in iZombie Season 1, but never fully explored, was the idea of Liv going back to previous brains in order to get a second hit of their benefits It would be great to see this employed more strategically in Liv’s detective work, with the crime-solving zombie preserving and selectively using brains that give her combat abilities, hacking skills, or a genius-level intellect.
Perhaps Liv could even put together a ‘library’ of brains that she could dip into whenever she needs a particular attribute. Now that she’s grown accustomed to making the most out of brains as an investigative tool, it’s time to start getting organized.
Keep things strictly zombie
With most supernatural shows, it only takes a couple of seasons at most before the writers run out of inspiration for their central monster and start dipping into other pots. True Blood started out with vampires and ended up with all manner of shapeshifters, werewolves and even fairies. Teen Wolf was strictly a werewolf show at first, but expanded to include Japanese fox spirits, a werelizard (don’t ask) and a dark druid. Even Supernatural used up its plentiful palette of monsters and veered off into a tale of Heaven and Hell and a search for God.
For once it would be nice to see a show stick with its original premise – if only for the first couple of seasons. Besides, there’s still so much about zombies that we don’t know. For starters, why does Liv’s zombie condition give her such perfect smoky eye make-up?
When it was first revealed that Rob Thomas was writing and producing a procedural drama about a blonde girl who uses her unique detective skills to solve crimes, Veronica Mars fans had to check their calendars to make sure they hadn’t slipped back in time. But now that iZombie has firmly established itself as its own show with its own vibe, a guest appearance by Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell, definitely wouldn’t go amiss. After all, iZombie has already had a guest appearance from Veronica Mars mainstay Percy Daggs III in Season 1, and Thomas recently directed Bell again in the crowd-funded Veronica Mars movie. Let’s make this happen.
These are just a few of the things on our personal wishlist for iZombie Season 2, but there’s plenty more that Liv and co. could get up to in their continued adventures. More zombies? More murders? More romance? More mystery? Let us know if the comments what you’re hoping to see as the show continues!
iZOMBIE stars Rose McIver as Olivia “Liv” Moore, a medical resident on the fast track to a perfect life … until she’s turned into a zombie. Now stuck between half-alive and undead, Liv transfers to the city morgue to reluctantly access the only thing that allows her to maintain her humanity — human brains. But there are side effects to Liv’s new diet. With each brain she consumes, she experiences flashes of the corpse’s memories — including, at times, clues as to how they were killed. Her boss, a brilliant but eccentric conspiracy theorist, encourages her to embrace this gift and to work with an unproven homicide detective to help solve these murders … and quiet the voices in her head.
iZombie Season 1 is now available on DVD. Season 2 premieres on The CW at 9/8c on October 6th, 2015.