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TV Series Review

It's not easy being a young adult in the 21st century. The work world is super competitive and the whole 9-5 thing is so 1995. There's a bewildering array of online social networks to navigate. And dating? Don't get me started.

If on top of it all you're dead … well, let's just say there are worse things than being trolled on Instagram.

Liv Moore is an average Millennial trying to make her way in the world while dead. Oh, she's still pretty mobile and all. When you're a zombie, you're capable of shuffling around and moaning and whatnot. But in order to stay true to at least a semblance of your former self—to keep the moaning at bay and from turning you into a George A. Romero extra—you have to keep eating copious amounts of cranial matter. Forget what they say about fish: The best brain food is, well, brains.

Lucky for Liv, she now works for a police morgue in Seattle, wherein the gray-tinged entrees are endless. And it turns out that her curious appetite is helpful in other ways, too. When Liv snacks on the recently deceased, she absorbs a bit of that person's essence: skills, personality traits, memories. If her latest hors d'oeuvre happens to be a murder victim, well, Liv just might get a little insight into how that unfortunate soul met his or her untimely end.

That makes for good weekly police procedural fodder, for sure.

Still, Liv would like to, well, live again. And her boss, Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, just might be able to drum up a cure if he has the chance (and enough seasons on CW) to do so. Seems zombism is going around thanks to a mysterious drug called Utopium, and because Liv didn't technically die en route to her ghoulish state of being, there's a chance she could recover.

iZombie, based on the DC Comics series, has about as much in common with AMC's The Walking Dead as Casper the Friendly Ghost has with The Exorcist. Yes, zombies figure prominently in both shows, but CW's program is a quirky dramedy—like if Monk was a hip, dead twentysomething. That means it's not as gruesome as you might imagine. Because while episodes can get crazy from time to time, Liv often disguises her food of choice in piles of ramen noodles or the occasional smoothie. And unlike Walking Dead, which never met a moral it didn't try to mercilessly slay on the way to the next safe house, iZombie exhibits a surprising level of nutritious, um, brain food. Liv loves to save the day, for instance, to help others. She gives tribute to doing the right thing even when it's hard, and she's committed to making the best of a very bad situation.

But maybe families still shouldn't dish up too many of these episodes quite yet. We are talking about dead people walking around and eating brains, remember. While Liv is pretty good about dealing with her condition without hurting those around her, others like her sometimes kill folks for their next meal. Violent confrontations are fairly routine, and corpses and autopsy scenes, of course, take up a great deal of screen time. Liv also has a surprisingly lively love life, so there's kissing and discussions of intimate activities. (References are made to same-sex attraction, too.)

iZombie, like life for Liv, isn't nearly as horrible as it could be. But it's a ways off from being good eats.


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Episode Reviews

iZombie: April 28, 2015
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