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The Fun Undead Return on ‘iZombie’
April 4, 2017  | By David Hinckley
 

Once upon a time, the undead on iZombie were just misunderstood. Now someone wants to kill them.

That may sound a little weird, the undead already being dead and all. But things have always been a little skewed on iZombie, which returns Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.

Happily, this much hasn’t changed: iZombie is, by far, the most fun zombie show on television.

Okay, it may be the only fun zombie show on television. It’s still a breezy good time, even when it’s framing the treatment of zombies as a civil rights issue.

It also still has a winning cast, led by Rose McIver (top) as lead zombie Olivia “Liv” Moore.

The premise of iZombie, for those who tuned in late, is that all zombies aren’t mindless creatures who dress badly, smell worse, and grunt and snarl as they robotically lurch forward in an unending search for human brains and flesh to devour.

The part about needing to eat human brains is accurate. If the zombies here don’t eat enough brains, they become hungry and cranky and really do start to become the kind of antisocial menaces we know from, say, The Walking Dead.

Just very unpleasant to be around.

With a proper amount of brain food, though, zombies can function like normal people. Their only overt symptom is that they can take on some of the thoughts, mannerisms, and quirks of the last people whose brains they ate.

While that effect may sound troubling, it has consistently provided many of the funniest moments on iZombie.

It does so again in the opening episode of Season 3 when Liv eats the brains of an overbearing Dad and her zombie pal Major (Robert Buckley, above) eats the brains of the Dad’s annoyed teenage daughter.

Both victims, by the way, died in a car crash, which isn’t exactly natural causes, but doesn’t involve any moral issues in the acquisition process. Liv works in the morgue, where her sympathetic non-zombie friend Dr. Ravi Chakrabati (Rahul Kohli, below, left) conveniently provides free-range food for her and some of her zombie friends.

In any case, we start the new season with a larger dilemma.

Vivian Stoll (Andrea Savage), a zombie whose paramilitary organization, Fillmore-Graves, turns out to be comprised entirely of zombies, wants to establish a “zombie homeland” on an island in the Seattle area.

She fears, however, presumably not without cause, that once humans learn of this plan, they will begin trying to systematically wipe out all the zombies.

Vivian talks this situation over with Liv and Major, who bring in their human friends Ravi and Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin, left), a cop who some time ago made Liv his de facto partner.

Why? Well, when Liv eats the brains of a murder victim, she sometimes gets flashbacks to what the victim saw before he or she was murdered. You can see where that information could be helpful to the investigating cop.

As this suggests, iZombie has always been a cheerful mashup of several genres, and while this season’s opening premise suggests things could get darker and more serious, it’s hard to believe the show won’t continue to have a good time with all of it.

Us, too.

 
 
 
 
 
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Going Beyond Black and White
By Monique Nazareth