Super Visions: Brain food and other delectables

The undead Liv


  • PLAYING DEAD: Rose McIver (from left) and Rahuli Kohli show good chemistry as fellow medical examiners in "iZombie."

“What’s the worst that could happen?”

When someone asks the main character that question bare minutes into a new show, amid a flashback literally subtitled “LIFE BEFORE DEATH,” you can expect some dire shit to follow the inevitable smash cut. And the CW’s “iZombie” does not disappoint. This Rose McIver-starring comedic procedural follows that line with mayhem, flames, and a wee outbreak of undead cerebellum-gobbling.

Thereafter we get a credit sequence incorporating illustrations by Michael Allred, who alongside Chris Roberson co-created the like-named Vertigo comic that inspired the show. I’ve been meaning to read the comic for years but still haven’t, so I can’t outline the differences (which I understand are significant) for you. But I can tell you that the series’ pilot made for diverting viewing.

Olivia “Liv” Moore comes through that aforementioned mayhem pasty, unsleeping, and hungry for — you guessed it. Where do you go to satisfy a craving for human brains when you have a past as an emergency room worker? In Liv’s case, she takes a job at the morgue, which brings her the gray matter she needs and the friendship of medical examiner Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahuli Kohli) and Detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin).

The set-up is clever enough, especially the wrinkle that brain ingestion gives Liv both memories and behaviors of the deceased people whose organs she eats. The trio of actors has admirable chemistry, with Goodwin being something of a revelation for his vocal gifts and blithe presence. Kohli has enviable comedic timing. My favorite bit of McIver’s comes early in the ep as she gives a nervous cashier that spooky restless-eye stare characteristic of some cats. She’s likable enough, though, so I’m happy to give her time to grow on me.

For folks who have read the comic and seen the pilot, which version did you prefer?

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