TV Review: iZombie, Season 2

iZombie Season 2
iZombie, which instantly became one of my favourite shows when it debuted last year, did not lose a step in its second season. Clever, funny, gripping, well-written, and populated by all sorts of lovable characters, iZombie is a pure delight.
First and foremost, iZombie is a fun show. The very premise of the lead character taking on different personalities each week kept iZombie feeling fresh and exciting, the brains that affected Liv leading to all sorts of hijinks, whether as a magician, a stripper, or even a costumed vigilante.
Almost every episode was laced with humour, and the dialogue never failed to be snappy and entertaining. But it was iZombie‘s excellent ability to blend the lightheartedness with strong drama that really made it special.
One of iZombie‘s greatest strengths is its superb and well-rounded cast of characters, chief of whom is the lead herself, Liv Moore, played spectacularly by Rose McIver. iZombie is exactly the kind of show an actress can use to demonstrate her range, and Season 2 gave her even more juicy material than Season 1. Frat Bro Liv! Trophy Wife Liv! Erotic Writer Liv! Insufferable Optimist Liv! You name it, Rose McIver delivers. And her performances were nuanced enough to feel like the same character, yet with enough over-the-top moments to be entertaining. I can’t say enough about her.
The supporting cast is very strong as well. Rahul Kohli continued to be delightful as Ravi Chakrabarti, Liv’s friend and partner-in-crime who was the source of the majority of iZombie‘s jokes and one-liners. Equally humourous was Malcolm Goodwin’s Clive Babineaux, the “straight man”-type whose classic bemused reactions to Liv’s continuously befuddling antics made for a great partnership between the two. And if you want a perfect example of a character who could have been oh so bland but ended up being incredibly complex and compelling, look no further than Robert Buckley’s Major Lilywhite.
Major and RaviOn the villainous side of things, the season’s main antagonist, Vaughn Du Clark, was marvelous. The perfect demonstration of iZombie‘s ability to blend high stakes with lighthearted humour, Du Clark made for a very powerful and threatening enemy, yet no scene featuring him failed to elicit laughter. Kudos to Steven Weber for playing such a cartoonishly narcissistic character so well.
Meanwhile, David Anders remained devilishly charismatic yet despicably evil as Blaine, who was given plenty of strong material this season. Between exploring his relationship with his father and further setting him up as a major crime lord, it’s a good thing Blaine’s story didn’t end in Season 1. Speaking of crime lords, iZombie introduced a fascinating new character in Stacey Boss, and Eddie Jemison was excellent in that role.
The main story of the season and its many subplots were all riveting and expertly interwoven, even more so when you consider the elements picked up from last season, and those introduced in order to set up Season 3. Vaughn Du Clark, debuting as a secondary antagonist in Season 1, was Season 2’s overarching villain, especially as he put Major through hell (which Robert Buckley sold like a champ). Season 1’s big bad, Blaine, was downgraded to secondary villain and occasional ally, a role that was a natural fit. And Mr. Boss was brought in as a fresh new element that will no doubt continue to play a role in Season 3. All of this while introducing a new love interest for Liv, furthering Ravi’s search for the cure, and focusing on individual cases of the week.
In fact, iZombie has absolutely mastered the difficult task of balancing episodic television with longform storytelling. Every episode featured a different “case of the week”, allowing viewers to get a satisfying self-contained story with each installment, all while gradually pushing the season’s overarching narrative forward. Several shows try this formula, and many of them succeed, but I have to commend iZombie for how effortlessly it pulled it off. Were there hiccups? Sure, but they were limited in number and easy to overlook.
All of that work culminated in an absolutely fantastic and eventful two-part season finale that featured the well-earned payoffs for all of the different storylines set amidst a full-blown zombie outbreak. If I were judging by individual episodes, I would have probably given the season a 4. But iZombie played a long game, and if the finale demonstrated anything, it’s that the season was greater than the sum of its parts.
And those cooking montages. Oh boy. Way to make brains look appetizing, iZombie!
So don’t let the zombie premise or its youthful approach keep you at bay. If you’re looking for a show that’s inventive and delightful, iZombie is a must-watch.
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Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

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