Monday, August 7, 2017

iZombie - Pilot




“The worst that could happen? Try an inexplicable zombie outbreak.” Potential heart surgeon happens to accept an invite to a boat party and is unprepared for a zombie outbreak that happens after some folks on the boat take an experimental drug, turning them into brain-eaters. After she hops off the boat before it goes up in flames, suffering an infected scratch, Olivia Moore (Rose McIver) awakens from a body bag vomiting water. Olivia realizes she is a zombie, no longer willing to marry her fiancé, Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley) in fear of hurting him when potential full-bore brain-hunger might emerge uncontrollably. Her hair goes from long brown to short, cropped, and white (with pallid flesh freaking out her family and friends, believing she’s going through some sort of “goth/emo” phase they can’t quite understand). She no longer is dedicated to surgery, working in a morgue under a brilliant scientist named Ravi (Rahul Kohli) who revealed he was “dismissed” by the CDC for his supposed paranoid ravings. Ravi knows she is undead, much to her shock, after realizing the brains of bodies in their lab were missing. A recently promoted Vice cop to Homicide, Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin), is investigating the death of a Bulgarian call girl whose brain Olivia eats. Olivia actually relives experiences of that girl and has details only she would know, inadvertently offering assistance to Babineaux, with Ravi encouraging her (quite persistently nudging her into action although she is quite reluctant to step outside her comfort zone). Despite wanting to stay put, either Babineaux or Ravi seems adamant she helps the investigation. Much like the job, attempts by her family "for an intervention" to return their Olivia back to them are also met with resistance. One fateful decision--to go the party instead with her beau--significantly altered the course of her life/death.



With The Walking Dead and Zombie Nation out there congregating on the zombie television property, taking up the real estate (or at least Zombie Nation was at least renting real estate…), iZombie (2015) had to come from a different angle. My brain even went to Veronica Mars while watching Olivia leaving the morgue to help Clive investigate the death of the escort, trying to locate fellow “practitioners of the trade”. What this show does creatively is when Olivia eats the brains of bodies brought in after death (murder…) she sees through the memories (the eyes…) of them. So, for instance, when Tatiana (the escort) sees a weather man, it is a kinky act he enjoys with her (one of many “acts” the escort service provides), Olivia sees his face. When Tatiana is hanging outside her apartment window (a very nice apartment, Clive surmises would require him to take up escorting to afford) by the killer, Olivia “experiences” her fall to the sidewalk and death. And, for a nice little additional creative indulgence, Olivia also takes up (unexpectedly for which she’ll have to control) the habits of those folks whose brains she eats. Like Tatiana was a klepto and Olivia finds herself snatching items off of desks and from places. So this is an aftereffect Olivia must contend with. In the pilot, Olivia takes the items back. It is a burden she must bear if she wants to continue eating brains that aren’t from the skulls of living people. When the killer turns out to be a detective in Clive’s division, looking for his missing wedding ring (a valuable ring his wife’s grandmother left behind during the Holocaust!), Olivia nearly feeds from him after a wreck she causes to stop his car into a tree. The complications of eating the type of brains that keep her from murdering people and the hunger that obviously causes her aggravation are clearly part of this show’s DNA. Trying to remain inserted in a society that doesn’t know she’s a zombie, after attempts to remain anti-social due to her anxieties about “losing her grip on the hunger”, is a part of the DNA as well. She’s the walking “undead”, retaining her clever, fast wit and high intellect. Being in the morgue offers her that place of comfort (and resources to curb her appetite) and, tragically really, is a location where she can feel safe. How long can Olivia hide her condition, though? Going out with Clive on cases when she eats the brains of victims in order to solve their crimes is quite a macabre/outlandish premise. It is for that very reason iZombie has legs, it seems.

The use of narration can be well utilized or perhaps even off-putting, but with Olivia I think it is a device that works. She’s a freakin’ zombie and her plight is documented in quirky ways through the amusing voicework of McIver. There’s the reflection side of the narration where Olivia debates whether or not she should try and remain isolated from the man she loves. She debates how to remain not so distanced from those she cares about. She laments to us through her narration the loss of sleep, a great career, and friends/family because of the dangers that could present themselves if the brain-desiring zombie side of her went unchecked or got loose despite her attempts at keeping it caged. If Clive doesn’t arrive in the nick of time, for instance, Olivia would have fed from the brains of the detective who almost killed Tatiana’s escort associates. The visual approach is interesting when that caged zombie does emerge with the eyes going white and Olivia’s human features distorted, until the calm returns her to her senses/wits. The dialogue is of that fast, sarcastic, and pop culture style; I thought those involved in this show certainly studied the likes of Gilmore Girls and Scream as examples. The tempo is not dark or too serious, as those involved in the presentation, dialogue, and acting opt instead for a tongue-in-cheek approach that wants to go at the zombie genre with some dexterity and brainy humor. Incorporating the gifts that do come with being a member of the undead, the show also shows Olivia in action, being shot by a the killer, riding the bad cop’s car roof, smashing in the windshield and pulling it away, and getting thrown quite a distance away. Also sprinkling in fun references to the zombie genre, using the designer drug angle freshens up the material. It allows Olivia, as an example, to dress up as a rotted corpse zombie at the end while helping her mom and peeps coordinate and take part in a Halloween festival for kids/families. She watches Night of the Living Dead while munching on brains and noodles. She passes by her ex-fiancé’s house to potentially confront him, noticing through the window that he’s playing a zombie-killing game with a friend of theirs. Discussions and quips on the zombie genre are commonplace. I find that irony rather amusing if also unfortunate (for the character) that Olivia just can’t escape every kind of reminder of her condition.

I am just in love with McIver's face. I don't know if it is a latent attraction to goth girls or what, but her complexion, bleached hair, and eyes of glass marble just serve as pheromones to me. Hence my litany of pics from the pilot...




















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Ahs

Edc

Edc
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Sbut

Sbut
Snip. Snip

Hal

Hal
There are many things under the sun
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hal1

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Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

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Mrub

Mrub

Gb

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sm6

sm6

Rv1

Rv1

Nas

Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

Po

Ra6

Ra6

dawn

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Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

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z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

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Ghspo

Ghspo
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Enl

Enl

nos4

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gm

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No 2

No 2
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clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
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Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

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Kife

Kife
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Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

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exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

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Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

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WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
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linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

"This seems to be the place where the plot begins to thicken..."
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Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

"There are no crazy people, doctor. We're all just on vacation."

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Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
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Bmate

Bmate

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Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

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