'iZombie' features the best crime-fighting zombie since ever


TV's latest comic book crime fighter, iZombie heroine Liv Moore (Rose McIver) can't fly. She can't run faster than a speeding train and she most certainly can't stop a bullet.

The latest hot young monster to join CW's growing cadre of sexy vampires, ghouls and ghosts, Liv solves the most puzzling, twisted, heinous murders entirely by her wits. And if her smarts can't quite get her there, all she has to do is eat some more brains.

Attractive, clever, sarcastic Liv also happens to be a zombie.

Adapted from the DC Comics comic book series, iZombie is a lively mash-up of two genres, the romantic creature melodrama and the crime procedural.

It premieres Tuesday night at 9 p.m.

Unlike many of its CW compadres, post-teen angst dramas such as Vampire Diaries, The Originals and Beauty and the Beast that take themselves far too seriously, iZombie is a delightfully ironic take on the horror genre. While as a police procedural it's far more Veronica Mars than Rookie Blues.

That's probably because the series was developed by Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and his Mars co-writer and co-producer Diane Ruggiero. While their creation is hardly original, the duo keeps the dialogue witty and the action smooth.

Their greatest feat, however, is their casting: McIver, 25, a New Zealand native best known as a recurring guester on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Showtime's Masters of Sex is perfect as Liv.

An emergency room surgeon toiling through her residency, Liv is trapped in the pilot episode during a zombie-virus breakout that kills virtually everyone it touches. She survives, but not quite intact: She loses her All American Prom Queen beauty, instead emerging as a castaway from a drug-addled goth hoedown. Her lovely chestnut hair is reduced to that white-gray mass that adorns the lady creature in Bride of Frankenstein while her rosy cheeks are visited by the most appalling, death-like pallor.

To avoid detection and insure a steady supply of fresh brain, Liv transfers from the ER to the morgue, where she befriends her ridiculously perceptive, English boss, Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli) and the homicide cop (Malcolm Goodwin) who's always pestering the morgue staff for autopsy reports.

While Liv doesn't exactly have super powers, her new condition does have its advantages: When she eats brain, she's able to see the deceased person's memories and their pre-death experiences including the manner of their death.

Before long, she becomes the best crime fighting zombie since, um, ever.