iZombie is essentially Pushing Daisies—with a splash of zombie—for a younger demographic. I didn’t include this comparison in my review of iZombie’s pilot (if you want to read my review, here’s a link) because I didn’t want to marry the two shows to each other. I loved Pushing Daisies, so I’m leery to compare it to iZombie. But there are some lessons iZombie can learn from Pushing Daises.
We’ll get to these lessons in a bit, but first, let’s see how these two shows stack against each other.
By the numbers, iZombie resembles Pushing Daisies, but it doesn’t have the same whimsy. The zombie motif adds a dark streak. iZombie could overcome this by adding flare to the special effects and art direction. That’s not a knock on iZombie necessarily. The effects and art direction for Pushing Daisies was top-notch, Emmy worthy. But with its smaller budget, I’m not sure if iZombie can ever compete with Pushing Daisies in this regard, so they could make the subject matter even lighter and still, getting too light-hearted could be an issue.
Pushing Daisies balanced the goofy humor, mystery elements, and romance pretty well—the first season. It got a little too weird for its own good in season two and lost a lot of viewers. Likewise, iZombie’s pilot balanced its elements well. But will iZombie fall prey to the same weird just for weird’s sake? There are a couple of factors that might help.
iZombie grounds itself in police work more than Pushing Daisies ever did—that’s because Pushing Daisies was a fantasy—and you don’t have to explain a zombie as much as a magical pie maker, so that’s another obstacle averted. Then, you have a change in point of view. In Pushing Daisies, you gain distance from the dead because the pie maker brought people back to life: third person reanimated dead. In iZombie, Liv is a zombie and she experiences unliving first-hand: first person reanimated dead. I like the point of view shift. It helps to separate the two shows for me, gives a fresh perspective on the undead, and could keep the show afloat.
There’s plenty of room for both shows and for iZombie in the growing number of zombie media. We’ll have to watch tonight’s episode to find out whether or not iZombie’s elements fall out of balance and even later to see if it can match or beat Pushing Daisies’ number of twenty-two, total episodes. I’d love it if they brought back or rebooted Pushing Daisies.