iZombie’s season three premiere “Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother” had the job of transitioning the show from a Max Rager/Zombie Underground story to Zombitopia/Zombie Revival tale. It’s as huge task. “Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother” had plenty of bumps along the way but I like the effort.
This week’s iZombie showed why the series is unique, compared to other zombie franchises. The word zombie is synonymous with dystopia. “Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother” offered a zombie utopia. Sure, utopia and dystopia tales share similarities. A utopia is typically too good to be true and cracks form, illustrating why there’s no such thing as a utopia. iZombie should, and most likely will, explore this utopia’s dark underbelly—there’s an awful lot of commando/special ops zombies (zombie in this universe take on the characteristics of the brains they eat) that make me wonder where the undead are getting their brains—and that’s part of the fun. iZombie is unlike any other zombie franchise and that’s a welcome change.
It’s not all sunshine though. “Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother” took on a lot of heavy plot lifting. There were plenty of patented CW data dumps via dialogue and I vaguely remember the child zombie Warren from season two. He was reintroduced this season and his demise served as a plot device (a potential war between humans and zombies) and tried to emotionally manipulate the audience. I would’ve been more invested in Warren had I recalled him from last season. I have a hard time placing him. Regardless, his story was forced.
I also don’t buy the premise of intelligent zombies wanting to live on a private island, separate from humanity. Like vampires, humans are these zombie’s food. Give them as much intelligence as you want but these zombies are apex predators. Their existence threatens human life. And who would want to be a human (zombie food), when you can live forever as a cognizant zombie? These zombies have fewer restrictions than vampires; they can handle sunlight. It’s difficult to suspend disbelief but iZombie was always a bizarre premise and I’m willing to do that if the show maintains its mystery element. Yes, there’s the mystery of where these new zombies are getting their brains and this was the season premiere, there was plenty of plot lifting to do, but I’d like to see Liv and company solve crimes. Part of what made iZombie fun was how Liv’s abilities revealed murderers.
Even without my weekly mystery, iZombie continues to be fun and different. The series maintained most of its humor from the past two seasons and that’s a good thing too. “Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother” wouldn’t cause me any concern if iZombie was on a different network but the CW doesn’t have the best track record of keeping elements in their shows that make those shows great. But I have hope that iZombie won’t lose sight of why it’s a singular zombie franchise.
Thanks for reading.