iZombie co-creators Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright have a very specific niche that they’ve filled over the years, one full of headstrong female protagonists, cathartic voice-overs, noir-style plots, and some enjoyably quippy dialogue that can steamroll anyone caught off-guard. Veronica Mars, and her movie, sculpted a uniquely odd tone and voice around a predictable setting – a high school. iZombie, more than anything, is Thomas and Ruggiero-Wright succumbing to Mars‘ hints of darkness in full form. But, like with Mars, it’s characters first, and on that level iZombie is fast approaching Thomas’ previous series – and could surpass it given time.
Based on a comic published by DC (under Vertigo), the season 2 premiere picks up a few months after Major’s (Robert Buckley) shootout at Meat Cute, where dastardly Blaine (David Anders) ran a sort-of Seamless for zombies, delivering brains to his pale-skinned companions under the guise of a charcuterie store. Major is still giving Liv (Rose McIver) the cold shoulder after he learns that she’s been a zombie the entire time he was blossoming with paranoia about the undead; the fact that his little stunt landed Liv’s brother Evan (Nick Purcha) in the hospital doesn’t help matters.
Blaine, on the other hand, is nothing if not adaptable, taking over a local funeral parlor and beginning a new business that seems to tilt more to the side of drug running than brains a la mode. Once Liv discovers his location and hightails it over, the season kicks into overdrive, with McIver and Anders tossing ribs back and forth at a dizzying speed (“Are you eating that or impregnating it?” Liv asks Blaine as he chews loudly on a chocolate), utterly in flux with Thomas’ delightfully heightened wordplay (he penned the premiere) that manages to feel organic despite being largely artificial. No one talks like this in real life, but the best writers can make the unbelievable entertaining with enough flourishes and head-spinning zingers, and in that sense Thomas is sort of like Aaron Sorkin for tweens.