The CW’s most enjoyable, gory, and badly-named sitcom, iZombie, launched into Season 3 this week with an all-new central plotline. When the show began, based on the comic book of the same name, Season 1 followed a young zombie detective as she hid her bloodlust from her friends and ex-fiancé. At the start of Season 3, Olivia “Liv” Moore finds herself at the beginning of a human vs. zombie war, and she’s officially out as “undead” to everyone in her life.
iZombie has always benefitted its simple serial-killer-of-the-week structure, so the show’s new war against the undead is a risky development. The premiere catches up with all of the show’s plucky protagonists and sets them on stage for a large-scale conflict. Liv, Clive, and Ravi investigate a murder (as usual), Peyton chooses between Ravi and Blaine, and Major joins a zombie army that’s been militarizing against the growing threat of a genocide.
Executive Producer Rob Thomas has said quite a few things about his plans for iZombie’s third season, including a switch in character for Ravi, who’s always been at Liv’s side, pining for her best friend Peyton and yammering on about the show’s pseudoscience. “As the season begins,” Thomas tells TV Guide, “he’s at this emotional low point. I think there’s a feeling that he failed at the end of Season 2 — that Blaine became the man of action and Ravi sat out in the car — and I think he’s still reeling from that.”
As for the show’s occasional dips into splatter and gore, the Season 3 premiere doesn’t go too far. We see Ravi electrify a brain and the morgue is full of quickly-glimpsed dead bodies, but Liv doesn’t do her usual chop-up-a-brain-and-microwave it routine, and the show feels a little less strange and charming without it. It remains to be seen whether iZombie will change too much of its core structure in Season 3.
iZombie airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. Eastern on The CW.