“Buffy” fans, take note: There’s a new young blonde woman with supernatural powers, firing off snarky quips. Except this time she’s not so much fighting off supernatural creatures, as being one of them. Yes, Liv (Rose McIver) is a zombie, yes, she eats brains, but she’s very nice, we promise. And lucky for her, she picks up abilities and memories from the brains she eats, so she uses her talents to solve murders on the CW’s new “iZombie.”
“This is a dark comedy,” says co-star David Anders. “I’m calling it zom com rom dram.”
He’s not wrong. The show makes a point of having its zombies look a little less decrepit than your average “Walking Dead” zombie, and they’re still engaged, active participants in their world.
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“Zombies are bringing sexy back. It’s flipping the genre on its head,” he promises.
How sexy are these zombies? Says co-creator Rob Thomas, “We were calling the show ZILFs at one point.”
Anders plays another zombie on the show, but while Liv is just trying to get back to her old, pre-zombie life, Anders’ Blaine is seeking to take advantage of his new life.
“Blaine is just a zombie crime boss trying to find his way in the world,” explains Anders.
Thomas also created teen noir classic “Veronica Mars,” and the new show shares more than its blonde narrator with his previous show. Both shows also make heavy use of voiceover, though Thomas says the tone is quite different.
“Veronica’s hardened. I always wanted us to, at our best in those voiceovers, strive for this very Raymond Chandler-esque, hard-boiled, cynical worldview. And I think Liv and “iZombie is more naturally a softer character.”
Early episodes feature Liv learning Romanian and karate from the brains she eats (each new brain pushes out the skills she learned from the old one), and Thomas jokes that they need to have the New Zealand born McIver eat a Kiwi brain so she can break out her natural accent.
“And wait for people to say I’m doing it badly. That’s what I’m looking forward to,” says McIver.
With all the brain eating on the show, do those fake brains at least taste good? Alas, no, according to Anders and McIver.
“It’s disgusting,” says Anders. “We always have a spit bucket standing by.”
Words of encouragement
This isn’t the first time Anders has played the bad guy. Audiences might recognize him as Sark, from spy show “Alias.” And it turns out co-star Jennifer Garner once had some very encouraging words for him. “I was actually in the makeup trailer next to Jennifer Garner once, and I was like, hey Jen, let’s be nerds because we’re both getting makeup done. Can I get an autograph on a headshot? And she was like, oh yeah, sure. And I got it later that day, and it said, David, get comfy, you’re going to be here a while,” shares Anders. “I still have that framed.”