Everyone these days holds their own opinions on the Frat-Bro and fraternity culture. Now, I will not try to crack the shell of this political walnut here, but I do have to speak to the trope that is Bro-ism and television and films recent obsession with picking low hanging fruit. Unfortunately, the latest victim in trying to embarrass the frat-guy with stoner stereotypes and the Seattle/Plaid lifestyle is iZombie’s second episode “Zombie Bro,” which is so cramped with try-hard dialogue it feels as though the writers wanted to emulate the college-aged male by getting as drunk as possible while blurting lines from crappy past beer commercials.
With possibly one exception in the last decade, the frat-boy character is time again the worst part in any episode or film they are featured in–generally used for one off jokes of idiocy or drunkenness or the target of sexual misconducts. The point is, they suck to watch. And we have to watch Liv spend an hour chugging beers, burping, high-fiving, and “wazzup-ing.” It was painful. This is putting past the fact that they used a sorority girls brain last season in the episode “Flight of the Living Dead.” If they are struggling to find other brains for Liv to munch on, then the is a bit of trouble in the iZombie house.
“Zombie Bro” starts with a death of Chad, a living legend according to his house members; stabbed to death dressed as Caesar in a most symbolic way. From there, the episode tailspins into mediocrity; acceptable and likely to be expected from some shows but far below the level of cleverness found by Rob Thomas’s team.
Ravi and Major rave for much too long but their B-story is still fun enough, particularly when Ravi sits down to listen to the “notes” he was making, including a pretty slick verse I can only hope was a freestyle. The two roommates continue their bromance while parts of Major and Liv’s romance come through in genuine snippets. It will feel great getting back to having two less love-lorn leads moping around the screen. Detective Babineaux continues to be the straight man but he’s bordering on totally one-dimensional; whether he cares to learn about Liv’s true affliction or not, a ridiculous oversight as is, Clive is devolving, playing tag-a-long while Liv and Ravi solve the majority of the case.
There are glimmers of an actual story-line. Blaine shows to be moving the Utopium in early Tony Montana quantities, and has the early workings of a plan that is likely to carry us until the end of the season. One can hope at least, and dare I say that Blaine is more diabolical this season; leveraging brains with the authorities, setting up small points on a large map that I can see exploding on the Seattle area in a few episodes. Also, we meet Angus (Robert Knepper), who plays Blaine’s father–a Zombie thanks to Blaine–who spills a bit into Blaine’s rocky family past including a dead mother.
Wrapping up the crime-of-the-day is serviceable enough, a bit abrupt in its resolution, but as I’ve made mention before it is something that this show doesn’t need to knock out of the park every single week. The last scene is Major enjoying some of that sweet, sweet Utopium all alone in bed–surely will become a problem in the coming episodes, possibly impacting his responsibilities to Vaughn Du Clark and Max Rager. On the hole, the episode provided little progression for everyone except Blaine who saw the best parts of the episode and continues to be this reviewers favorite on the show.
Final Grade: C
+ Blaine looks to make major moves this season, moving into serious business deals: pushing drugs.
+ Ravi’s new beard is now “Princess Sparkles.”
+ Ravi and Major back to being best buds…
– …but Major’s possible new drug addiction can lead to more eye-rolling.
– The Bro-fest jokes became stale after the first scene.
– Liv was intolerable this episode–I like her as a smart intelligent lead who works with/through the brain of the week.
– Lackluster main story.
Bro, pound a Natty Daddy and let us know your thoughts on Twitter!