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REVIEW: iZombie 2×03 “Real Dead Housewife of Seattle”

Written by Brian Corliss

Starting with a sidebar is probably a bit unprofessional of me, especially when its content is not exactly world-breaking: does The CW hire anyone “normal” looking? Are the only headshots landing on the desk of the Producers actors that night-crawl on some Los Angeles runway–the kind with black walls and graffiti that notes the severity of how they take their attractiveness? Anyway…

Alright, alright, maybe Vaughn is the best character on the show. Dammit. It’s the soft spot I have for villainy–they are the one’s that drive the conflict after all; heroes can’t be without them, its simple story writing. The story that is weaving around Major, Gilda–the lovely red-headed assistant to Du Clark and new roommate to Liv, and Du Clark himself is so far promising comparative to the big picture story-line of last year, though, having Major carry the torch for much of the journey while being the weakest main character of the show is off-putting. That’s not to say it won’t turn out fine or great for that matter, it just doesn’t bode well.

To this episode in particular cranked up the sex factor in iZombie more so than any episode–a show that is praised for its quirkiness and wit instead of its eye candy. Yes, Rose McIver, Robert Buckley, Malcolm Goodwin, and almost the entirety of the cast are incredibly beautiful people, but the writers managed to steer clear of the obviousness and focus on the story at hand. “Real Dead Housewife of Seattle” shows plenty of Major working out and shirtless, a devilishly seductive side of Gilda, and Liv in several skin-tight dresses. Normally, I find myself rolling my eyes at these sort of presentation of sex-appeal, but luckily Rob Thomas and crew know just how to interweave the glass-clinking and lip puckering with Babineaux’s detective work that nothing feels bogged down to one way and the episode moves along smoothly.

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If I try to explain this show to someone, I talk about the big picture: it’s humor, the interaction of the characters, the show’s writing, but what I cannot talk about are those “oh my goodness” moments. There are no mics dropped in this show–and that probably deals more with being a comedy first and not a teen-drama a la Pretty Little Liars…

But, hey it’s Peyton! Finally we get some insight to where she has been, which is simply put as “outside of the country” and now she’s back to rid Seattle of its Utopium epidemic. Sounds fun, presumably; another thread to the main story needing to be fulfilled by the end of the season–of course, also presuming, that they do solve it. And they tacked on the “aww” moment with both Liv and Ravi clearly noting that they understood that Peyton was left to ambiguity, but also pulling the “it’s all better, folks!” Not a bad thing honestly, it saves from the several episodes of longing looks and needless “but why-ing?”

This episode’s crime-of-the-week was solid. As the title suggests, the unfortunate corpse is a play on the Real Housewives–a wealthy woman who gets together with other wealthy women and drinks and spends money talks crap behind another group of wealthy women’s backs. Fighting ensues. Ratings go up. In contrast to last episode where Liv was simply insufferable, she breathes the very brain she consumes, offering some of the best one-liners of the season, and it is so far removed from her foundation that it is a great testament to McIver’s acting range. We get to see Liv unleash her zombie rage–finally!–on the perpetrator. Possibly this is to show that Liv has her new condition under control, but why not show she has it so under control that she can flip it on when in a pinch and go beautifully ballistic on someone.

Look, not every episode is going to be a total gem, and many great television shows have stumbled in their second seasons–looking at you Wire. So far though, iZombie has been able to do the only real thing that they need to do to be successful–be consistent with Liv’s personalities, and keep the cleverness up. And it has. A bit light on the tongue-in-cheek references and the self-awareness that made the first season shine, but I am always up for watching a team take something that worked and leave it to the side to try something new–they could always go back to what worked…

Wait, wait, wait. Am I going crazy… Wha–what the hell? Where was Blaine!? 

Final Grade: B

+Vaughn is becoming the

+Liv playing the sassy real housewife but letting those red-eyes come out in the time of need

+Hey-la, Hey-la, my Peyton’s back!

-A bit unnecessary sexification

-No Blaine! We just need to see his face!

-To add to that, whatever Blaine is cooking up has been put off for another week. Hopefully this doesn’t mean it’s rushed to fit the allotted episodes.

Please tell us that you were only lying when you said you liked that dress that Liv was wearing on Twitter!

About the author

Brian Corliss