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iZombie: The Complete Second Season
Warner Home Video
Blu-ray Disc Released: 7/12/2016
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 7/14/2016
Is there anything weirder than a television show's second season? If you know anything about "pilot season", then you are aware of the fact that very few shows actually make it to the air. Once they do, unless they are runaway hits, many struggle for survival throughout their first season. So, still gasping for air, they lumber into their second season. And, in some cases, it's apparent that they have no idea what they are doing. Others decide to stick with the formula that got them through that first season and keep chugging along. This certainly describes the second season of iZombie. The series picks up where Season One left off and doesn't do much to shake things up.
Season Two of iZombie continues the adventures of Liv Moore (Rose McIver), a morgue attendant who also happens to be a zombie. She was scratched by a zombie while attending a party, and since that time, she's had a craving for human brains. Working at the morgue makes brains easily accessible, but when Liv eats a brain, she takes on that persons memories and personality traits. This allows her to help Detective Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) solve murder cases. Meanwhile, her boss, Ravi (Rahul Kohli) is trying to find a cure for Liv. Liv's former fiancee, Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley), is being forced to hunt down and kill zombies by the company whose energy drink is to blame for the zombie problem. Blaine (David Anders), once a zombie and Liv's nemesis, has now sort of gone legit, as he's running a funeral home and supplying brains to the zombies of Seattle. But, the criminal empire of Mr. Boss (Eddie Jemison) begins to intrude on everyone's lives and it becomes clear that no one is safe.
Inmy review for Season One of iZombie, I wrote about how the show combined several familiar elements into a show which was far from original, but still had its appeal. Most of this stemmed from the energy which Rose McIver brings to her role and the adept ability she shows to take on different personalities. The show juggles several different subplots, most of which pale in comparison to Liv's weekly adventures.
The thing about Season Two is that it rarely, if ever, deviates from its very formulaic formula. Every episode someone is murdered, Liv eats their brain, she and Babineaux drive around town, and then the mystery is solved in a very neat way. (No criminal ever gets away on iZombie.) While this is going on, Liv exhibits personality traits and this directly effects those around her. This repetitiveness makes iZombie somewhat difficult to binge watch. The individual stories are somewhat interesting, but they do begin to run together. While this is going on, we get the subplots involving Major, Ravi, and Liv's on-again/off-again roommate Peyton (Aly Michalka). Like the rest of the show, these have their ups and downs, with Major's story really being all over the place. So, iZombie is an odd combination of redundancy and inconsistency.
Which brings us to the season finale of this run of episodes. As one would expect, Episode 19 (19? That's an odd number of shows for a season.) features the culmination of the season's stories and ties together some loose ends. It also really turns on the action, featuring lots of extras and some big fight scenes. And then we come to the very end. Calling it a cliffhanger would be an understatement. The episode simply ends in the middle of a scene and not only leaves us with the typical lingering questions, but a sense of "What just happened?" This is jarring, but it actually works, as it threatens to take the show in such a radical new direction that one feels that they must at least watch the first episode of Season Three to find out what happened next.
Season Two of iZombie follows in the footsteps of the show's inaugural season by being a mixed bag. The stories follow a very strict pattern and rarely deviate from a "murder of the week" pattern. The other characters offer something to the show, but can get in the way at times. That aside, the show still offers a decent amount of fun. Most every episode offers some humor and the references to Veronica Mars (another offering from Developer Rob Thomas) are always welcome. iZombie is a cool distraction, but it's far from being the best DC Comics show on the CW.
iZombie: The Complete Second Season throws around the word "Romero" like the general public knows what that means on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Warner Home Video. The four-disc set contains all 19 episodes from the show's second season. The show has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 30 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no notable grain and no defects from the source materials. This transfer doesn't show the video noise issues which were present in the Season One Blu-ray Disc. The colors look very good and the image is never overly dark or bright. The picture shows off a nice level of detail and the depth is fairly good for a TV show. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The most noticeable thing about the audio here is the subwoofer "rush" which accompanies the opening of each chapter in the show. The stereo effects are OK, and we get a smattering of good surround sound effects during big crowd or busy street scenes.
The iZombie: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Disc contains a few extras. Disc 1 offers "iZombie: 2015 Comic-Con Panel" (30 minutes), in which the actors and creative team from the show talk about the second season and field some questions. Each Disc also offers DELETED SCENES from various episodes. Disc 1 has "Grumpy Old Liv", Disc 2 has "Love & Basketball', "Abra Cadaver", & "Cape Town", Disc 3 includes "Method Head", "Fifty Shades of Grey Matter", & "The Whopper" (3 scenes), and Disc 4 offers "Dead Beat" (2 scenes).
Review Copyright 2016 by Mike Long