iZombie - Season 4

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Janeway’s Girl, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. Janeway’s Girl

    Janeway’s Girl Commodore Commodore

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  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    This show is no longer about Liv. Liv contributes nothing to the plots anymore beyond the caricatured personalities she adopts from brain-eating, which are so extreme that she has no personality of her own anymore and is basically a non-entity in her own show. It's frustrating. I thought it was established last season that the reason she was letting the brain personas take her over so completely was because she was hiding from her own issues. But they're still reducing her to just the one-note caricatures, and it's become boring. She's becoming irrelevant to her own show.

    The larger storyline about the outing of zombies and the changed society that resulted is certainly interesting, but the show feels like it's grown beyond the need for its lead character. Now that zombies are outed, now that every cop has a zombie partner like her, Liv needs more than ever to have her own clear, distinct personality and story arc, something that sets her apart and justifies keeping her at the center of the narrative. There was none of that evident in this premiere. All this exciting change happening around her, and she had nothing to offer but her formulaic antics.
     
  3. Janeway’s Girl

    Janeway’s Girl Commodore Commodore

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    I’m interested in seeing what happens with Blaine’s dad being a zombie and possibly leading a revolt.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I am not getting any less tired of how the show treats Liv's brain-eating personas these days. It used to be that the personality traits she adopted just modulated her own behavior. They informed or complicated whatever interactions or problems she was dealing with in her own life. Now, Liv's own personality completely ceases to exist while she's on a brain. This time, it wasn't like she was Liv with a different outlook, it was like she didn't even remember that she was Liv. She acted ignorant of things that Liv knows perfectly well, like Clive's abilities as a detective and the workings of a microwave. It was like she had amnesia or a full-on split personality. That's not how it worked in the early seasons, and it's not how it works now for any other zombie character except Liv. So either something is seriously wrong with her and the other characters need to confront her about it, or the writing has just gotten sloppy.

    It's frustrating. The character that the show is supposed to be about has become irrelevant to the show's story arcs and is just a tiresome distraction from the more interesting stuff going on around her. I'd quit watching, except that I am still interested in the larger storyline.
     
  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    They pulled the "killer is the most recognizable name in the guest cast" trope with Linda Park's character being the guilty party.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, I guessed right away that she'd be the one. But to their credit, the motive was unexpected and led the characters somewhere interesting.
     
  7. Skipper

    Skipper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, it seems that Seattle alone can't provide enough brains for all those zombies. I wonder if they can import brains from outside? And really, it's incredible easy to become a zombie. The situation is just a disaster waiting to happen. Those zombie cops should wear gloves or trim better their nails...
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think that was among the terms that Chase Graves announced to the world at the end of last season: That other parts of the country needed to donate the brains of the recently deceased to support the Seattle population. Better that than make them hungry enough to become a ravaging horde.


    There was a reference in the premiere to nail-trimming being mandatory for zombies. Still, gloves sound like a good idea.
     
  9. Skipper

    Skipper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Still it doesn't seem enough. Perhaps are they artificially creating a deficit of brains..?
    Ah thanks, I missed that :)

    By the way, it seems that they are using the hate for zombies as a metaphor for racism or similar, like X-Men or True Blood before them. The problem is that if you are afraid of someone that can level a city with a though or can't resist to come up behind you and bite your neck, that's not bigoted prejudice, it's just common sense. And while If you prevent a minority from reproducing it's a genocide, if you do the same with vampires or zombies it's just pest control.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It is bigoted if that fear is based on a false premise. They only "can't resist" if they've been starved too long and their intellect has shut down; until that point, they're no different from anyone else except in their dietary needs, and it absolutely is bigoted to assume that a fully fed, functional person with a controlled case of the "zombie" disease is nothing but a slavering monster. I mean, that's the whole point of the title iZombie -- that these zombies are people, sentient beings with a sense of self.

    Besides, it's not like it's unheard of for normal humans to turn to cannibalism if they're desperate for food. Does the existence of the Donner Party mean that all humans are monsters that need to be exterminated?


    In other franchises, yes, but the "zombies" in this show are not supernatural creatures or mindless reanimated corpses, they're just people suffering from a contagious disease that creates symptoms similar to those we associate with the modern movie creatures known as "Romero zombies" (although the idea of zombies as brain-eaters only dates back to 1985's Return of the Living Dead). Calling them inhuman monsters just because they got a disease created by a rapacious corporation is profoundly unjust.

    For that matter, there are plenty of fictional franchises that treat vampires the same way, as just people with an affliction that they strive to control. Ditto with werewolves, succubi, etc. For every franchise that treats them as irredeemably evil or mindless monsters, there are others that cast them as tragic heroes struggling to control the hunger within and use their powers for good. iZombie is the show (and comic) that does for zombies what Forever Knight did for vampires, Lost Girl did for succubi, etc.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    This show is still frustrating me with its reduction of Liv to pure caricature. If she had such a tiny amount of brain to feed on, why has her personality been just as completely overwhelmed as always? I was hoping it would just have a limited effect for a change, leave something recognizable as her own personality and motivations. It also doesn't seem to have any effect on her ability to get just the perfect visions she needs to advance the plot. What if she hadn't consumed those particular memory fragments?

    And why is every murder victim she gets assigned to a complete monomaniac with only one defining, hyperexaggerated character trait? Shouldn't she get different facets of their personalities depending on what brain parts she eats? The scene with Don E. and the vendor implied there's some noticeable difference between parts of the brain. Is that just flavor or texture, rather than any cognitive or behavioral element?

    At least they're actually exploring the new premise. The stories are being generated by the new situation in Seattle -- zombie intolerance, smuggling people through the wall, brain trafficking operations. They used to use the cases of the week to reveal and catalyze things about Liv's own personal life and journey. But since she's basically ceased to have a personality, the show is now using the cases to explore and dramatize the larger issues that New Seattle faces as a result of the zombie outbreak. The world of New Seattle has become the main character now. Maybe they should rename it weZombies.
     
  12. Skipper

    Skipper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Shouldn't all the zombies at human/zombie night at the bar be wearing gloves? It seems like drunk zombies might accidentally scratch a human...
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It was so refreshing to see Clive finally confront Liv about her tendency to say whatever the brains make her want to say, with no sense of consequences because it doesn't come from her. That would explain a lot about how ludicrously exaggerated her brain personas have gotten lately, and I would love it if it meant she'd tone it down from now on and start expressing a personality of her own again. Although I'm skeptical, because I thought that breakthrough had already happened last season when they suggested that she was immersing herself in the brain personas to avoid facing her own personal problems, but instead of having her get past it, they've just doubled down on the complete erasure of her own personality when she's on a brain. At least the other characters are starting to get as sick of it as I am, so hopefully that will lead to some change. And maybe Renegade's talk to Liv, reminding her of why she eats murder victims' brains, will inspire Liv to focus more on the work and not keep letting the brain personas get in the way of the job like they've increasingly been doing.

    What annoys me about a lot of these brain personas is the constant assumption that each person is only one trait. Like the "wrestler brain" thing with Major here. Okay, wrestlers put on big macho shouty personas on stage, but that's a small part of their overall lives, and who they really are from day to day is probably something much more ordinary. I could understand Major putting on the act for the fun of it, but he should've been able to turn it off when he was getting serious.

    I prefer the brain traits that just modulate some aspect of a character's behavior rather than completely supplanting it. Like Blaine's current trait of oversharing and blabbing secrets. That's a good kind of trait, because the secrets he's telling are still things connected to his own life and storyline; the brain just affects how they're expressed and is handy for exposition.
     
  14. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    I was thinking about this during last week's episode. Could it be that the 'outing' of the zombie population has mean Liv has felt less 'restrained' when expressing other personalities? Like were the first three seasons us watching Liv trying very hard to 'tamp down' the personalities, and season four is her looking around, seeing half the population are zombies, and so just feeling like she doesn't need to put that effort at concealment in anymore? This is pure fanon, nothing from the script, but it works as a sort-of explanation.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It still doesn't make it interesting to watch. Liv's the main character of the show, so her storylines should be driven by her own life and feelings and prioirities and problems. Instead, she's become a blank slate for absurdly exaggerated caricatures and has basically become the least interesting or relevant character in the show. Everything that's going on right now is happening around her rather than to her or because of her. I don't want to rationalize it after the fact, I want the writers to bloody stop doing it and give her a personality of her own again.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Now, this was more like it. Liv showed more of her own personality -- initially she was reluctant to take on the "goon" persona, and once she did, it didn't entirely overwhelm her own persona and objectives like the previous brains this season. Like in the first season or two, the persona just seasoned or enhanced her own story rather than completely overwhelming it -- it brought her and Blaine back into conflict, and it helped her bond with the hockey player/coyote and set up what happened at the end. And that final scene brings Liv back into the center of the larger storylines that she's been just a distraction from up to now. That bodes well for the series going forward.

    It hardly seems safe for a zombie to play hockey with humans, though. Even with padding and gloves, there's likely to be some cuts and spilled blood here and there.

    The Fillmore-Graves zombie detective with the awful fake-Poirot accent is a bizarre and unfunny character. Not working for me at all. And it was weird to see Major and Don E.'s in medias res kidnapping subplot, although it turned out there was good reason not to tell us up front why they kidnapped her. I figured it out just moments before they revealed it.
     
  17. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I know this show has a thing for silly puns, but General Mills? Seriously?
     
  18. John Clark

    John Clark Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I actually didn't get that, but then I don't think I'd heard of them previously (wrong country I guess)
     
  19. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Admittedly, I recognized the name because I work in a grocery store and spent three years responsible for ordering and stocking the Cereal Aisle.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I've seen it done in other comedies going back decades. Kind of an easy target. But then, maybe that's why you're unimpressed?