Preview: CW’s iZombie is charmingly entertaining

The phrase “You are who you eat” defines Liv Moore (Rose McIver), a 25-year-old former medical student engaged to be married who unexpectedly turns into a zombie, transforming her into one of the newest members of the undead in The CW’s iZombie premiering Tuesday, March 17 9pmET.

The CW's iZombieIn order to survive, Liv takes a job at a local morgue, which offers a bottomless buffet of brains that help sustain her. Once Liv consumes a brain, she begins to see visions of that person’s cause of death and takes on some of their characteristics (from speaking Romanian to some serious ass-kicking skills). The only bummer (well, besides being a zombie and losing the people she loved) is losing some of those unique abilities she picked up by eating a brain when she eats another. Much of the comedy in the series comes from her work with an unknowing detective (Malcolm Goodwin) and her well-informed morgue partner (newcomer Rahul Kohli) to solve various cases. McIver is delightfully entertaining as Liv with her self-deprecating commentary about her garish looks and insatiable appetite, as well as her acceptance of who she now is.

Getting that “dead” look takes about an hour and half in makeup and involves a wig and airbrushing most of her exposed skin. “We cover me in this white and translucent makeup, and then there’s a lot of smoky eye work,” McIver explains. “I feel like when I put that on, it really does do a lot of the work for me in terms of making the character.”

The lighthearted series feels a bit like CSI meets The Walking Dead meets Fear Factor — as they spare nothing when it comes to Liv cooking up and eating her brainy meals. The series is loosely based on the comic book of the same name.

“In the comic book, the main character is a gravedigger and that’s how she gets her brains,” tells executive producer Rob Thomas. “By making her an assistant medical examiner and putting her in the morgue, it gave us our case of the week that we wanted.”

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