YMMV / iZombie



  • Arc Fatigue: Liv and Major's on again off again relationship has started to bore some fans, much in a similar vein to Friends's infamous Will They or Won't They?. First they can't be together because Liv is a zombie, and by season 2, Major tries to cut off ties while protecting her from Vaughn which leds them to be together again and breaking off again when Liv tells that Major and her have unsolvable differences now, not only in relation to her being a zombie, but because she changed and he can't accept it, as well as they can't have sex unless they are both zombies or both humans. Even when they are both zombies in season 3, they still decide to not be together while still teased and even sleeping together when Major has to take the cure, leading to Liv dating Justin while Major sees other women. It does not help that their Romantic False Lead are actually very well liked characters such as Lowell and Drake who both get awful fates to guarantee that they can be together even if they won't.
    • The zombie cure. Ravi spends a lot of time working on attempts to cure the zombie virus in order to give Liv her humanity back, however thanks to various blocks put in place he's unable to move forward in a manner that would give her a cure. First there's side effects, then there's the limited supply of Tainted Utopium to use to make the cure, and when they actually do make a successful cure, its stolen and the season ends without them finding out who. While the stolen cure reappears in Blaine's possession in Season 4, for the sake of the show Liv can't be cured, and it's a little tiring how many loops they have to jump through.
  • Author's Saving Throw: After months of complaints about Clive never appearing to notice Liv's massive personality swings that match the victims they're working on, "Whopper" finally acknowledges that he has noticed for a while, simply assuming that it was a result of the "psychic gift" he thinks she has. Then it becomes irrelevant when he's let in on the truth at the end of the season.
  • Complete Monster: Vaughn Du Clark is the Big Bad of Season 2, despite coming across as an absent-minded goofball. He is indirectly behind the zombie outbreak because the unsafe chemicals in his company’s energy drink is one of the causes of zombieism. Vaughn does not care that the zombies remain sentient, he only cares about how this news will affect his profit. He coerces Major, who can sense zombies, into acting as his hitman in eliminating them by threatening Major’s Love Interest, Liv. Incapable of taking any criticism, Vaughn frequently scours the internet for negative comments about his company and has the posters killed. When a zombie breaks free in his lab, Vaughn flees the scene, abandoning his own daughter to get infected. When he discovers that Major has been hiding the zombies he hunted down instead of killing them, Vaughn locates them and kidnaps them all, keeping them in his lab to test cures for zombieism. All the tests fail and the zombies are turned into mindless, ravenous beasts. Vaughn laughs at Liv when she discovers that one of the mindless zombies was her boyfriend and laughs as she’s forced to kill her lover. Even as his company is overrun by zombies and hundreds of his employees are killed, Vaughn can only think of what this means for his publicity and finances.
  • Counterpart Comparison: During Season 2, Major, the former significant other/love interest of Liv, the main character, develops a drug problem and starts going down a self-destructive path. Two years ago, Arrow, another DC Comics-based CW show, had Laurel, the former significant other/love interest of Oliver, the main character, developed a drug problem and also went down a self-destructive path. Fortunately for Major, while Laurel's story arc suffered from Arc Fatigue and turned her into The Scrappy of the show, Major's story arc wrapped up in less than 5 episodes and he began his recovery. Thanks to better acting/writing/direction, they also avoided making him unwatchable and he instead ended up even more of a Woobie than he already was.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • Hollow Wood's Oh My God playing over Liv, under the effects of her old friend who loved to practice extreme sports as she runs through the streets of Seattle in a bike with a rare smile across her face.
    • After the Fira's Der Komissar playing over the Meat Cute Mass Murder when Major kills everyone related to Blaine's operation.
    • Band of Skulls' Sweet Sour is perfectly fitting for the scene in season 3 in which Blaine now no longer feigning amnesia starts plotting the take back of his operation and prepares ravi's blue juice, it really shows old Blaine is back.
    • XTC's Dear God playing as a group of Fillmore Graves mercenaries chase after Liv when she tries to find a way out from the school where the Influenza A vacine is being contaminated with zombie blood.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Lowell gained quite a lot of popularity despite being only a Romantic False Lead, even after his death. His actually rather sweet relationship with Liv and their mutual condition helped make them a Fan-Preferred Couple. It was notable that when Liv in Season 3 is hallucinating Drake, her dead ex-boyfriend from Season 2, many fans questioned why Lowell didn't appear too, given his similar fate.
    • Likewise, Drake and Justin are also quite popular, thanks to having great chemistry with Liv while they were dating, as well as the latter's close friendship with Major.
  • Evil Is Cool: Blaine does make being an utter bastard look fun. Also crosses into Evil Is Sexy as he has more than a few fangirls.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Blaine/Liv has a large amount of fans despite the canon leading to Liv/Major and Blaine/Peyton(both of which fell through though).
  • Friendly Fandoms: Fans of Pushing Daisies tend to enjoy the show, given they're both light-hearted procedurals with the protagonist using the victims themselves to solve the Victim of the Week. The fact they're both set in a World of Pun helps, too.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In season 1, Blaine said this his Freudian Excuse was "daddy issues, megalomania, and greed" in a rather sarcastic tone. However, season 2 reveals that he resents his father because he, among other things, forced his grandfather into a retirement home and had him raised by a horrible maid who regularly abused him.
  • Ho Yay: There's a bit between Major and Ravi once they move in together.
  • HSQ: Holy shit, the season 3 finale, Wham Episode doesn't even begin to describe it. Carey Gold turns out to not only have murdered Katty when she found Tatum and Patrice eating brains, she also was the one behind the release of the Influenza A virus as part of a Plan B of Fillmore Graves to cause a zombie doomsday that will create more zombies to their side by poisoning the Inluenza A vaccine with blood of the Fillmore Graves' zombies. She gets killed by Chase who finds out about her betrayal, which included the deaths of Wally's family for opposing her and killing Vivian to push Chase into abandoning the idea of Zombie Island. Her plan is partially succesful by turning a part of the population into zombies, including Johnny Frost and the recently informed about zombies, Agent Dale Bozzio. To stop the people from taking vacines, Liv makes Johnny Frost reveal in television about the existence of zombies as well as several cares about it while Chase appears to warn everybody about the fact that Fillmore Graves will be attempting to help out the large population of recently turned zombies, which also causes Blaine and Don E.'s bar to take off. There's also the fact that the large populations is now persecuted by a also increasing population of anti-zombies who openly attack them when they are trying to get rations from Fillmore Graves. Also, Liv and Justin break up over her cheating on him and Ravi believes to have developed a zombie vacine, but uses himself as a guinea pig and the episode ends with Liv, for better or worse, scratching him to test it.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Ravi/Liv has the rather fun name of Ravioli in the fandom.
  • Les Yay: There's a good amount in general between Liv and Peyton, highlighted by "Pour Some Sugar, Zombie" where Liv, on stripper brain, gives Peyton a lap dance and gets irritated when Peyton isn't as into it as she'd like. This gets further pushed in the episode, "Return of the Dead Guy," when discussion about Liv and Justin getting together turns into the below bit, which preceded a scene with Liv making Peyton dress up as a dominatrix, including spanking Liv which Peyton starts to get really into.
    Peyton Ah... I see why you want the place to yourself. Well, um... What if I can make you a better offer?
    Liv I don't want you to be insulted, and don't think I haven't considered it, but I'm going to stick with men.
    • "Brother Can You Spare A Brain" sees Liv momentarily get cozy with a female that she and Clive are questioning, but that's not all.
    • "Return of the Dead Guy" takes it to pure Pandering to the Base levels, as Peyton has to act like a dominatrix to get Liv's current brain to have a vision, and finds herself getting pretty into it. After Liv has the vision, they appear fully intent on continuing until they are interrupted by a hallucination.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Blaine. When the show began, he was turning people into zombies and extorting them for brains. He was willing to kill homeless youth to obtain those brains, no less. Throughout the run of the show however, we learn more about his past and how he became that person. His mother committed suicide, he was abused by his father and his nanny, and his beloved Grandfather was committed to hospice. After temporarily losing his memories, he makes a genuine effort to reform but the fact he lied about the duration of his memory loss due to his own fear of rejection leads him to losing the woman he loves.
    • Rita becomes this in "He Blinded Me...With Science!" when her father leaves her to die and she gets turned into a zombie. Made even worse when in the finale she realizes her father never truly loved her and only cared about himself.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Blaine becomes the sole supplier of brains to the zombies in the city, operating out of an actual butcher shop, using regular (i.e. not undead) delivery boys. His first act is to have sex with a rich older woman, infecting her, and then offer to supply her with brains for $25,000 a month. He's also charming and disarming, convincing Clive that his shop is on the level, when the detective comes to ask about a dead kid. He even offers Clive to show him around the back of the shop, despite having a cut-up body there (although, had Clive agreed, he would've been killed). Despite being a lowly street dealer when he was alive, Blaine shows refinement, admitting he used to be a wine connoisseur before his taste buds atrophied, and even has his cook try to come up with tasty dishes with brains.
    • The Big Bad of season 3, Carey Gold easily mixed with the backgroundand was barely remembered when it comes time to suspect who is involved with the Wally's family murders or anything else, however she managed to gather a faction of extremist zombies in Fillmore Graves to help her on a mutiny against Chase, she is able to start a doomsday Liv and Chase can barely contain because by the time they realized her plan, it was too late to stop it, they were only able to surpress it by stoping the vacines, and even dying, she still managed to get what she wanted, there's more zombies than ever and they are on Fillmore Graves' side. All of this was done while they were far too under the radar for anyone to see it.
    • Utterly subverted with Chase Graves as he was set up to be one of these and pulled off a massive Xanatos Gambit that culminated in an attempt to blackmail the United States into supplying 10,000+ zombies into supplying all of the brains they needed versus unleashing a horde of zombies on the world. Instead, the United States just walled off the city and now he's stuck with a lack of food for his undead horde as well as a city that despises him. This is notable because the show gave all the hints of him being a Magnificent Bastard only for his plan to fall flat on its face.
  • Moe: Liv herself, largely due to her short size, Perky Goth-style appearance, and the effects of many of her brains-of-the-week.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • After first being shown to apparently be willing to leave his old life of drug dealing, once he finds out he can turn others into zombies and uses this to make a brain-dealing business, Blaine establishes himself as a villain. But what crosses this is when its revealed that his source of brains for his operation is actually troubled teenagers who he kidnaps and kills, rather than his claim of grave digging.
    • In season 2, Blaine seems to have at least tried to change, starting a new operation that doesn't kill kids for the brains, and is willing to work with Liv in getting what they need to work on the cure (albiet, for self-preservations purposes). So, to establish he's still a monster, he positions a very scared underling into becoming the face of his Utopium ring, getting the guy and his dealers brutally killed by Blaine's former boss, and is revealed to have zombified his own father, and blackmails him out of a large sum of money. He might be human again, but he's still a dick.
    • Vaughn was already a narcissistic jerk willing to commit murder. But allowing his own daughter to be eaten by a zombie as he cowered in his office is going beyond the pale.
    • Harley as atop the wall between a full on Hate Sink and a Tragic Villain due to his brother's death, but exploding himself with an entire house full of zombies, including Major's friends and a now human Natalie puts him firmly on the asshole villain side.
  • Narm:
    • The cliffhanger ending of "Return of the Dead Guy" is very oddly structured, acting like we have no idea a Romero-ing Liv and Blaine are about to burst in and save Ravi like we saw just a minute ago.
    • In the Season 4 premiere Major is shocked to discover the Dead Ender he tackled is a young teen. Except that Dawson Casting makes this very hard to pick up on, and the audience is just left confused by the dramatic reveal of the guy's face, wondering if we're supposed to recognize him.
    • The huge leap in zombie characters in Season 4 means the crew tries to save some money by just plain not putting some of them in makeup. Unfortunately, in the case of some this means that we're asked to accept people who are supposedly in desperate financial straits and close to starving, yet are somehow able to get a professional tan and dye job.
  • One-Scene Wonder: In "Fifty Shades of Grey Matter", Kristen Bell does a Dramatic Reading for the victim of the week's erotica book, though she only gets a line or two.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Season 3 has been criticised for the Ravi/Peyton/Blaine Love Triangle, thanks to Ravi's depressed attitude in the first few episodes making some find him suddenly unlikeable, as well as some feeling Reyton being willing to date Blaine simply because he lost his memory makes her look rather naive.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: A peeve of some fans of the comic book. Save for the brains and zombie thing, the TV series barely resembles the comics, which were more of a tongue in cheek story that covered a variety of monsters with bits of drama here and there. The show is a straight -faced crime drama featuring just zombies. They don't even use the name of the original character.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Rita/Gilda, who is unceremoniously killed by Major when she tries to kill Liv. It was like the writers wanted to get rid of every Max Rager member, even if Rita could have continued to serve as an Evil Counterpart to Liv if Rita/Gilda joined up with Fillmore Graves.
    • Speaking of Fillmore Graves, Vivian ended up falling victim to this when the helicopter she was in ended up being blown up.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The Season 2 winter finale ended with Clive finally getting fed up with Liv's personality swings and cutting off ties with her. This lasts a grand total of one episode, making for flashbacks of Rob Thomas' similar inability to commit to such a big rift between major characters in Veronica Mars.
    • In the Season 2 premiere, Liv resolves to not give up on reconciling with her family after they shut her out. This goes completely unacknowledged for the entire rest of the season. Rob Thomas admitted that the season featured so many major ongoing storylines that something had to simply be dropped, especially since they ended up with fewer episodes than they'd planned for.
    • After Major becomes a zombie, we only get a single episode of Robert Buckley getting to join in the fun of getting a new personality from eating brains, before he switches to a special blend that doesn't have that effect.
    • Similarly, we rarely see other zombies, including Blaine, Don E, and Liv's boyfriends, getting full-blown personality shifts.
  • Uncanny Valley: Surprisingly inverted and invoked with a few viewers and reviewers whenever Liv disguises herself with more human features. However, that is normally how Rose Mc Iver looks like.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Liv's voiceover at the end of "Virtual Reality Bites" states that the killer should have just "gotten over" his sister committing suicide after a year of horrific cyber-bullying. Needless to say, many fans felt differently. This may have been what was left of the Jerkass hacker's brain talking, as Liv is not generally so callous towards the dead or their families.
  • What An Idiot:
    • Despite knowing that she was a medical examiner for the Seattle PD, one of the suspects in "Brother, Can You Spare a Brain?" actually tried to rape Liv. Made even worse due to the fact that he knew her partner was right upstairs. As you can guess not only did he get his ass kicked by both of them, he was arrested instantly. Of course, he seemed to think she wanted to have sex with him (thanks to the effect of the brain-of-the-week) and so he probably didn't think it was rape, which sadly crosses into Truth in Television.
    • Out of everyone in the world, you'd think Max Rager's own scientists would know better than to mix the drink with Utopium.
  • The Woobie:
    • Almost everyone who becomes a zombie. They're stuck with a Horror Hunger for brains that will slowly, and permanently, rot their brain if they don't get a fix until they're Romero-style zombies, Can't Have Sex, Ever with anyone other than a zombie to avoid spreading it, have dulled taste senses so they can't enjoy good foods anymore, can't risk getting too excited to avoid an adrenaline rush and go full-on zombie mode, and if they want to avoid the above mentioned Romero-style fate, they only have a few options if they don't want to become a killer: Get a job with access to human bodies (which for many people would be too much Squick to handle), go graverobbing and hope the brains they find haven't decomposed too much (which would be even worse), or hand over small fortunes to Blaine's operation for a fix. And that's without getting into the visions and personality traits they get from the brains' previous owners which can get pretty intense and traumatic. Special mention to Lowell, whose breakdown in "Patriot Brains" sells just how horrible life is for someone stuck as a zombie.
      Lowell: (Talking about the brain he just presented Liv) It's Michael Kenny; he was interred yesterday, at Evergreen Memorial.
      Liv: You dug up a grave? ...I'm sorry... I'm sure that was awful.
      Lowell: It's cake compared to watching the funeral. ...He was a-an English teacher, and all the kids he taught were there, his daughter read his favourite Shakespeare sonnet, and his poor wife was in hell on earth. I-I threw up actually, because, I thought about all the brains I had, and every last one of them, was... we-we eat people. We eat people.
    • Liv in particular. Starting from the traumatic experience the boat party was, which gave her PTSD on top of her zombie-ness, she spent months struggling alone with the problem until Ravi got involved, had to break off from Major at risk of infecting him, her first shot with someone compatible ends with them being killed when their shared plan to kill Blaine fails, making her blame herself, the brains she eats often have really negative effects (from making her flirt with a would-be rapist (effects detailed above) to giving her temporary schizophrenia), and the urge to find the person's killer she gets from them leads to her often getting herself and others she cares about in serious danger.
    • Major, as a result of his Chronic Hero Syndrome. At first an Iron Woobie as a result of Liv breaking things off, Major develops into a full-on Woobie when kids he took care of at a youth centre start going missing, including Jerome (who he cared about a lot), leading to his life to slowly fall apart as he tries to find out what happened. He gets beat up by Blaine's henchmen Julien Dupont when he sees him wearing Jerome's sneakers, and his attempts to prove Julien's involvement leads to him being arrested, fired, losing his new girlfriend, then get attacked and left looking mentally unbalanced to everyone around him, while those who do know the truth have to let him think he's insane to protect him from what's really happening (and YMMV on whether that's justified).
      • It gets even worse for him in the second season. Vaughn extorts him (via information about the Meat Cute massacre and threats to Liv) into hunting down and killing zombies. His despair over this drives him into Utopium addiction and worse (he fucked Rita, for god's sake), then to top it all off the cure he takes wears off turning him back into a zombie
      • And then came season 3, which started off promisingly with him joining Fillmore Graves' army and fitting in quite well. He then turns human using Ravi's third cure, which wipes his memories albeit temporarily. He then falls in love with a girl who is bragging about her adventures with the Chaos Killer. This outs him as human to Chase, resulting in him being kicked out of Fillmore Graves. Luckily he reunites with the zombie call girl Natalie (now human again), only for him to lose her and many of his colleagues in a suicide bomb attack at his going away party. Reaching his Despair Event Horizon again, he convinces Chase to turn him back into a zombie and rejoins FG.