So, I loved the first season of iZombie, but I’m already struggling a little to get into the new season. It wasn’t bad, but I think I was just so excited about it, especially in a year of otherwise pretty lackluster programming, that there was no way I wasn’t going to be disappointed. And “Grumpy Old Liv” was such a disappointment, on multiple levels.
- I’m not a huge fan of time skips, and I especially hate them when they’re used poorly.
And the time skip between the end of last season and the opening of this episode sucks. It’s not that it’s disorienting. Indeed, it’s not that very much has happened at all. There seems to have been almost no movement forward for any character except Blaine, who has started a new business (albeit as a front for taking back up his old business). It’s supposed to be three months since the events of last season’s finale, but it could just as well be three days for all the change in the characters’ statuses.
- Peyton is still missing in action.
If there was one story thread from last season that I was hoping for an update on, and if there was one character who I was hoping to see done more justice this season, it was Peyton. She did at least get mentioned this week, but only to say that she’s still gone. Still, it’s more presence than she got in most of last season’s episodes. I’m just so concerned for her. And, as a feminist and a woman who loves (read: craves) stories about female friendship, it’s more than a little frustrating that this show just seems determined not to provide that story.
- I feel like Ravi’s entire life revolves around Liv and to a lesser degree Major.
This is sort of an addendum to the Peyton thing, but only because Ravi’s apparent total lack of concern about Peyton’s disappearance is kind of appalling, and it was the thing about this episode that really hammered home the idea that, aside from his relationships with (and usefulness to) Liv and Major, Ravi has nothing else going on as a character. He has no family that we know of, no other friends that we’ve seen, no interests that he doesn’t share with either Liv or Major, no career ambitions that he’s stated aside from finding the zombie cure. It’s too bad.
- The whole “zombies are super secret thing” is wearing a bit thin.
Frankly, I just don’t see how there isn’t some kind of public awareness about this problem. There don’t even seem to be any urban legends about it yet. I also don’t understand how Liv in particular, but also zombies in general, are so easily able to hide this from their friends and families. Liv’s behavior is so erratic that I feel like, at the very least, people around her would think she’s gone bonkers.
- Major is still so very boring.
- The casual racism in this episode was the worst.
Like it makes me almost not want to watch anymore. I know that it was supposed to be a part of the “grumpy old man” persona that Liv got from the brains she ate, but it sucked. It wasn’t funny, and it wasn’t insightful, and it feels really, really unnecessary. I know that the brains change Liv’s personality, but she seemed much more out of control than usual this week. In the past, she seemed to have some self-awareness about the bad qualities she got from brains, enough that she didn’t have to give in to the worst aspects of the identities she gets saddled with. I have a hard time, now, buying that she just completely lost her filter the way she is supposed to have here.
Still, there are a few interesting things going on in “Grumpy Old Liv. The scenes with Blaine were good, and Liv’s new roommate was an interesting surprise. The actual murder mystery this week was nicely done, and Steven Weber as the evil Max Rager CEO (or whatever) was delightfully wicked.
Overall, however, this episode just felt a little uninspired, and it felt more like a recap than a continuance of previous story. The time jump felt awkward and Liv’s brains-induced racism was so unpleasant and unlikable that it’s actually tainted the show for me a little.