iZombie: Mr. Berserk
May 20, 2015 4:16 PM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

The aftermath of Blaine and Lowell's meeting. Liv and Clive investigate the murder of a journalist working on a story linking psychotic episodes to the energy drink Max Rager. Liv goes straight to the top at Max Rager HQ and questions the man in charge. Meanwhile, Ravi tries to help Major who continues to believe he's going crazy.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich (5 comments total)
FOZ Liv on a boat! That cinder-block-on-a-chain move was BAD. ASS.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 5:45 PM on May 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

The hug over Lowell's body was so lovely with friendship - the show does friendship really well, work friendships, exes being friends, colleagues and friends introduced to other friends, just the ability to show Liv being friends with a whole range of people. Poor Major, being sane enough to call himself psychotic.

So does Blaine work for Max Rager? Do they know about his schemes?

And this bouncing back and forth in characterisation for Liv when she eats someone's brain (mm, shrimp! that was a horribly funny moment in the morgue) makes it hard to entirely get a fix on her as a character. Was it Liv who went right to the confrontation, or was it the dead reporter driving her? How much influence do the brains have on them?
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:12 PM on May 20, 2015

I think I like that aspect of the show -- it makes Liv's character development more interesting to me because it's about who she is and the brains she eats. And, really, that's just an extreme version of what already true with regard to the things that influence our choices and values and evolving psychology, anyway. With Liv, the pulling of these levers is more explicit and Liv herself (I hope) will be forced to think about who she is and who she's becoming within the context of the influence these brains have had on her.

Not unlike a good college experience. :)

Which I don't think Liv actually had, being so achievement-focused to the exclusion of everything else.

I agree that the show does friendship really well. I think it's struggled a bit with Liv and Clive, but it's been doing better with that friendship, too. I really liked the quick and subtle, "Oh, Liv, I never knew" when Clive learned about Liv being on that murder boat. I just love those this bits of writing and acting, where it's quick and nuanced and not a strong, signalled beat. That's quality stuff.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:20 PM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

My favorite bit was Ravi pointing out that sending a zombie to prison is a super-bad idea.

There's a lot I like about this show, the friendships as you guys say, the unveiling of the origins of the zombies alongside Blaine's conspiracy, the humor.

Other things are really strangely bad, like Liv's roommate and supposed best friend barely existing, her mom and siblings also barely existing despite living in the same town, and basically everything about Major (except his moments with Ravi.)

Rahul Kohli does have magnificent hair, as his character has pointed out. His bedhead in once of the scenes with Major was adorable.
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:40 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I've felt all along that the show is very uneven -- at the beginning, it was mostly not good (and sometimes quite bad) with flashes of good and implications that there's something good at the core and there was a lot of potential. Lately, it's realizing more of that potential but it still has a lot of things that are pretty bad.

I don't have a good explanation for this -- I feel like the explanations lie in stuff that we on the outside can't see. What I intuit is that there's a tension somewhere. Maybe it's a tension between the show-as-conceived and the network's requirements. Or maybe it's a tension between good writers and bad writers (or some other version of the same mix of talent and hackery). I don't know. I do think that it's fairly easy to see what the bad things are and how the show could better realize its potential. But that may be very difficult to do in practice, even assuming the tensions I'm intuiting didn't exist.

I guess this is criticism 101 and arguably insulting obvious to mention, but I've always been fascinated by how relatively easy it is to identity the things in a work that are broken artistically after-the-fact as contrasted against actually finding ways to avoid making those mistakes as a creator beforehand. In general, it's so very easy to screw-up and it's so very hard to avoid just being, at best, mediocre. Rising above mediocrity is kind of an amazing thing, to me, in terms of creating art. (Even when it's less lofty "popular entertainment".)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:08 PM on May 21, 2015

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