iZOMBIE [Pilot Review] vs. THE FLASH [PayleyFest 2015]: Reverse Appetite.
It’s the battle of the CW Network Comic Book Shows! Ya! That’s it!
Watching a new series is always something fun, but not when it sours on the tongue of being a continued slap to the face of the zombie apocalypse subculture genre…
It hurts me to say that, right out the gate, this TV show is already pretty boring. Mind you, iZOMBIE is not boring in a good way — you know, because you’re waiting for the show to ramp up into something ultimately tasty — but more in the sense of boring because… it’s stale. While it’s not quite the Veronica Mars that fans of Exec Producer Rob Thomas will come to expect, it’s at least it’s a step above Warm Bodies. Haha, yes that horrible horrible zombie movie that nearly touches on the premise of this TV show.
And despite the fact this new CW series is named after me (yay? boo?), I, Zom-Be, feel as if it’s already doomed for failure. I wouldn’t be shocked to see it being sent to the scrap pile very soon. Yet, even as I bash this TV show’s pilot, I want to give credit where credit’s due: The iZOMBIE comic book is bad-ass literature, as created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred (FF) under the Vertigo helmet.
In the series premiere, New Zealand actress Rose McIver (Power Rangers RPM) does her best to bring comic character Liv Moore to…life(?): cynical, sassy and distinct enough from her human counterpart. Yet, despite her respectible efforts and amazing look in the all-pale, all-white hair goth motif, the rest of the program still doesn’t cut the mustard. The supporting characters, and some of their performances, are poor and unengaging, and the main concept of someone having the ability to consume another living human — or deceased human being brains — and using their information to become this awesome Law and Order: SVU detective is a decent idea (see the excellent Image comic Chew), but, for this ZOM, was poorly executed.
There’s just too much of an open-ended whim/comedy that iZOMBIE doesn’t do enough to drive and captivate watchers. I know our Monsignor built up this show pretty well during last year’s Comic-Con— and only assumed this would wind up my own weekly Mass.
Sorry dude, I’d rather stick to George Romero classics.
iZOMBIE airs every Tuesday at 9 on the CW.
This year’s PaleyFest, a week-long celebration of the greatest shows on television, has now come and gone. Although there were some disappointing lows (only two actors appearing for Homeland panel), there were also some incredible highs – including the second to last day’s epic double-billed panel featuring two of the arguably biggest geek-TV shows on the air right now: Arrow and The Flash. No single GHG clergyman could handle these twin-titans alone so the Knights of the Geekdom Fancastle, ‘Divine’ Derek Vigeant and ‘Brother’ Myke Ladiona, teamed up to bring you the highlights from this amazing night of panels.
First up was the panel for Arrow.
‘Divine’ Derek Vigeant: So whose idea was it to get comedian/actress Aisha Tyler (Lana on Archer) to moderate this thing? Because they are a genius! She was the perfect example of someone who is equal part fangirl — who wanted some damn answers for Season 3 — but also found a way to pull out the jokes and make fun of any opportunity that presented itself from bad audience questions, to bringing up how Team Arrow “needs way better security because he (Merlyn) is always just showing up!”.
I’ve seen the cast of Arrow several times– and this being every possible cast member on stage was, again, pretty awesome. This group has been together for some time and they love to take jabs at each other any chance they get, but also never hold back from complimenting how well they think a fellow cast member performed in a scene.
And let me tell you John Barrowman is one damn funny guy. Anytime I’ve seen him on a panel he steals the show. He loves to play up the “Dad card” to Thea Queen (Willa Holland). Whether it’s telling Roy (Colton Haynes) he better watch himself or an audience member saying she’s a “wet blanket” of a character. “That’s my daughter you’re talking about,” he says with authority to the crowd.
Plus — at the same time — he shows his appreciation for the character he gets to play. When an audience member says how much she “hated his character in the beginning but now is starting to like him,” he says thank you and gives his accolades to the writers of Arrow instead of taking the feedback for himself. But the rest of the cast had their share of memorable moments as well: Holland gesturing to lick Haynes’ face when he was asked about the future of their relationship, to Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) doing a poetry slam/rap to show her appreciation to the fans for their support.
‘Brother’ Myke Ladiona: I agree. Everyone on the panel was hilarious, there was an arsenal of great jokes, and the camaraderie among Team Arrow (give or take a Malcolm Merlyn) was extremely endearing because they had to make the audience forget how many hints they gave out about the rest of the season! For the sake of being spoiler-free for those who didn’t seek out the Arrow trailer that debuted at PaleyFest, let’s just say that there’s no way Team Arrow is ever going back to the way it was. In fact Andrew Kreisberg (Green Arrow‘s current comic scribe) and Marc Guggenheim (future writer of Marvel’s Squadron Sinister) went on to say that after what happens in the season finale, “nothing will ever be the same again,” and that’s after the reveal of who finds out the Arrow’s secret in the trailer (can we even call it a secret anymore? I’m pretty sure by now his identity is just a known fact that people will eventually learn).
The panel for The Flash started out with a similar trailer that was equally as spoiler-ific…
Myke (cont…): Our favorite crimson speedster is in for quite a battle in these episodes leading up to the season finale. Felicity Smoak said it best in a clip from the preview, “I thought Central City was supposed to be the fun one!” Then, in some of the fastest edited clips alive, we see Eddie punching Barry, more Grodd, more Reverse Flash, Harrison threatening Barry, Eddie going even crazier, TWO Flashes, and even an Atom cameo. Besides Carlos Valdes mentioning that Vibe and Killer Frost were probably going to appear much later on in the series, if at all, the actors were surprisingly a lot more coy about revealing anything that was coming up in the series. The producers tried to be just as secretive, even in the face of a spoiler-hungry geek audience.
The only substantial morsel that we really got was when Kreisberg was asked if any major DC Comic storyline would be addressed in the show, to which he replied, “there’s a fairly big Flash storyline from the comics that we’re going to tackle in the future.” It may not seem like much, but comic readers are now feverishly speculating on what a CW version of Crisis on Infinite Earths or The Flashpoint Paradox could look like.
Derek: So, even though The Flash is — somehow — still in just its first season, the fanbase is just as big as for Arrow. I looked behind me and all three levels of the Dolby Theatre were still packed with fans. While Arrow seemed to go more in the direction of where the show was going in the future, while The Flash seemed more to focus on the present; a lot of emotional talk of where the characters heads are at and what place the relationships are in.
Now, I don’t want anyone thinking that these folks didn’t have some jokes as well. I think the ironic thing is theirs’ weren’t often on purpose. At one point, Kreisberg was bringing up some important plot revealing scenes that were shot and actor Jesse L. Martin (Detective Joe West) turns to him and says: “We did?” Kreisberg responds with “Yes, you don’t remember?” Martin just shakes his head. They proceed to try and figure it out to the point where Aisha Tyler interrupts them and says, “Do you need to take a minute?” And then there’s poor Candice Patton (Iris West) who just had a little slip of the tongue when she was merely trying to explain what her character felt like being lied to by her father and Barry (Grant Gustin) — “the only two men she has in her life” — to which her onscreen boyfriend Det. Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) sarcastically remarks “thanks”, and proceeds to move away from her by switching seats with Kreisberg. The audience roars with laughter and Candice does her best to go with the joke by saying “Well, I guess I know where I’ll be sleeping tonight!”
Derek (cont…): In the always unpredictable audience Q&A part of the panel, we got unexpected surprises from the youngest of fans. The first one was a little boy — who couldn’t have been more than five — who certainly had it in him to raise his hand; but when it came to speaking, his father took over those duties to tell Grant how much he enjoyed meeting him up in Canada. The second, was another young boy in a sport jacket who (as soon as he is called upon) just starts with “My name is Barry Allen….” and continues to go through the entire opening monologue of the show word for word. The audience goes into a frenzy of cheers and applause to the point where you sometimes couldn’t hear the kid speak. He puts a fitting close on it by saying finally “Grant, you will always be my Flash.”
The entire cast on stage and half of the audience give him a well deserved standing ovation. I’ve been doing panels at conventions for decades and you seriously can’t end one better than that.