Again, late, I know. But I have been super busy!
The title iZombie really initially made me roll my eyes. Not another zombie thing about zombies with feelings. For me, zombies are the mindless, shambling, braineaters that I’ve grown to know at love over the years. But then I found out Rob Thomas, of Veronica Mars and Party Down fame, was making this show, and that it’s loosely based on a comic. I picked I picked up the four trade paperbacks that the comic ran from the library and realized that this could make a pretty good show. And then it starred Rose McIver, who I somehow started to really like between her playing Tinker Bell on Once Upon a Time and as a serene blonde on Masters of Sex.
The comic is about a girl named Gwen who becomes a zombie (she initially can’t remember her death) and works as a gravedigger for access to the brains she needs to eat in order to retain her humanity. Along for the ride are her friends Ellie, a ghost, and Scott/Spot, a wereterrier (yes, you read that correctly). It all get very complicated very quickly but I’m not going to get into that here. In the show we get Liv Moore (hilariously, she deadpanned), a once promising medical student who was scratched in a zombie outbreak (this is… sort of glazed over but suffice it to say there’s an outbreak that happens and it’s dealt with swiftly and then hardly mentioned again. This not The Walking Dead) and has since let herself go. Now she works in the morgue for food access, and has distanced herself from friends, family, and her ex-fiance. She has to feed regularly so that she doesn’t become a mindless monster. Otherwise she just looks like she’s in desperate need of a tan and a dye job away from the white. But, as in the comic, when Liv eats a brain she absorbs the memories of the person to whom the brain belonged. Soon she hooks up with a police detective, who thinks she’s psychic, and helps to solve murders in a delightful mashup of Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, and Tru Calling. With the snark of Veronica Mars. Because, yes, this is definitely Rob Thomas. Only one episode has aired but I thought it was well worth watching; the dialogue was witty, the characters likable, and McIver delightful. Of course, with future episodes it could either shine or start to stink up the place like an old corpse but for now it has my seal of approval and my inklings that it will continue to amuse.
iZombie airs Tuesdays at 9pm EST
Reading: A Mad, Wicky Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
It’s weird writing about a book that I fished several books ago, but being on vacation I plowed through five and a half books in nine days. Right now I’m in the middle of one of the most fun books I’ve read in awhile, but nowhere near finished and certainly not reading for writing about here. A Mad, Wicked Folly was something I picked up awhile ago because the plot is basically right up my alley. Victoria Darling doesn’t care about the dresses and parties that she’s supposed to love as a wealthy Londoner in 1909. Her family, members of the nouveau riche, are anxious that Vicky should marry well and help elevate the family name. Vicky doesn’t care about any of it. Instead she is determined to become an artist. After a scandal in France Vicky is sent home and given a choice; marry the man her parents have chosen or else accept a life of exile with an elderly aunt in Norfolk. But Vicky wants a place at the prestigious Royal School of Art, and she’s willing to do what she needs to do to get it. Together with a sympathetic maid and the policeman who has become her artist’s model Vicky builds her portfolio; but there are greater things at work in these turbulent times and Vicky soon finds herself involved with the suffrage movement almost despite herself.
I liked Vicky. She was plucky and willing to break traditions for her dream. This is basically something I’ve been on board with since a kid. I love rebellious princesses (hello Ariel). Vicky didn’t always know the best ways to go about things but these flaw made her real to me. Her hesitation to throw herself full throttle into suffrage, at first, didn’t seem cowardly to me, it seemed realistic. And her reactions to changes in circumstances was natural, if frustrating to those around her. She was a good heroine. She didn’t always know the best way right off, but she figured it out.
A lot of this book was struggling against tradition, but there were a lot more things at play. The Darling family, for example, seemed stodgy, old school, but the fact that they weren’t really was an issue. Mr. Darling was in the toilet business. Literally. They had spent years clawing their way into the aristocracy, in a country where there really is an aristocracy, and weren’t happy about having their name ruined by a daughter who appears naked in public as a nude model and who breaks an announced engagement. Their indignance makes sense for their point of view.
However, we are reading this over a hundred year after it takes place. Women did win the vote, and options have been opened up (though true equality is something women still fight for). Vicky’s lack of choices was infuriating. She was thwarted at every turn and ultimately had to sacrifice far to much. I loved that this book made me care to much about the flight of not just Vicky and her aristocratic problems, but also many of the women struggling for freedom and those who put freedom away for comfort. It’s easy to side one way or another, but this book made me look at the big picture. I say bravo.
Listening to: this rad track
I’m back from Sanibel by about twelve hours as is writing this and it’s super depressing. It was so relaxing and beautiful. Yesterday at this time I would have been on the gorgeous beach for my daily two mile walk. Today I woke up from a dream I was Lucrezia Borgia to a text message confirming that nine in the morning was a good time to report to work. The nice thing is that the snow that was pretty much piled up taller than me is more gone than not and I was able to park on the street with more ease than I actually remembered. It’s the first day of spring and I can actually feel like we’re on our way there. Which is clearly lovely. But! But. I miss the beach. And it’s making me yearn for summer like I can’t even believe, given I live in a city where an April snow covering is almost as required as the leaves gently blowing away in Camelot. At night, of course. So, I guess I’m going to need to get a jump on my spring bucket list and find some things to look forward to in the upcoming months. Winter’s bucket list was the lamest so far with a few things left to check off, I definitely wont make it. But that’s okay. More for next year. In the meantime there will be trolley rides and daffodil hill, and this hilarious gif: