One of our favorite new shows of 2015 was iZombie, about a medical examiner whose new zombiedom allows her to see the memories of the murder victims that pass through the morgue. From many of the same people who brought us Veronica Mars, it has the same feel. At a press event, we spoke to the cast and crew about that first season and what’s coming up.
We talked to showrunner Rob Thomas, who explained the unique way this show went on the air:
When I had Veronica Mars on the air there was no Twitter. This has been kind of my first time having social media with a show and there’s kind of an odd thing for us because we had shot all our episodes, everything was in the can before they ever started airing. And usually when you have a show on the air, you’re only about four weeks ahead of the fan response, so you can kind steer the ship. You can kind of hear what fans are responding to, what they like, what they don’t like and adjust a little bit midstream. This time there was no opportunity to do that, so we had to kind of rely solely on what are we digging in the show, what are we thinking works.
Since there was no way to change the first season based on fan reaction, we asked what Thomas wished he could have done:
The response to the death of Lowell. I had no idea how that — that shocked me. We knew we had him for five episodes, so that was always the plan. Bradley is a terrific actor and we were watching him and thinking “This played well. This was nice.” There were so many reactions like “We will not forgive you for this.”
There’s a William Goldman story in Adventures of the Screen Trade where he’s talking about doing the Redford movie, The Great Waldo Pepper, and he says that the thing that went wrong in that movie is they cast an actress who was too good. They cast a young Susan Sarandon, and she dies in the middle of the movie. And William Goldman says, “And the audience never forgave us.” She broke their hearts. And suddenly as I’m watching our season unfold, I’m like, “Oh my god, we Susan Sarandoned ourselves.” But I think they got past it.
Co-creator and executive producer Diane Ruggiero-Wright said something similar to Thomas:
I have to say, when people were so upset about us killing the Lowell character, I felt so proud of us, but I kind of wanted to call everybody and be like, “Listen, I’m with you.” Because we knew we were going to kill him from the beginning, we knew we wanted to do that and show everybody that all bets are off, you never know what’s going to happen.
But then we cast him. And I was like, we’re casting the cute guy from Merlin? And then we’re going to kill him? Can’t we just keep him? It’s like the puppy that you’re fostering and you’ve grown attached. And he was just endearing and delightful and it was heartbreaking.
As for season 2, Rahul Kohli (Ravi) did tell us that there would be some resolution to Peyton (Aly Michalka) and Ravi’s relationship — she left him alone on the porch before they were supposed to take a trip together. Everyone was also adamant that the cure — the prototype of which Liv (Rose McIver) gave to the evil Blaine (David Anders) and her ex Major (Robert Buckley). Kohli said:
A large chunk of Ravi’s journey through season two is cure based. Trying to redevelop it, experimentation. They’re having a lot of fun with it. I’ve heard there’s some great comedy scenarios to come. His journey is about that cure.
David Anders hinted that life for the “cured” Blaine isn’t going to be that great in season two:
There’s going to be some side effects with the cure that we’re going play with. Because it’s not a perfect cure by any means.
... He did love being a zombie. So there might be some fibbing on Blaine’s part in the second season. Keeping up appearances as a zombie, but still enjoying the fruits of humanity.
That sounds to us like Blaine may try to keep up his business and standing as a zombie entrepreneur. Could we see him putting on white makeup to blend in as a zombie? Plus, he and Major are going to be dealing with “side effects.” We can’t wait.
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