With so much amazing TV on now, a CW show called iZombie might not be at the top of your to-do list. But it’s worth your time. Although it presents a pretty absurd premise to buy into — Liv (Rose McIver) is an ex–medical resident turned zombie who uses visions she gets from eating the brains of cadavers to help solve their murders — each episode is good for a laugh and a gut-punch of pure pathos. After becoming a zombie, Liv breaks things off with her fiancé Major (Robert Buckley) because she’s afraid she’ll turn him into a zombie, her career goals fall away, and she’s left unsure about her future. Vulture caught up with McIver to talk about her character’s relationships, the emotional power of the show, what’s coming, and how she’d survive a zombie apocalypse.
The show is so emotionally resonant, and one of my favorite parts is Liv’s relationship with her friend Peyton (Aly Michalka). Do we learn any more about their backstory, or can you tease any of what’s to come for them?
Yeah, they were in a sorority together, and they’ve been very close. I think Liv and Peyton were actually probably quite similar before Liv was turned into a zombie. She’s a very type-A personality: high-achieving, good sense of humor, but knows what she wants to do with her life. I think that it’s been incredibly confusing for Peyton that Liv has just lost all of those gifts and seems to be so mopey and disinterested. I think sometimes I even feel like that’s happened with friends of mine. Sure, they haven’t been turned into zombies. But, you know, you can feel that dynamic shift when you think you all want the same thing and you’re all heading in the same direction — especially at the end of high school, I feel like — and then you hit the real world and things affect you in different ways. Some of your friends peak at different times, and people feel left behind or forgotten about. There is some of that shift between not being the same person as your best friend anymore, and Peyton learning to accept and love the new Liv, and encouraging her to embrace who she’s becoming rather than to try to stay the same person.