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‘iZombie’ Puts the Human in Zombie

‘iZombie’ humanizes zombies and makes a daring political statement

By Brandon DanielPublished 6 years ago 3 min read
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‘iZombie’s season 3 premiere does something I never thought the show would do. For a few seasons now, the viewer has been made to humanize Liv, Major, and the other important zombie characters. In an unprecedented turn, with the season 3 premiere, ‘iZombie’ invites us to humanize the entire zombie race.

The season 2 finale of ‘iZombie’ was incredibly graphic, showing zombies on Supermax absolutely eviscerating and devouring people. It is a scene that we are familiar with in common zombie media. However, the vast majority of zombies in ‘iZombie’ are not like that. The zombies are human characters who simply have no choice but to have brains from time to time in order to not go “full zombie”.

In doing so, ‘iZombie’ presents us with characters who are not much different than your regular human beings. In fact, most of the zombies that Major was capturing, for example, were regular people who had been affected and were simply trying to live their everyday lives. In displaying zombies in such a manner, ‘iZombie’ makes a political statement.

It’s odd to think that a show could use zombies to make a socio-political critique, but, they are actually the perfect characterization. Zombies are viewed as evil and dangerous. The premiere constantly presents us the idea that, as soon as zombies are known to be real, it is going to be all out chaos and war. Human beings are going to kill all the zombies in order to save themselves.

Just thinking about it, you’re probably siding with the humans here right? Humans should protect themselves from potentially dangerous beings who have the capacity to destroy them. It all seems to make good sense. Until you start actually thinking about it.

The zombies don’t want to hurt humans. They don’t want to fight with humans. All they want to do is live. The concern comes from the idea that a zombie needs part of a human in order to live. The zombies aren’t killing humans, they are getting their brains from already dead ones.

The show goes so far as to show a bunch of children zombies, normal as ever. And then gut punches you when it presents a serial killer who is targeting zombies, and murdered a child zombie. You can’t help but feel for them. It’s intentional. It’s purposeful.

The message that ‘iZombie’ is sending is one that is prevalent in society today. Just because someone or something could possibly hurt you, it does not mean you need to take extreme preemptive measures in order to stop the possibility of it happening. We see this happening a lot, all over the world actually.

By presenting zombies as such, they have become a representation of all the marginally oppressed and constantly vilified in society. ‘iZombie’ even goes as far as introducing a crackpot conspiracy theorist, with zealot followers who parrot his radical, unsavory beliefs — who is clearly a representation of all the crackpot conspiracy theorists we have for real.

Think about it like this, what is the biggest danger of the zombies? It is that they want, nay, need, brains in order to survive. Well, what are brains? In the show it’s a zombie’s life force; It prevents them from going George A. Romero “full zombie”; It allows them to live a normal life; It also allows them a taste (no pun intended) of a person’s personality and memories.

The brains then represent the idea of cultural integration. The brains represent the thought of an immigrant or refugee making a life in a new country. The brains represent the humanization of people that are being dehumanized simply because of who they are or where they were born. The brains are the conception of the American Dream.

The humans who fight against this represent the people who are vehemently opposed to integration; people who are fearful and often full of hate and bigotry. This is exemplified when Clive says, “I thought you were telling Major that humans would accept zombies”, and Liv replies, “not all humans. Not these ones”.

These zombies, they just want to live. They want a chance to be treated equally and fairly. They need the ‘brains’ in order to do so. But ‘humans’ are willing to protect their brains at all costs. I expect this entire season to deal with this ongoing thread.

All in all, it was another fantastic episode, that puts into the forefront the plight of many people who just want to live. To paraphrase Marie Antoinette, “let them eat” brains.

Observations:

  • FINALLY CLIVE KNOWS
  • Stop moping around Ravi, you’re going to lose Payton.
  • Vivian Stone is awesome already.
  • The new ME from the CDC is up barking up the wrong tree.
  • Major joining the army? Perfection.

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About the Creator

Brandon Daniel

Staff writer for The Unbalanced. All things culture, entertainment, and everything in between. Find me on all socials at @branddnh. Find me on YouTube at 'Brooke & Brandon'.

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