Two New Shows: One Big Happy and iZombie

Elisha Cuthbert in the pilot of One Big Happy

Two new shows hit the schedule this week. I took a look at them. Here are my reactions to these new offerings. Both air on the same night, which is why I thought these two very different series should be lumped into one review. Just go with it.

One Big Happy

One Big Happy stars Nick Zano, Elisha Cuthbert and Kelly Brook
One Big Happy stars Nick Zano, Elisha Cuthbert and Kelly Brook

With Ellen DeGeneres on board as producer and with Liz Feldman as creator, I was expecting One Big Happy to hook me right away. It didn’t.

One Big Happy is a typical sitcom with characters who say their lines as if they were shouting to the people in the nosebleed section, improbable situations, and not very funny jokes.

One Big Happy stars Elisha Cuthbert as a lesbian. Her best friend, played by Nick Zano, agrees to have a baby with her. Along comes a pretty English lass played by Kelly Brook and the couple turns into a strange triangle.

I like the setup. The actors are attractive, but the characters did nothing for me. I just couldn’t get into it.

I wanted so much to like this show with a leading lesbian character, but if they brought out their best for the pilot episode, I’m not sure I’ll continue watching. I’ll give it another chance, because I want to be a devoted fan. I’m just not convinced that’s going to happen.

iZombie

Rose McIver stars in iZombie
Rose McIver stars in iZombie

iZombie, on the other hand, while wildly improbable situation-wise, was more interesting and showcased characters who are far more charming. Even the undead character is likeable.

iZombie stars Rose McIver as the zombie, Liv Moore. (Liv Moore, get it?) Liv is a doctor who gets killed and turns into a zombie. She changes jobs to work in the morgue where she has a steady supply of stolen brains for dinner. Also working in the morgue is Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli), who doesn’t mind being around a zombie. He is the only person who realizes that Liv is among the undead.

When Liv eats a brain, she gets crime-solving visions about the person’s death and is very quickly indispensable to Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin), a cop.

iZombie is a DC Comics show, with Rob Thomas as producer. It switches from comic drawings to live action sometimes, a juxtaposition that adds to the funky charm of the story.

Even though zombies have been done to infinity and shows with lesbians as main characters are rare, my reactions to these two series were the opposite of what I expected. I enjoyed the undead doctor and was bored by the pregnant lesbian.

Did you watch either of these? What did you think?

2 thoughts on “Two New Shows: One Big Happy and iZombie”

  1. I watched both episodes too on the same night. I was hoping One Big Happy would be a home run but was not suprised it wasn’t. I think my expectations with comedies is out of touch with most comedies on TV these days. I loved Seinfeld (mostly) and the early years of MASH. Personally, most of todays comedies are stupid and not worth my time. I mean if Two and a Half Men can be a TV hit then that just goes to show you how bad things have gotten.

    OK … that being said I was suprised I did laugh during One Big Happy. Yes, it was a stupid episode that is there to set everything up for future episodes. But the acting was good and the promise of better writing will make me watch. The show only got a 6 episode order, so I will watch all 6 and hope the writing improves and isnt so juvenile.

    iZombie was a suprise to me. I really liked it. The premise is kinda stupid, but the way the show is done made it fun. If the writing stays strong and the acting keeps improving this might be my new favorite “Super Hero” show. However, I kinda think they have too many characters to start a show off with. I think her roommate and brother are not necessary characters yet. I like it when a show starts off with just a few characters, then grows the ensemble over time.

    1. Tristen, I agree, most comedy shows aren’t worth the time. I do love Cristela, however. It’s more like a serious drama packed into half an hour with great jokes tossed it. Have you watched it?

      I agree on Liv’s family. I think their only purpose in the pilot was to show that even her own family couldn’t figure out what was up with her, but her buddy in the morgue knew instantly. She’s passing for alive, even with her closest family.

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