I didn’t think iZombie would be as durable ratings-wise as it is. Granted, it earns a 0.7 average in the adult 18-to-49 demo, which is the network average for The CW. iZombie is relatively stable, isn’t reliant on The Flash’s ratings to buoy it, and knows where it’s going.
Oddly, the overall viewership trends downward, whereas The Flash’s viewership hovers above and below the 3.6 million range. I’m sure the ratings will pick up by The Flash’s first-season finale, which might help iZombie’s numbers. iZombie does well enough that The CW bills it as a “new hit series”, a statement it first made weeks ago. On The CW, you oversell anything you can.
I like iZombie a lot more than The Messengers. iZombie lets you know it’s a Rob Thomas show, with lots of culture references and winking at the audience. It’s even worse on that level than The Flash (2014), and The Flash has the subtlety of an infinite mass punch. iZombie at least finds the balance between police procedural, relationship drama, and comic book adaptation.
At this point in a rookie series, iZombie has clear storyline progression. You don’t need to watch every episode to understand iZombie, but there is a story arc, and an undercurrent of corruption which should be further exposed over time. DC Entertainment shows generally understand the nature of building a season up.
The Messengers has ambition, I’ll give it that. The season’s stated task – angels attempt to prevent the Apocalypse – is simple. The Messengers comes across to me as messily assembled. The Messengers hits The CW’s traditional haunts – science fiction, young adult drama, apocalypse drama, superhero show – and there’s little attempt at genre-blending. During “Path to Paradise”, Raul’s subplot focuses on espionage. Vera has the science vs. religion subplot. Every other major character looks for the Horseman of War, to further the main plot.
I find the mechanics of The Messengers too visible at this point. The show clumps four characters together solely for narrative convenience at The Last Supper Bar & Grill. In particular, Raul’s boring subplot has little connection to the larger narrative. Why is it given so much airtime, when the idea of Lucifer-the-space-invader is relatively more interesting?
I don’t think The Messengers will live out its season on The CW. It’s a late spring/summer series, which guarantees a quick barf-out before The CW mulls the series merits of Cordon and Cheerleader Death Squad. If the payout for The Messengers’ first season is “the angels stop fighting destiny and fight the devil”, that states the obvious. Do I hate-watch The Messengers? I sincerely can’t tell at this point.
As for The Flash, it has a superhero battling a supergorilla. If The Flash can’t crack four million viewers with DC’s time-tested audience-pleaser, then it doesn’t earn the primate pun I have ready for it. Hell, Gorilla Grodd is the spoiler in Justice League Unlimited’s final season. He truly is a great ape…damn it.
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