FX’s The Strain

Last night The Strain premiered on FX and it did not disappoint.  The Strain is adapted from the book series written by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.  I have not read any of the books nor did I come into this show with much knowledge about it.  I knew it was about vampires and that’s about it.

The show starts out with a plane getting ready to land.  When the airport tower tries to contact the plane during landing the controller doesn’t get a response.  He then sees that the plane is sitting on the runway with nothing running.  After initial investigation by the control tower, many government officials and agencies converge on the scene with the CDC taking ultimate control.  Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, a/k/a Eph, and a team member, outfitted in haz-mat suits, board the plane to check things out.  They find all the passengers are dead.  Further investigation under black lights show all kinds of fluids on the planes interior as well as passengers.  Eph’s team member, Nora, checks out the front of the plane while he heads for the back.  While Nora is looking around the cockpit door opens (never a good sign).  Nora goes in to take a look and suddenly the pilot opens his eyes.  Ends up that four passengers survived while all others are dead.  The CDC moves all the bodies to a refrigerated area so they can continue their investigation.

We get glimpses into the Master and the people who, I’m assuming, are his caretakers.  The best part was during the medical examiner scene.  Gross and creepy highlighted by a musical choice of Sweet Caroline with a beating heart.

I think the biggest complaint about this show will be that it has some typical clichés – the crazy guy who knows what’s going on, the main character whose life is falling apart and that story is easily forgotten,  etc.  I’m fine with all of that.  The Strain brings back the creepy, scary vampire stories I liked to watch when I was a kid. It also gives a different take on vampirism being a virus rather than a blood sucking origin.  Vampires being a threat is the focus here, not how sexy and good-looking they can be.

I do think the show teters on the edge of being good vs being campy.  If someone other than Del Toro was involved,  it would most likely fall on the campy side. Luckily that’s not the case.  I’m intrigued by the virus plot and like having the CDC involved.   I’m also looking forward to finding out more about the Master and what he/it is all about.  I have the first book but will hold off on reading it until the season ends.  Not knowing what’s going to happen makes me look forward to future episodes and I’m hoping things only get better.  Anyone else watch this show?  What are your thoughts?

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