Sunday, August 24, 2014

TV Review - The Strain on FX

Okay, so we all know about.. (stage whispers) Vampires. Some burst into flames in the sun. Some sparkle in the sun, some are only irritated by the sun but it does not harm them and some are just like humans walking among the masses. We have the human drinkers, the ones that only drink from the opposite sex, then the ones that only drink from vampires no matter the sex. So many versions. Some good, some bad and some are just... sad. But one thing they all have in common is that they can infect others.

Well today we take a new look at the "Vampire" thanks to the new show on FX. The Strain, based off the book series (of the same name) written by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. It's a new sick twist to the legend of the vampire. The dark forces that feed off the living. The blood that sustains them. Can you say human blood bags?

The shows starts off with a bang! Or really with a creepy noise, a scream and then... A plane lands at JFK International airport in NYC with the lights off, doors sealed. Epidemiologist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather of the CDC (Head of the Center's for Disease Control's Canary Team) alongside his team; Dr. Nora Martinez a biochemist and Jim Kent a CDC Administrator who works with Goodweather and Martinez. On board they find 206 corpses and four survivors.

thestrainplane.pngWhile at the airport they meet a strange old man, Professor Abraham Setrakian (Holocaust survivor and pawn shop owner). When he tells them they need to decapitate the bodies and burn them... well they have him arrested for trespassing. (laughs) Also, he say’s “If you have the coffin you have him.” No one pays him any attention as he is hauled off. While the doctors deal with the four survivors the CDC's head man has reservations when Dr. Goodweather wants to quarantine them all. 
(It's a political move to not do it. They may lose revenue. Big deal dude, you're talking 206 dead people here.. but I digress.)
The-Strain-TV-2.jpgAs the story unfolds the CDC tries to get to the bottom of what is going on something bad happens. All of the bodies... disappear. Just vanished. All that is left is the body bags they were transported to the Morgue in. The doctor’s suit up and again search the plane, following the trail of ammonia and fluids left everywhere but... something. They find worms, yes I said worm in the planes cargo hold and come up to find out what was in that plane. Goodweather and Martinez have a mystery on their hands. The four survivors bust out of quarantine when Dr. Goodweather's boss, Dr. Everett Barnes decides (along with the higher ups) that this is not a case for the CDC. The piece of nonsense the old man (Abraham) was spouting at the airport start to make sense. The episodes show the four survivors starting to change.  

The-Strain-62-06.gifIn the Morgue where the bodies of the plane’s victims were taken to be autopsied. (Talk about a long night.) Things go from gross to crazy and back to what the eff in no time. While the investigations are still under go on the plane the coroner starts the autopsy on one of the bodies. He removes the heart. He thinks nothing of it only moments later when he hears something does he see the heart is full of the burrowing worms used to spread the “disease”. Then the bodies suddenly come to life and kill the coroner. (Like we didn't see that one coming.)

Dr. Goodweather and Dr. Martinez have a patient disappear before surgery and set out across the hospital to find him. Conspiracy at the time was that the Military or someone had taken him. But what they don’t know is the airplane pilot changes, morphs, is born again.. whatever you want to call it, into a blood sucker. When they locate him in the basement kitchen of the hospital he attacks. They have no choice but to kill him. Fight or flight, I’d say.

Dr. Goodweather and Dr. Martinez then do an autopsy of the dead body. thy discover the changes in his body. The way his organs and his body have changed. The penis is gone, his heart is larger and the lungs are all dried up. (Talk about a O.O moment.)  It’s bad enough he lost his junk but now the rest of him is in disarray too. They dispose of the body and Dr. Martinez goes off to find Abraham. She is looking for answers only he maybe able to give. When they find out the bodies are going ‘home’ they decide they need to up their game.

The_Strain_SagaSell_1280x720_302484547647.jpgAbraham, Dr. Goodweather and Dr. Martinez all want the same thing. I’m just not sure if they are all on the same page to start. The vampires must be killed. There is no way to restore or fix them. They are just monsters now. Abraham gets a list of the passengers, illegally of course, and sets off to visit each home. Taking down the infected and any family members that may have been infected by them. Dr. Martinez, after seeing both Abraham and Dr. Goodweather decapitate a child and her father, decides she can’t handle this and walks away from them.

It’s up to Abraham and Goodweather now to go on the offensive and kill them all. I have to say the first episodes have been so good. I want more. (And I am very picky about my Vampires.. well sorta.)

Within the next few episodes I am hoping will unravel the mysteries of the master and the other vampires who have come from the old country. (Yes, I left a few things out, description wise, but you have to have a few surprises waiting for you!) Why they tolerate Abraham and just to see some badassness hit the TV screen. Something has to come together and make sense, right? I am truly intrigued with this show. Not only is it a new, twisted and slightly sadistic show it brings new life to the whole “vampires are real” spectrum. I mean if it’s going to be made it might as well be good. Make believe doesn’t have to be boring. Not at all.

corey-stoll-to-headline-fx-drama-the-strain1.jpgWith this show came a new set of books to read as well. You guessed it. I am odd I guess.. I like to watch movies, tv shows and such then read the books. Sometimes I do it book then show or movie but that seems to give me too much expectations. The book is always better. I have found that to be true with everything I have seen thats based off of a book. Del Toro and Hogan’s Trilogy I am sure will knock my socks off. And then I will review it and hopefully get more people reading.

Until the next time.. Happy Viewing. Sundays on FX!!

Epi #
Directed by
Teleplay by
Air date
U.S. viewers
"Night Zero"
Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan
2.99 Million
"The Box"
David Semel
David Weddle & Bradley Thompson
2.12 Million
"Gone Smooth"
David Semel
Chuck Hogan
2.3 Million
"It's Not for Everyone"
Keith Gordon
Regina Corrado
2.27 Million
Peter Weller
Gennifer Hutchison
2.03 Million
Peter Weller
Justin Britt-Gibson
2.28 Million
"For Services Rendered"
Charlotte Sieling
David Weddle & Bradley Thompson
"Creatures of the Night"
Guy Ferland
Chuck Hogan
"The Disappeared"
Charlotte Sieling
Regina Corrado
"Loved Ones"
John Dahl
Gennifer Hutchison
"The Third Rail"
"Last Rites"
"The Master"

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