Channel Surfing: The Strain

 

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Imagine if you will: Great quote about how love is great and will be our eventual demise voiced over an old man at the beginning and end, an inept government agency or two, Holocaust and Nazi implications, an ancient box full of soil with a latch on the inside, a still-beating heart in a jar, a monster you never quite get to see – but that kills people in ways that would make the cast of The Walking Dead jealous, hints of vampirism… This show has everything you could want from a thriller/horror show – except for the most horrifying of characters, the creepy little girl in a dress.  Wait!  They have that too.  She fills the role perfectly: not only does she die – kind of – she’s the only one with her eyes open when they’re found!  She’s ghostly white, she’s got the typical “The Shining” outfit, and the worst part – she’s FRENCH.  When you see a child like this reaching out to you and telling you they’re cold – you take Rule #2 from Zombieland and apply liberally: DOUBLE TAP that freak!  I don’t care how it makes you feel.  You double tap that kid till the cows come home or she will eat/haunt/kill you dead.  We’ve all seen it time and time again – so do it.  Just do it.

Honestly, we’re only two episodes into this show based on the book The Strain by Chuck Hogan (based on the idea from the show’s producer Guillermo del Toro), and I.  Am.  Hooked.

The filmography is decent, the dialogue is well-written, the plot is great, and the characters are believable.

::SPOILER ALERT::

It all starts out in the air and then on the ground at JFK International Airport with a plane that lands with a crew and passengers that have mysteriously died, and then Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (played by Corey Stoll) with the Center for Disease Control shows up on the scene.  Now it’s up to him and his team to stop whatever killed all those people from decimating the general population of New York City and beyond – along the way they may get some unsought help from an old Holocaust survivor who runs a pawn shop, keeps a beating heart with tentacles in a jar at his place, and wanders the streets and airport with a sword – occasionally coming across as a raving lunatic…  maybe they get his help – we still have to find out.

But their job won’t be easy what with a government bureaucracy standing in their way.  And then some old rich guy on his deathbed and his colder-than-a-white-walker companion work against them, and they have got some serious resources: the airline that owned the plane where this all started on for one, and more informants/operatives/people on the payroll than the KGB and CIA combined at the peak of the Cold War.

All this is going on while ALLLLLLLL the bodies from the plane have disappeared from the morgue they were stashed in, our hero experiences the joys of a custody battle and his (soon-to-be?) ex-wife shacking up with some goober in HIS own house, and our creepy little girl getting her first kill.

We’re only a couple of episodes in, but we see some awards coming this show’s way – so if you haven’t watched it yet, get on it!

And check back for our thoughts on next week’s episode – and share yours with us in the comments section below!

The Strain is aired on FX, Sundays at 10pm.

~ By J.T. Riles ~

 

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