I promised some media criticism, so here goes:
“The Strain” is a television show on FX, based on a series of vampire novels by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. I’ve read the books, they’re OK but suffer from a pretty serious flaw. The TV show has that same flaw, and very little of the positives. I’m trying to think of one thing that sums up everything wrong with the show and I think this is it:
The extremely unlikable and unsympathetic lead character is played by a pretty unlikable and unsympathetic bald actor, who spent 1 1/2 seasons in a ridiculous wig and will now have stubble painted on his bald head for the rest of the series.
This is the sort of amazingly poor decision making at the base of this show that makes the whole thing horrible television. It is absolutely riddled with nonsense from top to bottom. Every narrative decision is just WRONG. Even things that start out interesting wind up being nothing, forgotten by the writers or written away the next time it is mentioned.And worst of all, nothing ever happens on this show.
- an old man who first met the head vampire in Nazi Germany
- an extremely unlikable and unsympathetic CDC doctor
- CDC doctor’s bland assistant doctor who is maybe in love with him?
- NYC ratcatcher
- oh fuck it.
Seriously, this show is so bad I can’t even be bothered to go much further. There’s a Master vampire, who is in league with a billionaire and his nearly all-powerful multinational corporation, tens of thousands of vampires, and they can’t be bothered to break into the basement of a pawn shop to kill and old man, a couple of doctors, a snotty little kid, and an exterminator carrying a piece of rebar into the vampire apocalypse. There’s a side plot that goes nowhere involving a drug dealer and an elderly luchador. There’s ninja commando vampires who look badass, save a nanny for absolutely no goddamned reason, and then are ALL killed the next time we see them. NYPD doesn’t have generators, NY doesn’t have any National Guard, and the rest of the world doesn’t seem all that concerned about an HONEST TO GOD VAMPIRE OUTBREAK IN THE MIDDLE OF NEW YORK.
Nothing makes sense, everything is bad, there’s no real story movement and yet the writers keep losing their place in the non-story. Like a pile of vampire corpses, this show should be burned in a fire and the ground salted.