The Strain – “Night Zero”


I’ve been on the road for almost two weeks, doing a mini tour of some major cities in the United States. Like Steve Martin and John Candy, I used multiple sources of transportation throughout the trip. My least favorite being travel by air. I’m one of those nuts who believes I’ll be in the plane that gets struck by lightning. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that “Flight” is one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. So when I heard the pilot for FX’s new show “The Strain”, revolves around a massive amount of people dying on an airplane, I was a bit hesitant. Once I landed safely at JFK and nobody uttered the words “We gotta dead plane”, I couldn’t risk losing my Guillermo Del Toro fan boy card. I jumped in head first.

As I said before, the trouble begins when a commercial flight is taken over by some kind of creature. He seemingly kills them all, lands the plane, and closes almost all of the blinds. Eventually the CDC is brought in and we meet our main protagonist in Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll from House of Cards), and his awful hairpiece. Along with his work associates Nora and Jim (Mia Maestro and the GREAT Sean Astin), Ephraim investigates what virus could have possibly done this.

There’s at least one person in the city who already knows. Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley of Walder Frey fame) clearly knows what is going on, and from the sound of it has had past dealings with the virus. If you weren’t aware already, the fact that Setrakian will always pay for silver probably means we are dealing with vampires. Along with the incisions that all the victims bare on their bodies.

We are introduced to a few possible important characters. Eldritch Palmer, a very wealthy evil dude, seems like the person funding the parasitic take over. Gus is the typical TV show street thug. He has a bad attitude, loves his mum, and is having shady characters pay him to do risky jobs. And that shady character is Thomas Eichorst. He has the feel of a “right hand man” type of bad guy. Clearly him and Setrakian have some bad blood between them. I’m excited for their first encounter.

The show has some cheese to it. It feels like a love child between a Law and Order type of show and The Walking Dead. Or any generic horror show. The scene where the dude gets the Red Viper treatment by the main vampire is pretty disturbing. Kudos to the make up team. But what should I expect when dealing with Guillermo Del Toro? The acting is pretty sub par aside from a few, but it doesn’t seem like the show plans on taking itself too seriously. I mean honestly, The Walking Dead isn’t Mad Men either.

I’ll follow it for the first season even though there are better quality shows out there I should be watching (cough Masters of Sex cough). If you like blood, vampires, bad wigs, Guillermo Del Toro, and/or news conference face slaps, then you should give the show a chance.


2 thoughts on “The Strain – “Night Zero”

  1. Rob

    I totally agree with you. The acting isn’t strong and the writing is a like more campy than I expected. If that’s the direction The Strain is taking, then I’m not sure if I’ll make it through the first season.


    • And it would be understandable, I think. Some shows just start off slow, not knowing what they want to be. Unfortunately it seems like the pilot of The Strain is exactly how the show runners want it to be. Which is fine, but not what I NEED to keep up with every Sunday


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