The Strain – “The Box”

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Last week we watched the premier of FX’s new drama The Strain and were mildly entertained. There was a bit of mystery that will keep me attached, but I’m not going to like myself for it. I’m not one of those people who needs to be blown away by the pilot. If the subject matter piques my interest enough then I’ll stick around. I like Guillermo Del Toro. I like the bald dude from House of Cards. And I fucking love The Lord of the Rings movies. You’re not getting rid of me so easily, mediocre television show.

What was my reaction after watching episode number two you ask? It didn’t excite me, but still kept me interested. I’m pretty sure we know, and more importantly, the show knows what it is. We have a concept (vampires) that appeals to the masses and we have the mystery dynamic that will keep audience members going. What exactly is this virus? Why are these people spreading it? Who exactly are these…people spreading it? And after a while it will be, “When will I find all of this out because I’m going to give up soon?”. This is a show that’s fit for TNT, not the sole competitor to HBO’s dominance in quality television programming.

Highlights of the episode include meeting Vasiliy Fet, the apparently kung fu oriented exterminator. He will surely have a big part of the show going forward. His background is certainly well suited for what’s about to come. The showdown at the jail with Eichorst and Setrakian was surprisingly tense. We gather they’ve had past experience with each other, in what seems to be a holocaust environment. All that talk of being just a number and Eichorst darkly referring to the old man only as “jew”. Walder Frey is the main reason I’m keeping with this show right now. Between this and the scene with his wife’s heart, I really want to see where his story takes us, past and future.

Corey Stoll’s wig is still awful. Sean Astin is again being woefully underused. The rocker Bolivar annoys me every time he opens his mouth (though the licking blood off the floor scene was respectable). The actress who plays Nora could be replaced with a rock and the show wouldn’t skip a beat. I could go on but then you all would keep asking why I’m watching this show. We all have morals. One of mine is to finish every season of television I start. I will admit the scene where the girl in the tub tongue attacks her father is visually appealing. Saw it coming of course, but it was cool to see the milk white water mixing slowly with blood. Yeah, I’m straining to get through each episode, but I’m not at the point where I should re evaluate my life. Also known as what everyone watching the last season of True Blood is going through. 

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