The Strain – TV series

 
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The Strain is an American horror–drama television series that premiered on the American FX Channel on July 13, 2014. It was created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, based on their novel trilogy of the same name. Carlton Cuse served as executive producer. Del Toro and Hogan wrote the pilot episode, “Night Zero”, which del Toro directed.

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Regarding the style of the show’s production, del Toro stated: “Basically I’m trying to do what I do in my movies which is to show it as a reality, but as a reality that is stylised. It’s not like CSI or The Wire, it’s real but it feels a little stylised. But the way the camera work will be is very realistic. We want to keep the camera very documentary even if the look of the show is not. The look of the show is very designed. The style of the camera and the storytelling will be very loose. It will evolve from that feel of reality, and little by little we want to evolve into more stylish, horror feel that requires smoother camera moves, more suspense and atmosphere-driven moments so it will be a mixture. I don’t think that mixture has been seen a lot on TV.”

On August 6, 2014, FX renewed The Strain for a 13-episode second season, with production set to begin in November 2014.

Plot:

A plane lands at John F. Kennedy International Airport with the lights off and doors sealed. Epidemiologist Doctor Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and his team are sent to investigate. On board they find 206 corpses and four survivors. The situation deteriorates when all the bodies disappear from the morgue. Goodweather and a small group of helpers find themselves battling to protect not only their own loved ones, but the entire city, from an ancient threat to humanity…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

The Strain juggles characters from all over New York’s five boroughs to imply the potential scope of the outbreak, and later interrupts the ticking clock of the contagion with flashbacks to Setrakian’s formative experiences during the second world war. The storytelling can sometimes seem as chaotic as the streets of New York during the eclipse. But if the intention was to emulate the success of The Walking Dead by delivering icky body horror and shock deaths against an increasingly apocalyptic backdrop, Del Toro seems happy to pile them on.” The Guardian

“Loved Ones” moved The Strain‘s story forward a few more inches, as is becoming a common occurrence for the series. There are simply too many unnecessary scenes, too many repetitive info dumps, and not enough plot progression to call the show great. I’ll keep watching for the gore and summery fun, but my brain might take a nap while I do so.” Tim Surette, TV.com

“Quality-wise, it’s closer to Child’s Play 2 or The Kiss than it is to Re-Animator — which truly is awesome, as anyone who’s seen it will testify — but I love the fact that The Strain seems to be trying to evoke these sorts of better-than-government-work horror midnight time-wasters. At one point it even quotes from Re-Animator, in a morgue scene in which shambling supernatural creatures ambush a lone coroner while Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” plays on a transistor radio.” Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture.com

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