Thursday, November 21, 2013

Oh, great--more vampires.

Back in September 2012 (a younger, gentler time), I told you that FX was developing a new vampire television series based on the The Strain trilogy of novels, by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

Guess what? FX has ordered a 13 episode first season of the series which will air on FX in July 2014.

Call me crazy, but there's nothing particularly scary about this title art--it could just be normal NYC subway graffiti.

Some interesting things about the show: del Toro and Hogan wrote the pilot episode (promising) and del Toro directed the pilot (very promising). Carlton Cruse of LOST fame will act as the show-runner. This last piece of news doesn't have me quite as excited--sure, Cruse's current work over on Bates Motel is great, but we all know LOST went off the rails there at the end. And with his fingers in so many pies (Cruse is also working with ABC to create a series called Point of Honor set in Civil War-era Virginia and ANOTHER vampire series, The Returned, with A&E), does he really have the time to run another show?

But, whatever. The big question here is do we really need or want another vampire-themed television show? Y'all know I am a vampire fan, but even I am starting to get a burned out with True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Dracula (and those are just off the top of my head). I read The Strain book series and enjoyed it--though they weren't without their problems. So the concept doesn't exactly light me on fire with eager anticipation. For those not in the know, here is a plot intro:
A plane lands at John F. Kennedy International Airport with lights off and doors sealed. Epidemiologist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team are sent to investigate. On board they find two hundred corpses and four survivors. The situation deteriorates when the bodies begin disappearing from morgues. 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.
On a positive note, the novels don't shy away from the likely realities of a vampire outbreak (let's just say things get dark pretty quickly and go really bad for the humans), but the whole vampirism as a virus isn't anything new. And I think I read somewhere that del Toro has come out and said that The Strain was basically an attempt to rehash the ideas and themes he had for Blade 2 that were crushed down by the movie studios.

Much like the vampires in Blade 2 (pictured), The Stain vampires have mandibles and a stinger that transmits "the vampire virus." There's also lots more gross stuff about how you make a vampire, but I will let you discover that on your own.

I am going to do my best to withhold judgment until you show actually airs. I am sure I'll be first in line to watch it...but I remain skeptical that it will actually bring anything new to the genre.

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