Greetings children of the night. How is October treating you so far? Are you emotionally and literally prepared for Halloween? Have you been drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes so much that you may infact now be part pumpkin? Did you buy out all of the Halloween soap at Bath and Body Works? OH GURL I HAVE BEEN THURR.
Did any of you guys read that weird story going around the internet a while ago about the woman who put a potato up her twat as a form of birth control. Hahaha, could you imagine if Cinderella did that with the pumpkin? Bitch would have had a whole pumpkin patch all up in her situation with no room for the man meat of Prince Charming. Makes for a really comforting image doesn’t it? Welcome to my brain. Please enjoy your stay.
Well anyways, this review has already gone way off the fucking rails here.. So.. The Strain.. Mother of fuck.
Let me preface this diatribe in saying that, no, I have not read the books. I simply do not have the interest in them, or really time to read them. My good partner and hetero life mate, has read the books, and it was this dreadlocked angelmouse who suggested we start watching the show once it premiered, and since I enjoy hating myself, I said yes. I will not be critiqueing this show based on how close or not close it was to the book series, as I have not read the books. This review will be based on what I saw in the show.. I don’t give a shit if the books were better.. as with all things, I can only assume that they were better.
So please join me for my review of the Strain season 1 – or as I like to call it, the “Dick Piss Vampire Show”, or “how Muppets took over NYC while two doctors cried”.
I should have known a show about dick worms would have been terrible, but hey… We all have to live and learn.
Also when I google searched the Strain to find the above image, I also found this:
Scotty Floronic, despite having beautiful hair and a butt that just won’t quit, was so psyched for this show when it came out. He has, infact, read all of the books, and really enjoyed them. We started watching the show and though I really tried to like it, it just pissed me off in multitudes of ways. First of all, I don’t really like vampires. Go ahead and take my teenage goth girl card away.. but I don’t. They’ve been done to death (see what I did there?) and the concept is so over saturated what with True Blood and Twilight and everything else that’s been thrown in the proverbial undead soup that it is hard for story tellers to gain solid footing in the murk and mire. I like aspects of the Strain’s story, but as with Twilight, the pacing of the storytelling is fucking awful and the characters are all s intensely hateable.
In the Strain, we get to meet Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, and Dr. Nora Martinez, epidemiologists for the Canary response division of the CDC. Did those words sound like a bunch of jibberish to you? Epidemiologists study disease and infection in order to better understand how disease is spread and how best to combat it. These two characters are also doctors. Going to med school requires a shitload of work and dedication, and even further to specialize in being a “disease” doctor. We are talking about YEARS AND FUCKING YEARS OF MEDICAL SCHOOL AND SPECIALIZED TRAINING. With all that, you’d think that the two characters who are presented would be of fairly sound scientific minds, and not the teen angst ridden pair that they really are in the show. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather does not look or act like a doctor.. he looks like a Dad that rolled out of Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys’ garbage in the 1990s. He has a fluffy hairdo, sad eyes, and spends much of the show mooning over EVERYTHING. He stares balefully at his office romance Dr. Martinez, and sad puppy eyes his wife and son to the point that I’m quite convinced his wife divorced him just for looking sad all the time.
We get it. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather is a former booze hound (and who isn’t in this work a day sad eyed puppy world?), facing a looming divorce, previously been banging another sad eyed doctor, and works with infectious disease all day.. we get it. I get why the dude is sad, but I feel that not laying it on so thick might help in us actually having empathy for the character and giving a shit about him and who he is. He looks like Droopy the dog with Nick Carter’s hair and it pisses me off.
Like, I feel this situation could only be made more ridiculous if Dr. Goodweather had a little rain cloud following him around that rained on him all the time. Also.. Dr. Martinez.. totally babely right? and what a wasted fucking opportunity to show a strong female character with a strong scientific mind.. Instead of demonstrating a woman with an actual spinal column who benefitted from her 12 or so years of medical training, nope, let’s just show a simpering no mind who cries constantly and gives Dr. Droopy the Puss in Boots eyes. This show is made of fucking cartoon characters and I refuse to abide by this kind of pandering.
That, above all I cannot stand.. shitty shoddy character developmen that makes no goddamned sense. I could totally buy that one of the two CDC docs would be a sad eyed mess who drinks while listening to Dashboard Confessional.. I could buy that. I would suspend my disbelief and get behind it, but I just can’t fathom that two of the most highly educated, well respected, scientific minds, who would have seen so much crazy intense shit during the span of their careers, would be somehow BOTH be weepy messes on the hot mess express.. It asks too much from the viewers. I work in healthcare and this is not representative of any doctor I have ever met.
Further to the point, the pacing of this show is very slow.. the rising action doesn’t even really get going until almost the fourth episode, and I find that quite a bit of time is spent over developing the sadness of the two lead characters, which is already so heavy you could hit it with a hammer.
You know how write down a word on a piece of paper and circle it so many times you rip holes in the paper? It’s a similar feeling in the Strain.
The base story goes that a plane lands in JFK airport and radio silence follows, no response from anyone on the plane, and the CDC dispatches Dr. Droopy and Dr. Puss in Boots to investigate and they find that everyone on board the plane is dead aside from the pilot, Single Female Lawyer, Davey Havok and another sad eyed dad. The CDC higher ups are working with the vampire horde, under the power of Palmer Eldritch, a rich dude who wants to live forever and has ingratiated himself into the servitude of the Master vampire. For the record, the only Eldritch that matters is Andrew Eldritch, and if you don’t know who that is, you are a culture-less crass rat like bastard or you didn’t grow up spoopy.
I’m serious though – the goth dude rockstar Bolivar looks like fucking Davey Havok on a bender. He’s also wearing a Halloween wig and claims he’s only into Satanism and rock and roll for “the pussy”, so I mean, hey at least he’s honest right?
He looks a bit like Scott Weiland. Anyone remember Scott Weiland?
Anyways, so Dr. Droopy and Goopy run around trying to find the cause of the plague and meet up with Argus Filch from Harry Potter who goes crazy and starts ranting about vampires and since he looks like a crazy old hermit with a bad ass cane, everyone tells him to chill the fuck out and go watch Murder She Wrote.
And if Harry Potter isn’t enough fantasy for you, the Strain also has fucking Sean Astin’s doughy stupid face in it, and he spends most of his time looking sweaty, confused, and bespectacled.
Immediately as soon as I saw Sean Astin, I hoped he would die.. preferably sooner rather than later.
The only person who is in any way the least bit interesting, is the Nazi, Eichorst. He actually looks like an animated wax sculpture, which is what the producers were clearly going for, and it’s amazing. The only way I can compare it accurately is to Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of the android David in Prometheus.
Also, the actor playing Eichorst is really babely in this creepy old German guy kind of way, so that was at least a plus. Also he only ever refers to Sertrakian as his Jewish prisoner number, which I felt led further to his lifelessness. He really was the only remotely interesting character in the whole show, though his early relationship with the master is not really elaborated upon, though this may take place in future seasons.
Samwise lets the coffin containing the Master out of the airport, in a van driven by a pretty muy caliente Mexican gangster dude that has cheekbones you could light a match off of.
So there’s something like 106 dead people on the flight, the CDC can’t explain anything, and people are obviously clearly upset and the CDC pretty much brushes everything under the rug, and lets the four survivors – the pilot, Single Female Lawyer, Davey Havok and Sad Dad go on home, despite their blood shot eyes, chest coughs, and white as the driven snow skin. Yeah, they seem fine.
Dr. Droopy and Goopy twiddle their thumbs and stare at each for a while and Dr. Setrakian gets locked up and hauled off to jail where he plays demented old man and the judge goes.. “Oh hey why did you have this bad ass sword concealed inside your cane?” and Sertrakian is all “Oh I forgot about it..” and the judge is all “Seems legit” and lets him go. I’m not really sure how the justice system works in New York, but if you can roll around with a sword cane because you simply forgot you had it, please remind me to never go there.
The survivors go about their lives, and Dr. Goopy and Spoopy are removed from the case for being messes, or because the vampires made the CDC… I don’t know. I don’t care. The survivors begin to transform and Sad Dad starts drinking meat blood out of the fridge, and the goth dude Bolivar literally pisses his own penis off. Allow that to sink in for a while. The dude that looks like Davey Havok’s stunt double, is rocking a piss and pisses his own dick off into the toilet, shrugs and then flushes it like nothing ever happened. I LOST MY FUCKING MIND.
This. This is the filth that is on the talking box now.
The vampire disease is compared to a parasitic infection, and the vampires become reptilian in nature, replacing human biology with a whole new system. The nose and ears fall off, the genitals get pissed away and they develop a cloaca, which is a vent that reptiles use to piss/shit/fuck with, so that’s pretty arousing. Really gets my crank turned for the whole sexy vampire thing. And if that doesn’t have you hot and bothered enough, the vampires expel an ammonia based waste out of this piss/shit/fuck hole while they are feeding. COULD YOU FUCKING IMAGINE? Dracula just comes into a sexy lady’s bedroom at night, to grope her tits and bite her neck and shits all over her satin bedspread.. that’s romance.
Dr. Droopy and Goopy are able to contain one of the survivors, the plane’s pilot, but since they don’t know shit about fuck, they don lab coats and scream at each other while he transforms into a vampire, dies, goes crazy and runs off into the hospital basement to eat blood and maraude around like a ghoul.
The Sad Dad vampire locks himself in the backyard shed, because he’s really the only one with some good sense, and he eats his neighbor and his wife goes nuts, which is entirely acceptable. Some dead little girl from the airplane goes home to her father and eats him and he becomes a vampire and they stagger around their home together for a while until Sertrakian shows up and kills them with his bad ass cane sword.
Dr. Droopy kills the pilot in the hospital basement, while Dr. Goopy screams like a fucking moron at him to stop. Allow me to say right here that if I had a weapon, and some crazed beast with a six foot tongue came at me, I would shoot first and ask questions later. But hey.. 12 to 15 years of advanced medical study can be forgotten with one silly office romance, and a night of hard drinking.
Oh and to make matters worse, once the whole Goof Troop is on the run, Dr. Goopy decides that she should go liberate her demented mother from the nursing facility.. as if there isn’t enough problems to deal with, let’s add a clinically insane person to the mix and see what happens.
Also.. can I just say, that I think I must have gotten tanked on some bad moonshine, and made a bunch of memes for this show, uploaded them and then forgot, because when I was googling images for this review, I kept finding ones like the above and even though I probably didn’t get drunk and make memes, it’s good to know that someone else is out there, looking at the same pile of steaming horseshit on the television and thinking what I’m thinking. It gives me hope.
Sexy Female Lawyer is all fucked up too, and she’s turning into a vampire and her nanny is all, uh… yeah you look like a predator so I’m taking the kids to a movie.. you stay home and enjoy your mortality.
Also we find out the Sertrakian was a Armenian Jew, previously incarcerated at the Treblinka concentration camp during World War 2 and this is how he came to know the reality of the vampire “strigoi” and how he came to know Eichorst. He was assigned to carve the masterful casket in which the Master sleeps, and he has vowed revenge on the vampires ever since.
Also can I just say that the young Sertrakian is totally babely and he could carve into my lady cave anyday he would like. Me-OWW.
Also we get introduced to Vasiliy Fet, an exterminator from the Ukraine, who is deadly good looking, with these amazing baby blue eyes and this tough as nails attitude. Why oh why couldn’t they have cast him as Dr. Droopy? I guess because, you’re supposed to feel all bad for Dr. Droopy, because he’s hit rock bottom or whatever.. and if they used the actor who played Vasiliy, no one would believe that he had hit rock bottom.. or no one would care. I personally would repeatedly like to hit his rock bottom, but hey.
This fucking exterminator figures out that shit’s all fucky when he sees rats basically getting the fuck out of dodge and finds vampires living in the sewer. Oh and this skunk haired girl Miss. Valders ruins the internet, so Twitter is down this whole time and that is the real tragedy that we should all focus on. How else could you express your distrust of the government, than on that internet machine?
Dr. Droopy has enough good sense left to go rescue his son and the whole Goof Troop winds up holing up in Argus Filch’s pawn shop, chilling out waiting for more garbage to go wrong. In the middle of the fray, Samwise gets turned and finally dies because who fucking cares.
Dr. Droopy starts to realize that his wife is now a vampire and that he has a pretty good shot of winning that custody battle, but he’s still pretty bummed out about it. Fuck her. She had a bob hairdo and its 2014, good riddance to bad rubbish.
Crazy grandma continues to be crazy and screams and yells about goddamn cigarettes and generally is annoying as fuck, and it reminds me of that scene from 30 days of night where the crazy old grandpa starts screaming in the middle of the night and immediately gets eaten by vampires.
Dr. Goopy is really weird and emotional about it and doesn’t have the good medical sense to understand what a liability this woman is, and Dr. Droopy is all, “hey this woman who is demented and constantly yelling? yeah let’s leave my only surviving family with her..” It just reminds me of the John Mulaney bit where he’s talking about getting a 13 year old to babysit for a 10 year old and it’s like having a horse watch your dogs while you’re on vacation.
Dr. Droopy continues searching for his wife, which is sort of redundant, given that vampires are marauding the streets, but sure, we have nothing but time here.
Cue the most hilarious image on this show:
Dr. Droopy crying while clutching an iphone. It’s fucking beautiful. Seriously though look at that hair. It’s out of goddamned control. I would never ever on this earth or any other, let this hot mess be my doctor, and I probably wouldn’t even give him change if he was panhandling on the street.
Also this ratchet skunk haired hacker girl, Dutch Valders teams up with the Goof Troop, and the previously badass Vasiliy becomes a moony eyed school girl trying to impress her and it’s fucking sickening. There are ZERO strong characters on this show. ZERO.
Everyone is too busy pissing their own dicks off, crying, clutching iphones, or just generally being annoying. No one has any sort of strength and are all generally too concerned with getting laid during the fucking apocalypse. It’s Lori from the Walking Dead all over again.
After failing to destroy the master in his underground lair, the Goof Troop returns to the pawn shop, but shit gets real and they have to high tail it out of there when the vampires come… including Davey Havok.. and it’s super interesting to me that he loses all of his hair, pisses his own dick off and then has the good sense to put his Halloween wig back on and maraude around wearing it and yet it never seems to fall off. Neat.
Oh also, the Nanny who made off with Single Female Lawyer’s kids, has a daughter who is a nurse (Florence Nightingale eat your heart out), who advises her mother that she probably shouldn’t kidnap children and insists they be taken back to their home and Mom’s a bit worse for the wear:
And of course the unsuspecting Florence Nightingale gets turned into a vampire and promptly killed by this bad ass vampire assasin dude known as Mr. Quinlan.
Anywho, they face off with the Master in Davey Havok’s lair and the reveal is so fucking stupid. He looks like a goddmaned Jim Henson puppet.
The Master is also controlling Dr. Droopy’s wife, and his kid is freaking the fuck out which is also dumb.. Hey kid, your mom will literally eat you and she looks vaguely reptilian… what the actual fuck. Despite throwing the Master out of a window into direct sunlight, the Master is not killed and he summons his vampire thralls to him and they walk backwards to him, which is sort of a neat effect, but they just ran the footage in reverse.
And then Gus, the Mexican gangster dude is kidnapped by the vampire assassin and learns that the Master has broken an ancient truce with a group of Ancient vampires, who look like they were rolled out for this scene on dollies by disinterested Teamsters.
They’re supposed to be these fearsome beasts, the great olde ones, but they look like a milk order for a gas station. I was completely losing my shit at this point laughing so hard I almost pissed my own dick off.
Then Sertrakian starts narrating an end message for the season about “small worlds” and that was it.
This show was just honestly a mess. Though I’m sure the books are fairly interesting, and I do really enjoy Guillermo Del Toro’s work, as I have previously stated, I feel this show tried too hard to develop characters that may or may not have been there, and had a reveal that was so ridiculous it ended up being laughable. There’s cool aspects to the show, some of the story lines are really kind of neat, and there is some cool effects going on, like the walking backwards thing, but honestly it just feels like a 1990s movie where you have a bunch of 30/40 year olds playing 16 year olds. Everyone is very immature, and the people who are actually interesting, like Eichorst, aren’t really built on as characters, other than being evil. The show tries really hard to be serious and build suspense, but the pacing is so slow that the suspense and thrill is mostly lost, as you struggle to understand why you need fifteen minutes an episode of people either crying or looking bewildered.
I did not like this show. Just overall. I will watch the second season, however, so I suppose it has that going for it.
However, vampires are over, and they need to go back into the coffin for a while. It’s too much.