FX

Book Vs Television: The Strain S1:E12&13, Last Rites and The Master

 Since BGH was getting an amazing make over last week, I skipped out on the recap of Episode 12, “Last Rites.” It’s not like you missed much, so I’ll sum it up before the recap of the finale.

Book Vs Television: The Strain S1:E7 For Services Rendered

As always the opening of episode seven, “For Services Rendered,” is an immediate attention grabber. Seeing Joan’s husband obliviously hang out in an empty country club (I guess his 19 hour flight drained him of his common sense) and pour himself a drink is a little stupid, but hey, maybe part of him can foresee this being his last. A slight slow burn leads up to every man’s nightmare of returning late from a business trip and seeing your wife transformed into a hideous life (and blood) sucking monster. Joan has by far been the most intensely creepy transformation.

Book Vs Television: The Strain S1:E6 Occultation

Hey FX, aren’t you the same network that just set a cable network record for Emmy nominations? This kind of material is your wheelhouse, so I need you to get it together. I wait and wait for the cinematographic miscues to get better, for the tone to feel more plausible, for less of my time to be wasted with soapy dialogue serving frivolous exposition … and it never comes.
So indulge me, if you will, in my passionate plea for a film reboot where we can get all these things right. In the meantime, back to FX giving it their best shot.

I officially take back everything I ever said about Gabe Bolivar – he was gnarly this week. What a way to open an episode!
We’re dropped into episode four (“Runaways”) with the rock star in his velvety goth palace, blending with shadows and complected like a bruised fruit. It’s here that viewers get their first glimpse of the Master’s control: with one word, echoed twice – “Mine” – we get a subtle idea of his ventriloquist-like power.

I’ll give it to del Toro and Hogan this week. Opening episode four “It’s Not for Everyone” with the dissection of the plane captain was disgusting, fascinating, and an expository change of pace. The show’s “monster” aspects – and their obvious del Toro signatures – keep me coming back each week. The attention to detail of what we learn during the dissection, and to the stinger especially, is impressive.

Another week of “The Strain,” another debate with the mister about whether it should have been a movie instead of a TV show. Where the former might have gotten some critical details squeezed out, the latter continues to get away with not-quite-enough exposition each week. It’s still hurting the show’s overall effectiveness, in my opinion, but more on that shortly.

The second episode of FX’s The Strain picks up immediately from where we last left it, opening to Gus the hustler transporting the Master’s coffin across the river. Though the episode begins delving deeper into the “virus” itself – and, more enlighteningly, its potential commercial and political implications on one of the world’s largest cities – the plot plods at a pace nearly rivaling Gus Van Sant’s Last Days. Whereas the book’s monolithic, apolocalyptic atmosphere loomed high, the show has thus far largely missed the mark.

If you’re a horror or fantasy devotee of any shade, hopefully you’re a student of master filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro. With the help of Chuck Hogan, he recently expanded his storytelling into the written word, delivering the terrifying Strain trilogy. Now, FX has brought the story to life as del Toro originally intended: a television show. The story vividly captures an apocalyptic nightmare initially disguised as a post-9/11 paranoid disaster.

FX CEO John Landgraf has sent down word from the mountains that "The Strain", a new series based on Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's vampire trilogy, will be no more than 5 seasons. The show will follow a small group of rebels trying to take down a vampire empire that has taken over the world. The reason for the 5 season limit is that the shows creators are already putting it out there that the show will end with the same finale as the books, which is good news. This combined with the solid nights sleep I got last night is really starting off the week on a good foot.

Remember Alexandra Breckenridge in the first season of "American Horror Story"? Yeah, she was the slutty maid. I know! She was my favorite too. Well good news folks, she'll be returning to the show for it's third season which is being titled "American Horror Story: Coven". No word yet on what role she'll be playing but the season is suppose to be set around a group of spooky witches... I think. Really I'm just hoping for slutty witches.

I've never seen "Akira", I don't know what it's about and Japanimation in general confuses and frightens me. Apparently a live action version of the film(?) has been kicking around for a while and now "Orphan" director Jaume Collet-Serra has been attached to the project and it's officially moving forward. I bet those whack jobs dressed up like giant robots I saw walking outside the Rosemont convention center on my way to Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill are all excited about this. Or angry. I don't really understand any of this.

"House of Flying Daggers" director Zhang Yimou has officially been confirmed to be taking on the "Hunchback of Notre Dame" remake, which has also officially been confirmed I guess. Josh Brolin is set to start in the film, which is the retelling of the classic tale of Quasimodo and the main reason I grew to love Gypsies as a child. Well this story and Cher. Mostly Cher.

If you have any concerns about Spike Lee's remake of "Oldboy" being less then stellar, then Sharlto Copley is here to tenderly lull you into comfort. In a recent interview, the "District 9" actor praised the film for keeping true to the original and being very "gritty" and "dark". I don't know about you, but I trust anyone with an alien arm so I think we're going to be ok.

It's been over a year since we've heard anything about the small screen adaptation of "Powers," a comic book about a duo of cops who investigate criminals with super powers, but it looks like FX is still very much interested in making the show happen. A pilot for the show has already been filmed and shot down, but Charles Eglee has been brought in to do rewrites. Being that I'm a giant Egleehead, you know that I'm excited.

Producer Jason Blum found a big stinker with "The River," but bless his tender little heart for giving it another go with a new found footage series for MTV titled "The Experiment." The plot of the show has yet to be revealed, but I'm hoping for some sort of "Road Rules" tie in. Maybe they get Puck back on TV somehow. I don't know, I'm just spit balling here. Eric Nies maybe?

I don't toss around the term "ape shit" without some serious consideration, but I'm going to come right out and say it. People go "ape shit" for "Breaking Bad". So people are probably dry humping their meth dealers over the news that Dean Norris has joined the cast of Ridley Scott's "The Counselor." no word on what his role will be (I'm guessing actor), but the film is about a lawyer who tries his hand at the drug game with not so sexy results.