I'm feeling the strain in more than one way at the moment. In one sense, the strain I'm feeling is repetitive. Yup: the writer's injury. It's pathetic - an injury I've picked up while sitting down ferchristssake, and yet still somehow EXCRUCIATING. So I'm supposed to be resting, not typing. This post is risking actual damage to my actual health. Blogging on the edge.
So I'm trying to cut down on the writing a bit and catching up on some books and TV, which includes The Strain, the (non-repetitive) new vampire show on FX.
I really liked the book this show is based on, written by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. I remember it being one of those books that really hooks you with intrigue, and then the payoff, when it comes, isn't anticlimactic as it could have been. A real page turner. The book was the first of a trilogy, but for some reason, I never got around to reading parts 2 (Strain harder) and 3 (Strains on a plane), but that failure works in the TV show's favour. I find far fewer must-watch shows than I do must-read books, so now I can add this to Game of Thrones as a TV show I will finish before I read the book version.
(Take that, George RR Martin, I ain't even starting to read the books til you finish the damn thing. Who's laughing now? Not me, that's for sure! Uh...)
And it's pretty good, I think. The Strain, I mean. I've watched the first couple of episodes and most of the actors feel right for their parts, though I'm a bit unsure about the guy playing Ephraim Goodweather, despite liking him a lot in House of Cards. Somehow, a couple of episodes in and he just doesn't seem to fit yet. And I have to admit that his taking breaks for AA meetings during the crucial early stages of the emerging crisis is not cool. Cut the shit and get to work, Eph, there's a deadly plague out there with your name written all over it.
Still, I'm here for the horror, and the show does retain a hint of menace, and some slick Del Toro visuals. It feels like it won't pull its punches, and I hope it doesn't. It has to be said, though, that any time I watch a TV show I end up thinking it should be darker. It's like an affliction. If I got my way I'd drop a crazed serial killer character in the middle of pretty much every show on TV, regardless of genre:
Anyway The Strain looks like a decent show, and I'm sticking with it. Check it out when you get a chance.