The Strain: Three Things We Liked About Del Toro’s Vampire Tale, And Two We Didn’t

By David Wharton | 7 years ago

StollBad: Everybody But Abraham
Sure, the character of Abraham hasn’t yet ventured far beyond stereotypical “wizened vampire hunter” tropes, but Bradley’s performance elevates the role such that we don’t really mind. I could happily watch a show that was nothing but Abe’s adventures dealing with unruly customers and dealing with the undead by night. Instead, he’s just one player among many, and by far the most interesting. Our main protagonist is the aforementioned CDC expert Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, who Netflix subscribers may recognize from House of Cards. He’s basically kind of a dick, so it’s not surprising that his marriage is on the rocks. Any sympathy we might have for him is tossed out the window when we learn that, for all his apparent attempts to reconcile with his wife, he’s been sleeping with his CDC partner Nora on the side. He also completely dismisses Abraham’s warnings, in spite of the old man knowing numerous things he would have no way to know if he’s just some random loony.

The rest of the characters we’ve met so far are more placeholders than people at this point, but hopefully that will change as the show continues. Sean Astin is playing against Samwise type as part of Eph’s CDC team who is — dun dun dunnnn! — doing the bidding of the bad guys (although he insists that he’s “done” once he helps a van containing the Master’s coffin to get past the security cordon). And the bad guys themselves are generically ominous, including an elder bastard who’s helping sneak the Master into Manhattan in exchange for eternal life, and his cohort, who is a pair of lightning bolts and some goose-stepping short of being a supporting character from Downfall. I did like the rock star plane passenger who’s all gothed up in a way that seems to be an obvious parody of the Anne Rice school of vampirism, but that fondness died out once he opened his mouth and started talking.

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