TCA: The vampires on FX’s ‘The Strain’ are not sexy

Carlton Cuse, executive producer of "The Strain," discusses the new FX show during the 2014 Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena.
(Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)

The vampire genre has not run its course. Not when a story exists about un-sexy vampires who shed their genitals because they aren’t even worried about having sex.

That was the message on Tuesday in Pasadena during a Television Critics Assn. press tour panel on “The Strain,” Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s upcoming vampyric horror story based on the pair’s bestselling novel of the same name.

Showrunner Carlton Cuse (“Lost’) was on hand to discuss plans for the 13-episode series, which is set to premiere in July. Cuse is also the executive producer of A&E’s “Bates Motel.”


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‘We’re immensely grateful to FX for giving us the resources and time to prepare this thing like a movie,” he said. “We’ve been working on it for 18 months. You’ll never look at vampires the same way after this. These are not brooding dudes with romantic problems. ... These are scary dudes. This is really an reimagining of vampire lore.”

If successful, this reimagining should give new legs to a genre that has grown old over many years of similar retelling. “True Blood” and “Twilight” for example, have become Gothic, romantic mainstays. The scary creature aspect of vampires has since fallen by the wayside in favor of the creature’s more romantic stereotypes.

So when the monsters in “The Strain” shed their genitals, you know the creators mean business.

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“They’re not sexy, although there is sex in the show,” Cuse said. “But the vampires themselves are not having sex on the show. They’re not romantic creatures. You’ll see when you watch.”


Since the show is still in its infancy, FX plans to hold a proper panel for it this year at the summer TCAs, but until then, FX wants the world to get behind the intrigue of the original premise.

“The show opens with the arrival of an airplane that lands at John F. Kennedy airport,” Cuse said. “It rolls to a stop and everyone on the airplane appears to be dead. The mysterious cargo is the way this strain of vampire activity will spread to New York City, and ultimately to the rest of the world.”


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