Week 5 Reading

After reading the Reading 1 for this week (an extract from: Nelson, Theodor Holm. Literary Machines 91.1) Hypertext is “non-sequential writing text that branches and allows choices to the reader, best read at an interactive screen”.

Well isn’t that a mouthful, any who this made me wonder about how fast we are progressing from a technological aspect. He predicted that offices would be paperless, publishing would be electronic, education will be focused on initiative understanding, and libraries may not exist. Seeing how far we’ve come in the five year Theodor (I Theadore his name) had written this, it’s not a farfetched as it first seems.

Let’s be honest for a sec, when we need to research does our mind automatically think “library” or “Google”? Thanks to advancing technology we are being conditioned to move away from traditional print literacy. Thanks to the internet when we read a text we can click on another text which leads us to a video and then all of a sudden you start rubbing your eyes as you realize you spent three hours watching cat videos.

I.R.W.Y.V. (I Review What You View) – The Strain Pilot

I recently watched the first episode of The Strain from Chuck Hogan and Guillermo Del Toro’s novel of the same name. In this review I’ll tell you if The Strain is Strainuous to watch. Now that I got the obligatory pun out of the way let’s get down to business.
The series debuted on July 13 on FX and began airing in Australia on FOX 8 a few weeks later. The appropriately named first episode “Night Zero” was actually directed by Guillermo Del Toro himself which is a testament to how close he is to the series. From the opening shot I could see that the series has a great cinematic value as the aesthetics were beautiful. You can tell that FX has faith in the show as everything seemed so expensive to shoot from a logistical point of view (Wait until I get to the CGI) as the plane inspection scene is a great example. Today no one can film in an airport so they build these sets to look like an airport. That seems expensive already well on top of that they had a bloody massive plane there. From the premise alone I wasn’t a 100% sold because I saw the word “vampire” and since those novels turned films that shall remain nameless killed my love for vampires, I was sceptical. Now that I’ve gotten a sense of what the show’s tone and mythology is, I can say that I will definitely be watch the second episode. These are the vampires I love, they are grotesque and evil, and even the way vampirism is spread is a fresh and more original take on an act that has been beaten to death.
The protagonist of the series, Ephraim Goodweather played by Corey Stoll is undergoing the classic struggle of balancing his job (CDC) and his family. It’s kind of the show’s way of grounding the character and they also seem to suggest that there is a history with his college, Dr. Nora Martinez played by Mia Maestro, which I don’t personally care about. I did however get a kick out of seeing Stoll with hair, but my favorite part was Professor Abraham Setrakian played by David Bradley. This character is such as bad ass, he even has a sword in his cane. The CGI was actually quite good as the creature look realistic and creepy which can’t be said of many other supernatural themed shows. It is reported that FX spent $500,000 on creature CGI alone so I can literally see where the money went. There are a few goofs that took me out of the moment a bit but I won’t get into too much detail (this is a spoiler free review after all). That being said, what the show did right far outweighed the bad.
Overall the show shows a lot of promise and I am curious in the direction it’s heading. The cinematic value is quite impressive for a TV show and with all the supernatural themed shows all over the air waves, The Strain manages to keep its head above water thanks to some real star power (It’s Guillermo). This brings me to a score of a: Watch if looking for a new show.