Deadline is reporting that FX’s The Strain will come to an end after a fourth and final season. The Guillermo Del Toro produced vampire series is currently in its’ third season.
FX President of Original Programming Nick Grad said:
“We sincerely thank Carlton Cuse, Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan and their creative team as well as the fantastic cast for three exciting seasons of The Strain. Though we’re sad to see it go, we fully support the way in which they are crafting the fourth season’s dramatic conclusion.”
Now, for some this will seem like the FX Network cancelling a show long before its’ time but that isn’t the case. The Strain, based on a trilogy of novels by Del Toro and author Chuck Hogan was always going to last for 3-4 seasons. Furthermore, it’s not like FX has cancelled the show outright; they have given the writers one more season to wrap up all loose ends and give the audience a satisfying conclusion.
The Strain showrunner Cuse said:
“Our original plan was for the series to last three years. Once we began telling that story it expanded to be more. After finishing the writing on Season 3, Guillermo, Chuck and I looked at our remaining story and felt the best version could be told in one more season. We have a fantastic plan for an exciting and climatic Season 4. We are deeply grateful to FX for supporting our vision and for allowing us to end the show on our own timetable.”
It is actually fascinating to see how much and how far The Strain has changed over the years. The first season was a slow, if too slow at times, show that ebbed and flowed like a virus story but it was ultimately sloppy and unfocused. The second season upped the action, the violence and the visceral conflict into something fun and entertaining but it was still aching to be something greater. The third season hasn’t so much improved on the second with some developments proving incredibly infuriating whilst others are totally justified and engulfing. It is my hope that the fourth and final season gives the show’s producers a free reign to go bigger, bolder and crazier with their characters and their narrative without feeling the need to fill the gabs with horrendously forced romantic triangles and tangents.
I am not damning the show’s quality when I say: ‘Fortunately The Strain is coming to an end’. This ‘cancellation’ is something that some studios and showrunners are far too greedy or stupid to accept. Shows like The Big Bang Theory, Orphan Black and The Office (US) lasted far too long and rode on their past successes. The Strain is just compact enough, personal enough and grand enough to warrant a shorter lifetime and end in a satisfying conclusion.