It's happened to all of us—one day, when walking down the street, or perhaps driving, you noticed a billboard for a new TV show on FX featuring a person's eye and a worm coming out of it and thought OH GOD WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING. In a cunning but cruel twist of advertising, FX decided to sell its pulpy Guillermo del Toro horror show The Strain by focusing on the fact that it features little white worms wriggling out of people's bodies, specifically in this case a lady's eye. And yes, I know it's ridiculous for me to write an article complaining about it while featuring the image, but in case you don't know what I'm talking about:
The posters caused enough controversy to eventually get taken down, but they lingered for long enough for FX to accomplish its goal, which was to burn the show into people's memory. Whether this means they'll actually tune in remains to be seen, but in the meantime, showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel) wants us to know he understands.
"It may have been too far out there for some people but I personally liked it," Cuse said in an interview with Deadline. "I think that the ad was bold and imaginative and clearly not for everyone."
Now listen up, Carl. Bold, sure. Imaginative? I'm not gonna go so far as to call a worm coming out of someone's eye an "imaginative" image. It's just gross. Some ad folks probably just sat down, wrote "What's the grossest thing we can think of from this show?" on their whiteboard, and shouted things until someone screamed "WORM IN AN EYE!"
The Strain begins this Sunday on FX, and if it gets enough ratings, it will get renewed and there'll be lots of advertising for its second season. God knows what vile images will emerge for that. Steel yourself now, gentle people, or just don't go outside in the summer of 2015.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.