Vampire comedy TV series ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ has been officially renewed for another season on FX. The mockumentary about the life and adventures of four vampires and their familiars as they try to adjust to modern life in Staten Island will return in 2020.
Directors Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi did an amazing job adapting the 2014 movie of the same name to the 2019 FX series What We Do In The Shadows. The series follows around a documentary crew as they chronicle the lives of four vampire roommates living in Staten Island.
In this crew of lowly vampires, you have Kayvan Novak as Nandor the Relentless who is a 757-year-old vampire that was once a soldier for the Ottoman empire. He has appointed himself as leader of the group. Matt Berry portrays Laszlo Cravensworth, an English Nobleman who was turned by the third member of their clan, Nadja.
Nadja is a Romani Vampire and eventually marries Laszlo but secretly lusts after the different reincarnations of her former lover, Gregor. Then there is Harvey Guillen who portrays Nandor’s unfailing patient familiar Guillermo.
Last, but not least you have Mark Proksch as Colin Robinson who is an ‘energy’ vampire, meaning he feeds off people’s lifeforce rather than their blood. And when you see Proksch take the spotlight, it’s almost like he’s visually sucking the lifeforce out of people.
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What We Do In The Shadows is a refreshing view of vampires, with a strong comedic element thrown in. Movies present vampire themes as violent or scary, leaving death and destruction in their wake until they are destroyed by the protagonist of the movie. This series has all those elements in each episode, but where the vampire is usually portrayed as infallible, these characters act very humanly in their day-to-day coming and goings.
The series opens with Nandor receiving a letter from The Baron who is the leader of their vampire clan. Nandor wants to read it with all the glorification that he feels a letter from their leader should deserve. Laszlo on the other hand, just wants him to get it over with. The next thing you know, they are both in a literal hissing match. Nadja is like “boys will be boys” and finally interrupts the disagreement before anything gets too out of hand.
It’s funny because this scene is not the atypical scene one sees in vampire movies and provides a refreshing perspective on an over-used cinema character.
As it turns out, the ‘Baron’ will be paying them a visit because it seems they are failing in their mission to dominate Staten Island. So, in preparation for that visit, they attempt a takeover of Staten Island before the ‘Baron’ arrives. Unfortunately, our reluctant antagonists are totally unfamiliar with modern living and have no idea where to even start.
Colin Robinson who is an energy vampire is usually not invited to these meetings, but he is aware of that and has gotten in the habit of eavesdropping (as well as a little energy feeding) and proposes that they start attending the local council meetings to see how things work. The group tries to curry favor with the council president by leaving a pile of dead raccoons on her porch, which went over really well with her. Then again, she took it as a plot against her life so their first attempt at politics failed miserably.
While plotting new ways to dominate Staten Island, Laszlo observes a Werewolf and trying to maintain the thousand-year peace between them, brings the wounded wolf into their mansion. The angry wolf wakes up knowing that it was a werewolf trap and leaps through a window to escape, but not before taking a leak on Laszlo’s beloved Vulva topiary statue he created of his mother.
The wolf returns with his pack wanting to do a rumble with the vampires. A lot of hissing and growling standoffs until Nandor brings up the rules of fighting established by the peace treaty, where each side picks a champion to represent them. Nandor is the chosen champion for the vampires, and a monster-sized warrior for the werewolves is chosen causing the odds to look bad for Nandor to win until he throws a rubber bone over the side of a building causing the werewolf to jump over the building after the rubber bone.
The series uses a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor like werewolves being big dogs and chasing rubber bones. Projectile vomit eating human food, and spouting flames if they say ‘God’. Laszlo turning into a bat and being knocked unconscious by a broom-wielding victim before being carted off to an animal shelter where now the rest of the room-mates’ plan a rescue attempt.
I laughed so hard at the broom-wielding woman whacking poor Laszlo in bat form.
A cursed hat made from a witches’ skin and the mishaps that befalls Laszlo wearing the hat. Guillermo’s reactions to Nadja turning a high school virgin while he is still human waiting for 10-years to be turned. Yet, he still tries to bring happiness to Nandor, and when Nandor gets depressed that he is all that is left of his village, Guillermo sends Nandor’s DNA in to see if there are any living relatives near them and turns out there was one in their very neighborhood. Nandor wants to see her, but while doing so, his descendant has a heart attack.
What We Do In The Shadows is the dark comedy we need
The Baron is accidentally killed by Guillermo opening the front door causing daylight to enveloped their leader. Our confused vampires then have to attend a vampiric court which was humorously made up with former vampires from other movies.
You had Wesley Snipes reprising his role as Blade, Paul Ruebens playing ‘Amilyn’ role from Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, Danny Trejo reprising his role from Dusk to Dawn, Tilda Swinton from Only Lovers Left Alive, Evan Rachel Wood (Call me Evan) from True Bloods, roommate Colin Robinson and the creators of the series Jemaine Clement (Vladimir), Taika Waititi (Viago), and Johnny Brugh (Deacon) all returning to their iconic roles from the original.
This little addition of cameos is a treat and a great add to the trial, as nobody really liked the Baron and didn’t have the heart to kill our reluctant heroes, but Nandor wouldn’t let them snack on Guillermo so they were placed in a dungeon to await the rising of the sun to burn them to a crisp. Those who have seen the movie Interview with a Vampire will recognize the backdrop as it’s identical to the movie. Colin Robinson and the ever-faithful Guillermo rescue our poor victims from the pit, and Season 1 closes with Guillermo finding out that he is a descendant of Van Helsing and seems to have inherited a knack for staking.
I loved this series, it was refreshing and entertaining with comedic influences and a nice touch when the comedy and seriousness are interlaced with genuine emotions and feelings. Laszlo dropping his silliness to tell Nadja he loved her, for instance, which was why he had been the one killing her lover Gregor in all of his reincarnations. The sole reason being that Gregor made her cry.
All things considered, the material is original and fresh with a totally different perspective on an old story trope which is a very nice change of pace. And I for one cannot wait until Season 2 premieres next year.
What do you think about What We Do In The Shadows being renewed? We want to know, so please leave your comments in the comment section. Season 2 is scheduled for a 2020 release date.