TV REVIEW: What We Do in the Shadows

By Zach Hester • hesterzach11@gmail.com

What We Do in the Shadows, the FX original series spawned from Taika Watiti’s 2014 film of the same name, is the supernatural Parks and Recreation that I never knew I needed. 

The series, which originally aired its first season from March to May of this year, follows four vampires: Nandor, Laszlo, Nadja and Colin (Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Mark Proksch, respectively) plus Guillermo, a wannabe vampire who doubles as Nandor’s familiar…err, slave (Harvey Guillen) as they navigate modern life on Staten Island. 

With excellent performances from the entire cast, including great guest stars like Doug Jones, Beanie Feldstein, and Tilda Swinton, it’s hard to choose one standout performance. Each actor brings something different to the table. Despite the different comedic styles and attitudes toward the written material, the deadpan jokes are cohesive and not one of them misses over the entirety of the season.

The best part of the show, in my opinion, is the back and forth between Nandor (Novak) and his familiar, Guillermo (Guillen). It’s a mix of the vampire’s fish-out-of-water attitude as a former soldier from the Ottoman Empire (who apparently had 37 wives at one point, despite only loving 35 of them) and Guillermo’s devotion and desperation to become a bloodsucking creature of the night that make the show truly shine. Check out episodes 8, 9 and 10 for the shiniest moments of comedy between them.

In no world could I have imagined that the mockumentary style of The Office or Parks and Recreation work in a witty comedy that doubles as a light piece of horror. The humor across the board is deadpan with no laugh track to accompany the menacing cackle of each of our lead characters. Season 2 cannot be here soon enough.

Best Episode: Baron’s Night Out 

Rating: ★★★★


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