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What We Do In The Shadows season premiere recap: New FX series takes a bite out of the vampire genre

What We Do In The Shadows season premiere recap
What We Do In The Shadows season premiere recap. Pic credit: JOHN P JOHNSON/FX

FX premiered the What We Do In the Shadows season premiere on Wednesday night and offered up a new look at the vampire genre.

The series is about four vampires who share a home in Staten Island and it is shot in the same manner as a show like Modern Family. Basically, a documentary crew is filming their lives and we see them do what they do while taking short breaks to sit and talk to the cameras.

For those unaware, What We Do In the Shadows is a television remake of a New Zealand movie starring Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and Taiki Waititi (the director of Thor: Ragnarok), but moved to the United States for this version.

The first vampire introduced in the show is Nandor (Kayvan Novak), a former warlord who was considered relentless at one time. He also has what he calls his “familiar.” This is a slave named Guillermo (Harvey Guillén), who takes care of Nandor and secretly dreams of one day becoming a vampire as well.

When the What We Do In the Shadows season premiere starts, Nandor has a letter he received that he wants to read to two of his roommates — the lovers Lazslo (Matt Berry) and Nadja (Natasia Demetriou).

Before this can happen, there is an argument about leaving people who are half drunk in the cellar. When Lazslo asks where they got the alcohol, Nandor explains they are “half drunk” and they need to finish one human off before moving on to the next because it is not hygienic to leave them lying around.

Luckily, Nadja comes up with the idea of getting a permanent sharpie and writing the name of the vampire and the date on their victims so that they know who belongs to who and how long they have been feeding on them. This was a very smart plan.

Nandor then reads the letter and reveals that the Baron (Doug Jones) is coming to visit them and they need to prepare. This is both scary because he would not visit if it was not important and thrilling because both Lazslo and Nadja separately had love affairs with him.

Nandor and Guillermo take the task of preparing, by getting supplies for decoration as well as glitter, so he can put it on his face to get the Twilight effect.

They also do everything they can to keep their fourth roommate from knowing the Baron is coming. That is because it is Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), an energy vampire. He is of the most famous kind of vampires, those who can walk in the day, work real jobs, and suck the energy out of anyone by just talking to them — non-stop about mundane things.

Most of us have worked with an energy vampire at one time or another.

Meanwhile, Nadja (who is also Lazslo’s creator) heads out to find the man she thinks is the reincarnation of a former lover. That is very awkward.

When they finally get the Baron to the home he comes out, eats a Lazslo and Nadja’s familiar, and then informs them that the old ways no longer work and they must take over Staten Island and rule it.

As if that wasn’t bad enough for the vampires, who just want to live in peace, they go to get the virgins to dine on that Guillermo prepared for them (found where people are larping), only to find that Colin Robinson was in there and already sucked all the energy out of them, making them worthless.

The episode then ends with Guillermo getting disappointed. He expected to celebrate his 10th anniversary of Nandor’s familiar with the reward of being turned into a vampire as well. That never happened and Nandor instead gave him a present of a drawing of the two with glitter.

The episode was very familiar in style to Modern Family with the added bonus of being about vampires. The entire idea of an energy vampire is brilliant and each of the characters has clearly defined personality traits that make them all stand out.

The What We Do In the Shadows season premiere also has the bizarre humor of Clement and Waiki all over it making it one of the strangest shows on television today. This is something that will be a cult classic — something that a lot of people just won’t get but a show that people who give it a chance will love completely.

What We Do In the Shadows airs on FX on Wednesday nights at 10/9c.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos


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