“What We Do in the Shadows”: A New Take On an Old Cliché

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photo courtesy of AP Images

The cast of “What We Do in the Shadows” participates in a ComicCon panel.

Natalie Becker, Opinion Editor

Movies and TV shows about vampires can be hit or miss. But “What We Do in the Shadows,” a comedy show based on the 2014 Taika Watiti film of the same name, is definitely a hit.

“What We Do in the Shadows” is filmed in the mockumentary style, much like “The Office” or “Parks and Recreation.” It follows the daily lives of four vampires and their human servant. Every episode has its own story line, but some episodes harken back to older ones to continue a plot.

The show aired in 2019 and is currently in its fourth season, and two more seasons have been picked up by FX, according to Variety.

I wanted to review it after hearing it from my friends. They said the show was worth the watch. Of course, I trust my friends’ judgment. I pulled up Hulu and watched the first two seasons.

I love the historical bits of the show. These provide context for what these vampires were doing before the 21st century. One of the characters, Laszlo (portrayed by Matt Berry), claimed he wrote the music to “Come On Eileen,” the song by the Dexys Midnight Runners.

The writing of the characters and how the actors portray them is amazing. It makes the show actually feel like a documentary. The vampires, Nandor, Nadja and Laszlo (Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, Berry) are some of the funniest actors in recent years. They know how to keep an audience intrigued with a ridiculous story. 

Notice how I mentioned three of the four main vampires. Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) is what is called an energy vampire. He feeds off of people’s energy rather than their blood. He rambles about unnecessary topics and bores people to the brink of death. He can also feed off of the other vampires, too.

Colin’s whole personality in the first two seasons has only been described by his annoying “need to feed.” There was only one episode where he drove a plot narrative, but he still was annoying.

They constantly overuse Colin’s rambling motif. The viewers get that he needs to feed, but get rid of the motif whenever it isn’t necessary.

Seeing a character develop their own story line through self-discovery and not through outside forces is a treat in the media; you don’t get that often. Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) is a great example. He’s the vampire’s servant, or familiar. He does all the dirty work around the house and buries the corpses of the victims. 

Guillermo learns to be more confident in himself in the second season. He is not the average familiar. He is a descendant of vampire hunters and he inherited the skills used to kill them. Despite that, he uses his abilities to protect his masters, even if they are grueling. 

You’ve got to love his dedication. All he wants to do is please his masters enough to let them turn him into a vampire. He’s been wanting that since day one. His tireless efforts of pleasing are merely met with another task.

I think the best character in the show, in my opinion, is Laszlo. He’s just unapologetically him. He’s confident in any ability he has, he is a little bit of a dimwit and won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. He also cares about his wife, Nadja, a lot. He is a perfectly written character. He is definitely one of the funniest on the show and the British accent adds to the hilarity.

I recommend this show for anyone who loves any type of comedy or any type of vampire flick. It’s a good combination of the two and it hits the marks on both of them. It is a nice change of pace from other vampire shows and movies.