What We Do in the Shadows (WWDitS) started as a feature length film directed by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement in 2014. This documentary style look at the lives of modern vampires is unlike any vampire property that came before. It never takes itself too seriously, and like all successful docudramas it relies on using the mundane to generate humor. Now, WWDitS is a TV show where the focus is a small coterie of vampires living in Staten Island.
Episode 1 focuses on introducing each of the primary characters. Nando (Kayvan Novak) and his familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) have a master/servant relationship similar to Deacon and Jackie in the original film. Guillermo’s personality is somewhat similar to Waititi’s character from the film as well. He’s very passive and does what he’s told, but there are hints that he may take more control over his life as the show goes on.
Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and Laszlo (Matt Berry) are the 2 other vampires in the apartment and they’re also lovers. This show has finally delivered some sexually promiscuous and experimental vampires to popular media, and I am SO here for it. Both Nadja and Laszlo make advances on men & women throughout the first 2 episodes. These myriad interpersonal relationships are going to have a huge impact on the plot, as new vampires come into play.
The last member of the apartment is Colin Robinson. He is played by Mark Proksch, who I know primarily for his role as Nate from The Office. His mere presence in this docudrama is entertaining to me, but he is especially funny because he’s a non-traditional vampire. Colin Robinson is an energy vampire. To quote Urban Dictionary, and energy vampire is, “A person who boosts his own energy by taking energy from others by means of an argument, belittlement, criticism or other one-sided conversation.” That defines Colin very well if you add that he is able to feed off of vampires. I have a theory that Colin is just a normal guy, who happens to live with vampires, but who truly believes he’s an energy vampire. I hope this is addressed more throughout the show.
The vampire crew is visited by an ancient vampire Baron who lays down a dangerous and difficult task for the Staten Island bloodsuckers. Episode 2 focuses on some of their attempts to achieve this goal (spoiler alert: It doesn’t go great). It seems as though this will be the primary challenge facing Nando, Nadja, and Laszlo throughout the show. Colin helps out occasionally, but the other vamps don’t like spending time with him.
Lots of new characters are thrown into the mix in episode 2, including The Baron’s familiar. She’s probably the scariest character on the show so far. She’s like an unnamed presence that lurks behind you in the shadows when you’re home alone. There is also a crew of LARPers introduced, and Nadja starts to build a bond with one of them.
I’m excited to continue watching because it seems like each of the characters will have their own unique set of struggles. They all have very unique senses of humor, and I think almost anyone could find things to laugh about in the show. If you enjoy the comedy in Thor: Ragnarok, or you have a love for The Office, or Parks & Rec then I would recommend you give What we do in the Shadows a try!
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