How do you follow up an incredibly hilarious and outrageous horror/comedy mockumentary film about modern day vampires? You adapt a tv series with a different set of douchey protagonists and give it an American flair. No not Office Space flair we don’t need Bill Lumbergh sniffing around our cubicle right now. We do see an Office inspiration as that series, we all know (hopefully) originated as a British comedy and was later adapted for American screens (Yes, I will do an Office review season by season). For now, we continue our journey into the universe of What We Do in the Shadows.
Episode 1: Pilot
We are introduced to a Staten Island clan of Vampires Nandor The Relentless (he doesn’t relent), Laszlo, Nadja, and Colin Robinson. Laszlo and Nadja are married couple and Colin Robinson is an energy vampire who works in an office and drains people of their energy by talking to them (brilliant). Nandor, the self-imposed leader of the house has his familiar Guillermo living in the house as well. Guillermo has been a familiar for a decade at the time we are introduced to everybody and hopes to become a vampire one day. Nandor receives a letter from Baron Afanas of his arrival from the old country to check in with how well the vampire takeover is coming in the new country. Nadja also believes she has found her past lover Gregor reincarnated in a stranger and begins to stalk him.
Episode 2: City Council
To begin their take over of this new world, the vampires attend city council meetings thanks to the advice of Colin Robinson. Nandor attempts to threaten the city council members which ultimately fails. Laszlo takes matters into his own hands and goes to the mayor’s home to help her with her racoon problem. Nandor comes up with a different solution, he hypnotizes the Mayoral candidate that is running against the current mayor but the plan backfires when the candidate becomes violent and gets arrested. Nadja stalks a lonely virgin girl that gets mistreated by her friend group who LARPs (Live Action Role Play) and turns her into a vampire.
Episode 3: Werewolf Feud
Did you know that Laszlo has his own topiary garden in the backyard of the house? No, well he takes pride in that garden. While Laszlo is showing off his garden, he comes across a foul stench, werewolf urine. He breaks out his werewolf traps thus triggering a feud with the local werewolves pack. According to a 1993 pact, one champion is selected to represent the werewolves and one champion is selected to represent the vampires. Nandor is the vampires champion who goes up against the werewolves champion. The fight takes place on neutral grounds (on the roof of a building) and Nandor throws a chew toy over the side of the roof where the werewolf, fully transformed follows the toy to his defeat. A new employee named Evie starts at Colin Robinsons job. Evie is found out to be an emotional vampire which, at first threatens Colin’s territory. The two decide to partner up and have a brief relationship before breaking up.
Episode 4: Manhattan Night Club
Looking for assistance in their take over, the group of vampires and Guillermo travel to Manhattan to convince Simon the Devious, the leader of the Manhattan clan to help. Laszlo insists on wearing a hat made of witches skin but every time he wears it, bad luck follows and Nadja is convinced its cursed. At the club / headquarters Simon agrees to help in the new world takeover only if Laszlo gives him the hat. Laszlo reluctantly gives the hat up to Simon but Simon double crosses them and kicks them out of his club. A strange vampire interacts with Guillermo wanting to turn him to a vampire when Nandor interrupts the conversation. Guillermo storms off and leaves the party upset. Nandor takes him flying over the city but drops Guillermo and lands him in the hospital.
Episode 5: Animal Control
After a night of feeding, Laszlo wants to torment they neighbor by turning into a bat and flying into their bedroom window. Laszlo gets knocked out by a broom and animal control is called. Nandor, Guillermo, and Colin attempt to rescue Laszlo but instead release a rabid bat instead leaving Laszlo still in custody. Nandor gets the idea to transform into a dog and get caught to free Laszlo but his plan fails as well. Nadja visits Jeff at his job and the two decide to go to a carnival. After many failed attempts to act like his former self Gregor, Nadja uses some magic to make Jeff remember his past lives. Even though this makes Nadja happy, she gets called to rescue Laszlo and Nandor from the animal shelter and Jeff gets arrested.
Episode 6: Baron’s Night Out
Baron Afanas demands the vampires take him out to show him the city. Being ancient, the Baron’s ideas are a bit old fashioned and the vampires are sick of putting up with him. They decide to plot and kill Baron Afanas. After going to various bars and nightclubs, Baron Afanas decides he wants to try eating pizza for the first time. The rest of the vampires heavily advise against it as vampires cannot eat human food. Baron Afanas doesn’t listen and gets incredibly sick. Baron then learns of the plot to kill him and he was having the same thoughts about Nandor, Laszlo and Nadja. The vampires stay out all night and return home only to have Guillermo open the front door and kill Baron Afanas.
Episode 7: The Trial
Nandor, Nadja, and Laszlo are summoned to the vampiric council to face charges for the death of Baron Afanas. The council consists of Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav from New Zealand, Tilda – the leader of the council, Evan the Immortal Princess, Danny – a Hispanic tattooed vampire, Paul, Colin Robinson, and Wesley the Daywalker who skypes into the meeting. Guillermo is brought up to testify and admits to killing the Baron. The council doesn’t believe him allowing Nandor to take the blame for the Baron’s death. Nandor, Laszlo, and Nadja are sentenced to death by daylight in a well. Colin Robinson and Guillermo rescue the vampires using an umbrella.
Episode 8: Citizenship
Jenna, the human Nadja turned into a vampire has been transitioning into a vampire. Nadja takes Jenna to a party to feed but doesn’t seem to know what her powers are. After turning invisible, the lightbulb clicks, and she makes her first kill. Nandor comes to the realization that his country hasn’t existed for centuries and wishes to become an American citizen. Nandor previously applied for citizenship way back in 1992 but never followed through. Due to no fault but his own, Nandor failed yet again to become an American Citizen.
Episode 9: The Orgy
It’s bi-annual orgy time at the vampires house. The vampires are a bit on edge as throwing a bad orgy means eternal humiliation like that one vampire, think his name was Mike. Laszlo while looking for decorations and orgy supplies, comes across a box of his old porn movies he used to star in. looking for Nadja’s approval of his movies, Laszlo shows them to her only for Nadja to say they are boring. This upsets Laszlo. Once the party gets started and the virgin arrives (Guillermo’s friend) Laszlo professes his love for Nadja killing the mood and enticing humiliation for the rest of eternity.
Episode 10: Ancestry
Guillermo has taken the liberty to have the vampires DNA tested to show them their heritage. Nandor discovers that he has over 200,000 living descendants – one happens to live in Staten Island. Nandor decides to visit her by floating up to her window triggering a fatal heart attack. Nandor persuades the vampires to go to the funeral in a church to pay their respects. Nadja calls out to Jeff (Gregor) who is now in a psychiatric hospital. He breaks out and goes to the house where Laszlo catches the two and reveals that he is the one who has always killed Gregor in their past lives. Guillermo reads his ancestry and discovers he is a descendant of Van Helsing and has an epiphany.
I love the idea of having this intellectual property as a series on television. The story as a whole can be completely fleshed out and doesn’t have to be crammed with so much information at once into a 2 hour film. We also get more time with these characters and I honestly think they’re funnier than their predecessors. The movie as you all know was genius as a concept and it absolutely worked but I was left craving more from this world of characters. If anything, these vampires are 100 percent more awkward and seem more in tune with the world they live in.
Everything is thought out and implemented flawlessly. The writing, the scripts, and the acting are what make this kind of a show work. There are similarities between the show and the film, the big ones being the thirst for virgins and having the familiars desire to become vampires. The casting is spot on and the writing is bended well between cheesy, awkward, and phenomenally brilliant. The show like previous mockumentaries starts slow but takes its footing and picks up immediately in the second in third episodes. The characters growth and progression are what makes this show successful. Each episode Guillermo loses hope that one day he will be a vampire and his realization that he may be related to a vampire hunter.
There is so much I love in this first season it’s impossible to pick a favorite moment. If I could give a favorite moment of the first season it’s in the episode Citizenship when we get the flashback of Nandor’s first attempt to become a citizen. I think I cried laughing so hard. Right now I honestly think Colin Robinson is my favorite character, I know it’s a hot take. He’s so weird and annoyingly dull that I can picture him being a real person that I’ve worked with before. He makes you want to grab his shoulders and scream at him to leave you alone. It’s painfully funny to watch him be a master at draining others’ energy.
This IP’s obsession with Blade is fascinating. They mention it in the movies and having all those cameo’s in episode 7 was just the icing on the cake for me. Every episode will have a moment that is outrageously funny and it’s that consistent humor and absolute bat s*** craziness that proves this is one of the better shows on television right now. A mockumentary does its job when you look at real life and think of the situation that is being portrayed in an episode while visually comparing them. The best thing for this show in particular is that very few have seen it and the word of mouth is what will skyrocket this show to be among the greats. What We Do in the Shadows stars Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén, and Mark Proksch. If I were to rate this first season of What We Do in the Shadows, I’d rate it a 4.85 out of 5, Id highly recommend it.
What We Do in the Shadows premiered in 2019 and can be seen on the channel FX or streamed on Hulu. What We Do in the Shadows currently is finished with its second season and has been renewed for a third season. What We Do in the Shadows season one has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 94%.
So, tell me guys, have you seen What We Do in the Shadows season 1 and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.
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