Based on the 2014 film of the same name, “What We Do in the Shadows” has become a beloved TV show that redefines the vampire genre with its unique blend of comedy and mockumentary-style storytelling. Since its television premiere in 2019, the show has garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase for its side-splitting humor, memorable characters, and clever satire.
This hilarious vampire mockumentary revolves around a group of centuries-old vampires who share a house in Staten Island, New York. There is the aristocratic, dapper and often confused Nandor (portrayed by Kayvan Novak), the seductive, vain and overbearing Laszlo (Matt Berry) along with his immortal companion Nadja (Natasia Demetriou)They are joined by the energy vampire Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), who feeds on the life force of others by boring them to death. And then, there is the unsung hero of the group, Guillermo (played by the incomparable Harvey Guillen), Nandor’s overworked and unappreciated familiar.
“What We Do in the Shadows” embraces the mockumentary format, allowing the characters to break the 4th wall, and directly address the camera and provide hilarious and often absurd commentary on their daily vampire lives. This approach adds a layer of humor and self-awareness to the show, as the vampires navigate modern society, encounter supernatural beings, and face mundane challenges with a hilarious twist.
One of the show’s greatest strengths is its impeccable comedic timing and sharp writing. The humor ranges from witty wordplay and puns to physical comedy and absurd situations, often taking advantage of the vampires’ age-old quirks and the clash between their traditional beliefs and the modern world. The show’s creators, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, who also co-wrote and directed the original film, bring their signature comedic style to the series and deliver laugh-out-loud moments in each episode.
The ensemble cast of “What We Do in the Shadows” is a perfect match for the show’s humor and tone. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, and their comedic performances elevate the material to new heights. Kayvan Novak brings a lovable charm to the role of Nandor, while Matt Berry’s bombastic delivery as Laszlo never fails to elicit laughs. Natasia Demetriou’s deadpan humor and Mark Proksch’s deadening energy as Colin Robinson add depth and variety to the dynamic group. Harvey Guillen’s understated facial expressions can gives Jim from The Office a run for their money.
Beyond the comedy, the show also succeeds in exploring deeper themes of friendship, loyalty, and the timeless struggle between individual desires and group dynamics. Despite being immortal beings with supernatural powers, the vampires face relatable challenges and undergo personal growth throughout the series, making them more than just caricatures and allowing viewers to connect with them on an emotional level.
In addition to its fantastic writing and performances, the show also boasts impressive production values. The cinematography captures the eerie and atmospheric world of vampires, while the makeup and special effects create convincing vampire transformations and supernatural encounters.
“What We Do in the Shadows” is a breath of fresh air in the vampire genre, injecting new life and humor into a well-trodden mythology. With its clever writing, talented ensemble cast, and distinctive mockumentary style, the show offers a hilarious and refreshing take on the world of vampires. Whether you’re a fan of the original film or new to the franchise, this TV show is a must-watch for anyone seeking a great laughs and a supernaturally good time.