Know what the best show on TV is that you’re not watching?
What We Do In The Shadows on FX.
The acclaimed vampire comedy series, based on the film of the same name, is returning for season 2 on April 15. So for all of you out of the loop, check out this handy guide and you’ll be all caught up for what comes next.
What We Do In The Shadows takes the premise of the film but changes the characters and location. It revolves around a group of immortal vampires from Europe who now live together as roommates in the great borough of Staten Island in New York.
When the series begins, an ancient vampire known as The Baron arrives and gives them a mission to conquer the “New World”. The vampires however aren’t really interested in world domination and only listen because they need to follow orders. Their inability to relate to modern society creates a number of problems when trying to achieve their goal.
It is shot in a documentary style and is kind of like the goth version of The Office.
The creators of the show say that the series follows 1970s vampire rules, so a lot of flying around and turning into bats.
As for special effects, it does not use CGI. Instead they go for the same practical effects approach used in the film Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
The Brains Behind It
Jemaine Clement serves as the show’s creator, producer and some-time director. He was also one of the stars of the original 2014 film.
Taika Waititi, who co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in the film with Clement before winning an Oscar for writing Jojo Rabbit, is also involved in the show as one of the producers and directed the pilot episode.
Both make an appearance reprising their film roles later on towards the end of the first season.
WWDITS features an eclectic group of characters.
Nandor the Relentless
Nandor is an over 700 year old vampire from the Ottoman Empire who looks like Rasputin and played by Kayvan Novak. His home country has not existed for 600 years.
He has the ability to hypnotize people, but can only make them do things which they wanted to do even if they were not hypnotized, which has been pointed out to him as being somewhat useless of an ability.
Though not a sparkly vampire, Nandor does like using glitter and was a major fan of the United States Olympic Dream Team during the summer of 1992.
A huge brute, he is often socially awkward around people when out in public.
The British gent of the group played by Matt Berry. At one point in history he claims to have been Jack The Ripper.
A fan of gardening and pornography, he has pruned the entire backyard of their home into a garden of women’s privates.
His most prized possession is a hat made of witch’s skin that is cursed, but he refuses to accept that it is cursed, claiming instead that it is “cool”.
Laszlo’s wife and a former Gypsy played by Natasia Demetriou. She is quite bored in her marriage and started seeing a man who is the reincarnation of her former lover Gregor during the first season.
However, Nadja has a hard time accepting how pathetic a human he has been reincarnated as and difficulty remembering that his name is now Jeff.
A human and Nandor’s familiar, or assistant, played by Harvey Guillén. His dream has been to become a vampire ever since seeing Antonio Banderas in Interview With The Vampire made him realize that Hispanics could be creatures of the night too.
He works as a familiar only because he believes Nandor will eventually reward his service by turning him into a vampire one day. Nandor however has zero interest in doing so because he finds Guillermo to be quite annoying for always invading his personal space.
Unlike the other vampires on the show, Colin is an energy vampire, meaning he sucks the life out of people instead of blood by telling them boring stories and facts about himself. He is also a daywalker who can be out in the sunlight. Colin is played by Mark Proksch, who had a recurring role on The Office.
He looks like a regular guy who works a corporate job because that is what he is. Colin’s not really liked by the other characters, but they find him useful since he knows a lot about life outside the house and how society works in general.
At one point during the first season he was in a relationship with a woman who was an emotional vampire that fed by draining people’s emotions, but it only lasted one episode.
What happened last season?
The show started off slowly the first couple of episodes, then hit its stride and really took off when they committed to making things get crazier and crazier.
As mentioned before, the season revolved around the main characters being sent on a mission by The Baron to take over the world.
Since there are only three of them (Colin is not part of the main group), they decided to try to form an alliance with an old vampire friend, Simon, with a loyal following in Manhattan.
After meeting with him, they discovered that he has zero interest in joining with them and only agreed to speak with them so he could steal Laszlo’s witch skin hat. He gets the hat, but since it was cursed it caused him to die in an explosion.
The Baron then wakes from his coffin and informs the group he wants a night out on the town in NYC. They take him partying with a plan to kill him so they don’t have to worry about the mission anymore, but after a fun night out bonding with him changed their mind.
After arriving home at the break of dawn, Guillermo opens the front door and accidentally kills The Baron by exposing him to sunlight. The trio is then put on trial by the vampire council and despite Guillermo admitting the truth about him killing The Baron, are sentenced to death because his story is so ridiculous it must have been made up.
They are saved from being burned to death at the last second by Guillermo and Colin, then taken back home.
The season eventually ends with Guillermo finding out that he is a descendent of legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing and wondering what that could mean for his future.
While all this is going on the group feuds with the local werewolf chapter, Nandor attempts to become a citizen, Nadja turns a LARP into a vampire and Laszlo gets caught by animal control after turning into a bat.
Good times for all.
What’s in store for season 2?
Even though season 1 had an overall story-arc it dealt with, What We Do In The Shadows really has a sitcom structure that is more interested in dealing with the new situation of the day for the main characters rather than building towards a master plan ending. It’s a classic fish out of water show.
Not much has been revealed for the new season and the trailer for it seems to show the producers are more interested in pushing the comedy rather than story, which is not a bad thing when it comes to a show like this.
That being said, the upcoming season will clearly be dealing with Guillermo and the revelation of his ancestry and what that means for him working with and being surrounded by vampires all day, every day. It should be the main story-arc for the season.
In addition to that, expect to see more of Jenna, the vampire Nadja created in season 1. Her character was introduced as Nadja’s protegé, but after her transformation was complete to vampire not much was heard from her.
And as you can briefly see in the trailer, Nick Kroll’s character Simon seems to have survived death and has gotten his hands on the witch’s skin hat again.
FX also put out a handful of short promos for the upcoming season as well.
So there you have it
You should now be up to speed and have a basic understanding of What We Do In The Shadows.
The new season starts April 15 on FX with 2 episodes. If you’re a cord-cutter don’t worry. New episodes could be streamed the next day on Hulu.