What We Do in the Shadows (TV series)

Last updated

What We Do in the Shadows
What We Do in the Shadows Title Card.jpg
Genre
Created by Jemaine Clement
Based on
Starring
Opening theme"You're Dead" by Norma Tanega
Composers
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes25
Production
Executive producers
Producers
Production locations Toronto, Ontario
CinematographyDJ Stipsen
Editors
Running time22–30 minutes
Production companies
  • FXP
  • Two Canoes Pictures (seasons 1–2)
  • 343 Incorporated
Distributor
Release
Original network FX
Original releaseMarch 27, 2019 (2019-03-27) 
present (present)
External links
Website

What We Do in the Shadows is an American mockumentary comedy horror television series created by Jemaine Clement that premiered March 27, 2019, on FX. The second television series in the franchise based on the 2014 film of the same name written by Clement and Taika Waititi, the series follows four vampire roommates in Staten Island, and stars Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén, and Mark Proksch.

Contents

The series was renewed for a 10-episode second season in May 2019, [2] which debuted on April 15, 2020. [3] [4] In May 2020, the series was renewed for a third season, [5] which premiered on September 2, 2021. [6] In August 2021, the series was renewed for a fourth season, ahead of the third season premiere. [7]

Premise

Set in Staten Island, What We Do in the Shadows follows the lives of three traditional vampires, Nandor, Laszlo, and Nadja; Colin Robinson, an energy vampire; and Guillermo, Nandor's familiar. The series revolves around the centuries-old vampires interacting with the modern world and other supernatural beings. [8]

Cast and characters

Main

Recurring

Guests

Season 1

  • Arj Barker as Arjan, the pack leader of the Staten Island Werewolf Support Group. He entered into the truce between his kind and the vampires (which was created in 1993).
  • Dave Bautista and Alexandra Henrikson as Garrett and Vasillika the Defiler, vampires imprisoned by the Council after Garrett was framed by Laszlo for turning a baby into a vampire (which is very illegal), and Vasillika for too much defiling.
  • Vanessa Bayer as Evie Russell, Colin's new co-worker. He soon discovers that she is an advanced form of energy vampire — an emotional vampire — who feeds off of the pity and sadness generated by her outlandish stories of suffering and misfortune. She and Colin date for a short time, feeding together on bored and pitying humans, until he begins to feel the relationship is unhealthy. Her first name is a homophone of "E.V.", for Emotional Vampire.
  • Mary Gillis as June, Nadja and Laszlo's familiar. She appears to be an ill old woman that communicates through grunts. She is killed when the Baron sucks all her blood when he arrives on Staten Island.
  • Jeremy O. Harris as Colby, a human familiar to Dantos the Cruel and Radinka the Brutal, two 400 year old vampires who appear to be children while Colby portrays as their father.
  • Marceline Hugot as Barbara Lazarro, the madam president of the Staten Island Council. She was going to be the vampires' way of taking over Staten Island until Laszlo left a pile of dead raccoons on her doorstep in an attempt to win her trust, resulting in her believing it was a form of terrorist threat.
  • Gloria Laino as The Baron's Familiar. She is keeping a silent, watchful eye on the vampires of Staten Island as her master awakes. Guillermo says that she pops out of nowhere and hears "everything".
  • Paul Reubens as Paul, a member of the Council. [lower-alpha 1]
  • Tilda Swinton as Tilda, the leader of the Vampiric Council. [lower-alpha 2]
  • Wesley Snipes as Wesley the Daywalker, a half-vampire member of the Council who could not participate in person but only video chat through Skype. Danny despises him, claiming he's a vampire hunter, which he denies. [lower-alpha 3]
  • Hayden Szeto as Jonathan, a LARPer college student that Guillermo lured for the vampires to feast on. However, Colin beat them to it by draining his energy instead.
  • Danny Trejo as Danny, a Hispanic tattooed member of the Council. He has an open dislike towards Wesley. [lower-alpha 4]
  • Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, and Jemaine Clement reprise their roles as Viago von Dorna Schmarten Scheden Heimburg, Deacon Brucke, and Vladislav the Poker from the original film. Three vampires arrived from New Zealand to participate in the Vampiric Council. [lower-alpha 5]
  • Bobby Wilson as Marcus, the actual Native American member of the Werewolf Pack. He is Native American, and a werewolf but, as he explains, "Not a werewolf because" he's Native American. "It's not an ethnic thing." [lower-alpha 6]
  • Evan Rachel Wood as Evan the Immortal Princess of the Undead, a member of the Council who just goes by her first name. [lower-alpha 7]
  • Hannan Younis as Ange, an African American werewolf and part of Arjan's group. She undermines Arjan's rules and is openly hostile towards Nadja due to Nadja's insulting the werewolves by assuming they are all "Indian" (as in, Native Americans).

Season 2

  • James Frain as the voice of Black Peter, a goat and witch's familiar
  • Mark Hamill as Jim the Vampire, who claims that Laszlo owes him rent money from the 1800s and demands retribution. [12]
  • Greta Lee as Celeste, a familiar who pretends to be a vampire
  • Haley Joel Osment as Topher, Nadja and Lazlo's familiar who is accidentally killed and revived as a zombie. Unlike Guillermo, Topher has no interest in becoming a vampire. He is energetic, fun-loving, and charismatic, and is well-liked by all other members of the household, except Guillermo.
  • Lucy Punch as Lilith, a witch and rival of Nadja
  • Craig Robinson as Claude, the leader of the Mosquito Collectors of the Tri-State Area, a secret team of amateur vampire hunters. [13]
  • Benedict Wong as Wallace, a necromancer and tchotchke salesman

Season 3

  • Lauren Collins as Meg, the receptionist at gym that Nandor has a crush on.
  • Tyler Alvarez as Wes Blankenship, leader of a group of rebellious young vampires that refuse to follow the Council's Orders. Nadja later kills him.
  • Aida Turturro as Gail, Nandor's on-again, off-again werewolf turned vampire girlfriend.

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1 10March 27, 2019 (2019-03-27)May 29, 2019 (2019-05-29)
2 10April 15, 2020 (2020-04-15)June 10, 2020 (2020-06-10)
3 10 [14] September 2, 2021 (2021-09-02)October 28, 2021 (2021-10-28) [14]

Season 1 (2019)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Pilot" Taika Waititi Jemaine Clement March 27, 2019 (2019-03-27)XWS010010.617 [15]
Four vampire roommates live together in Staten Island: Nandor the Relentless, the self-appointed leader of the house; Laszlo and Nadja, a married couple; and Colin Robinson, an energy vampire who works in an office and drains humans of their energy by boring or irritating them. The other vampires are often annoyed by his presence. They are joined by their familiars, including Guillermo, who has served Nandor for ten years and hopes to become a vampire one day. Nadja believes she has found her former lover Gregor who has been reincarnated as a human named Jeff; Nadja reveals Gregor has been decapitated in each of his lives. Nandor receives a letter and holds a meeting announcing Baron Afanas, an ancient vampire from the Old Country, will be arriving. The vampires then prepare for his arrival. When The Baron arrives, he announces their plan to take over the Western Hemisphere.
22"City Council"Jemaine Clement Paul Simms April 3, 2019 (2019-04-03)XWS010020.658 [16]
The vampires begin their first step in their plan of conquest: taking over Staten Island. They attend local city council meetings, trying to persuade the mayor and the council members, but they fail when Nandor attempts to threaten the council. Laszlo seeks out the mayor and attempts to convince her to surrender, killing the raccoons that had been eating her garbage and leaving the bodies on her porch. Meanwhile, Nandor seeks out and hypnotizes the mayor's opponent in the upcoming election, causing him to react violently and be arrested during the next council meeting. Nadja follows Jenna, a virgin LARPer, and, after observing how she is mistreated by the rest of the group, turns her into a vampire.
33"Werewolf Feud"Jemaine Clement Josh Lieb April 10, 2019 (2019-04-10)XWS010040.305 [17]
Laszlo finds that his topiary garden has been urinated on by werewolves and sets traps, sparking a feud with the pack. Following the 1993 pact, Nandor engages in single combat with the werewolf pack's champion, ending with him throwing a chew-toy off a roof to win. Meanwhile, Colin competes with Evie, an emotional vampire at work who feeds on the sympathy of her co-workers by telling upsetting or depressing stories. They eventually decide to team up and have a brief relationship, before breaking up.
44"Manhattan Night Club"Jemaine Clement Tom Scharpling April 17, 2019 (2019-04-17)XWS010030.439 [18]
The vampires attempt to form an alliance with Simon the Devious, the leader of the Manhattan vampires, to aid in their takeover. Laszlo insists on wearing a hat made of witch skin, which Nadja insists is cursed. Laszlo runs into several instances of bad luck. The vampires go to his headquarters, a nightclub, to talk with him. Simon agrees to an alliance, but only if Laszlo gives him the hat. Simon kicks them out once he has the hat, and the nightclub promptly explodes. Guillermo continues to feel underappreciated, so Nandor makes it up to him by flying him over the city, but he accidentally drops him, which puts him in the hospital. Meanwhile, Jenna continues her vampire transition.
55"Animal Control" Jackie van Beek Duncan Sarkies April 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)XWS010080.320 [19]
Nadja and Laszlo feed together, but on their way to the house Laszlo decides to torment his new neighbor Phil in bat-form, leading to him being knocked out with a broom by Phil's girlfriend and taken to an animal shelter. Nandor, Guillermo, and Colin follow to attempt a rescue and first release a seemingly rabid bat before Nandor lets himself be caught in the form of a dog but is trapped in a cage. Meanwhile, Nadja goes to see Jeff (Gregor) and they go out to a carnival. Nadja is bored and frustrated by him and makes him remember his past lives. The two celebrate, but Nadja is forced to leave. She rescues Laszlo and Nandor with ease, while Jeff is arrested by police.
66"Baron's Night Out"Jackie van Beek Iain Morris May 1, 2019 (2019-05-01)XWS010050.418 [20]
Baron Afanas wakes up and demands the vampires take him out to see the city. The vampires are sick and tired of the Baron's old fashioned ideas, so they intend on killing him. The vampires and the Baron go out and spend the night going to various bars and nightclubs, where they drink blood of drugged clubbers and allow the Baron to eat pizza (with disastorous results as vampires cannot consume human foodstuffs without being violently sick). After returning home in the morning, Baron is accidentally killed by sunlight when Guillermo opens the front door.
77"The Trial"Taika WaititiJemaine ClementMay 8, 2019 (2019-05-08)XWS010060.527 [21]
The three vampires must face the vampiric council for the death of Baron, having no memory of the previous night due to their consumption of drug-laced blood. At the trial, Guillermo admits he killed the Baron, but the council does not believe him. Nandor then takes the blame, and he, along with Laszlo and Nadja are sentenced to death by sunlight. The three vampires are put in a well and await their death, but Colin and Guillermo rescue them by blocking the sun with an umbrella.
88"Citizenship" Jason Woliner Stefani Robinson May 15, 2019 (2019-05-15)XWS010070.522 [22]
Nadja guides Jenna on how to be a vampire after her transition is complete. Jenna learns that her vampire power is invisibility and she later makes her first kill. Nandor, who learns that the country he was born in no longer exists, applies for American citizenship after being suggested by Guillermo. However, Nandor fails the process due to his lack of knowledge about America and his inability to recite the Oath of Alligence (his mouth catching fire upon saying the word "God").
99"The Orgy"Jason WolinerMarika SawyerMay 22, 2019 (2019-05-22)XWS010090.434 [23]
The vampires plan for the bi-annual vampire orgy, which must go perfectly, because throwing a bad orgy results in eternal humiliation. In the attic, Laszlo finds his old vampire-themed pornos he made. Nadja insults Laszlo when she tells him she finds them boring. After everyone has arrived for the orgy, Laszlo professes his love to Nadja, which sours the mood of the orgy and everyone leaves.
1010"Ancestry"Taika WaititiJemaine Clement & Stefani Robinson & Tom Scharpling & Paul SimmsMay 29, 2019 (2019-05-29)XWS010100.427 [24]
Guillermo has the vampires' DNA tested to show them their heritage. While Laszlo and Nadja are uninterested, Nandor discovers he has over 200,000 living descendants, including one who lives in Staten Island. Nandor visits her, a 94-year-old woman, by floating by her window with a teddy bear; this results in her having a fatal heart attack. Nandor has the other vampires attend her funeral in a church, and Laszlo and Nadja run out after catching on fire. Nadja calls out to Gregor, who is now in a psychiatric ward after being arrested previously, and breaks out. Gregor goes to the house to see Nadja, but Laszlo appears, and reveals it was he who killed Gregor in each of his past lives. Laszlo declares his love for Nadja, and Gregor stands down. As Gregor leaves, he is decapitated by a metal wire that was strung across that yard that Laszlo was using to trim a topiary bush sculpted like Nadja. Guillermo discovers he is a descendant of Van Helsing and wonders if he is destined to kill the vampires.

Season 2 (2020)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
111"Resurrection" Kyle Newacheck Marika SawyerApril 15, 2020 (2020-04-15)XWS020010.537 [25]
Laszlo and Nadja are elated with their latest familiar, Topher (Haley Joel Osment), who appears to be a most dedicated servant when they are around; however, he is just a slacker who has no desire to become a vampire. Topher's attitude annoys Guillermo, who has been busy secretly killing vampire assassins who are invading the house on behalf of the Vampiric Council. Topher is accidentally electrocuted and dies, causing Nadja and the others to visit Wallace (Benedict Wong), a necromancer. Laszlo believes Wallace is just a shyster as he demands $350 for the job. Wallace revives Topher, but he comes back as a ravenous zombie who continually attacks Guillermo. The vampires bring Topher back to Wallace, where Wallace agrees to take him back, placing Topher in his basement alongside other zombies to make miniature license plate keychains.
122"Ghosts"Kyle Newacheck Paul Simms April 15, 2020 (2020-04-15)XWS020030.409 [25]
The vampires deduce that a ghost has invaded their home, and Nadja performs a seance to make the ghost appear. The ghost turns out to be the spirit of her former lover Jeff/Gregor, who has unfinished business. The vampires, being dead themselves, wonder if they have their own ghosts with unfinished business, so they perform a second seance. Their spirit doppelgangers appear and each tries to help their own ghost complete whatever unfinished business they have. Nadja's ghost ends up inhabiting a doll and sticking around, and Colin Robinson conjures his dead grandmother just to try to tell his "updog" joke.
133"Brain Scramblies"Kyle NewacheckJake Bender & Zach DunnApril 22, 2020 (2020-04-22)XWS020020.566 [26]
The vampires are invited to their neighbor Sean's Super Bowl party, which they believe is a "Superb Owl" party. Sean mentions to Nandor and Laszlo that he only sees them at night and jokes that they're like vampires. Believing Sean is serious, the two consider killing him before deciding to double-hypnotize him, but they overdo it, causing him to lose all his memories. Nadja meets Sean's mother Joan, who Nadja used to play with when Joan was a child. Meanwhile, Guillermo searches for virgins for his master, which leads him to a mosquito hunting club meeting. However, he learns that this is a cover for a group of vampire hunters. Among the members is Shanice, Jenna's college roommate, who is aware of her being a vampire. Having never thought about the victims he brought to his masters, Guillermo feels guilty and questions his role as a familiar.
144"The Curse" Liza Johnson Sarah NaftalisApril 29, 2020 (2020-04-29)XWS020040.618 [27]
The vampires panic after receiving a chain e-mail threatening them with death if they do not forward it to 10 more people. Meanwhile, Guillermo visits his vampire hunting group to find them about to embark on a mission to attack a home full of vampires. His initial delight on finding out it is a different house, and not his, turns to terror when it turns out that this house really is inhabited by vampires. Guillermo manages to kill many of them, but one of his team members also dies. Colin takes the opportunity to use the chain e-mail to feed himself while calming the other vampires.
155"Colin's Promotion" Jemaine Clement Shana GohdMay 6, 2020 (2020-05-06)XWS020050.378 [28]
Colin expresses grief that his needs for both energy and companionship are incompatible. He later receives a promotion at work and forces subordinates to listen to him, which multiplies his power and forms a feedback loop allowing him to drain people and plants instantly, even gaining the ability to fly. After draining his housemates to the point that they age, he splits into three copies of himself, who drain each other, leaving one survivor. The survivor, having financially destroyed his company, moves to a new one. Meanwhile, Nadja discovers that Nandor pillaged the village she grew up in, causing a rift in their friendship.
166"On the Run" Yana Gorskaya Stefani Robinson May 13, 2020 (2020-05-13)XWS020070.436 [29]
A vengeful and menacing vampire named Jim (Mark Hamill) arrives at the Staten Island vampire residence in search of Laszlo, who had failed to pay him a month's rent in California 167 years ago. Laszlo flees Jim the Vampire and sets up shop in a small town in Pennsylvania (as it sounded like Transylvania), killing the owner of a bar and assuming control of the establishment. In his new human persona, Laszlo goes by the name Jackie Daytona, and becomes greatly admired by the town not only for his party-throwing skills but for his great support of the local girls volleyball team. While Laszlo has a great time in his new life, his vampire roommates have trouble coping with his disappearance. Jim the Vampire also continues his search for Laszlo.
177"The Return"Jemaine ClementJemaine ClementMay 20, 2020 (2020-05-20)XWS020060.377 [30]
The vampires are visited by an old foe, Simon the Devious, who is now down on his luck and only has two people left in his crew after the accident at his night club involving Laszlo's cursed witch hat. Nadja encourages the crew to welcome Simon into the house with open arms. Laszlo, however, is still very suspicious of Simon's true intentions. Carol, one of Simon's crew members, accuses Guillermo of being a vampire slayer, after which he kills her in an act of self-defense. Nandor finds out about it and becomes wary of Guillermo. Meanwhile, Colin Robinson uses social media to troll people online and feed on their energy. However, someone gets all of his accounts banned, which greatly upsets him. Laszlo and Simon fight over the hat while Colin Robinson confronts the user in-person, who turns out to be an actual troll.
188"Collaboration"Yana Gorskaya Sam Johnson & Chris Marcil May 27, 2020 (2020-05-27)XWS020080.443 [31]
Lazlo hears the song "Come On Eileen" while attacking a jogger, and is shocked as he believes he is the song's original writer. Looking back through his old songs reminds him and Nadja of when they used to sing as a duo. Colin Robinson hears them and offers to set them up with a gig, knowing they'll be awful and that he'll be able to absorb the audience's negative energy. Meanwhile, Benjy, Nandor's previous familiar, returns and goes with Guillermo to a familiar meet-up where Guillermo finds that one of the familiars, Celeste, has been turned into a vampire. He confronts Nandor, who waffles about when he will change Guillermo, so Guillermo leaves to join Celeste. He likes the inclusive atmosphere of her dwelling, but this comes to an end when her master returns home and Celeste is revealed to be a fraud. Nadja and Lazlo play several songs to boos and catcalls, powering Colin Robinson, but they win the audience back with their version of "Kokomo", which they are surprised to find the audience already knows.
199"Witches"Kyle NewacheckWilliam MenyJune 3, 2020 (2020-06-03)XWS020090.433 [32]
When Lazlo and Nandor are captured by witches, Nadja, Colin, and Guillermo pursue and track the witches to a shop. Guillermo goes inside to investigate. Nadja and Colin are captured while waiting outside, and Guillermo is imprisoned with them. Lazlo and Nandor discover that the witches want their semen to make a youth potion. Lazlo is enthusiastic until he discovers how unpleasant the process actually is. Guillermo discovers the way out of the holding cell and he, Nadja, and Colin go to rescue Lazlo and Nandor but are outmatched. Guillermo saves the day by striking a bargain with the witches where he will provide them with an unlimited supply of vampire semen in exchange for a percentage of the witches' profits.
2010"Nouveau Théâtre des Vampires"Kyle NewacheckSam Johnson & Stefani Robinson & Paul SimmsJune 10, 2020 (2020-06-10)XWS020100.406 [33]
Nandor wants to get out of bed but Guillermo is nowhere to be found. Nandor looks for him and discovers a note in which Guillermo wrote "Sorry". Without Guillermo as a familiar, the vampires leave their residence a mess, with corpses and blood all over the place. The entire vampire residence receive a letter inviting them to the most prestigious vampire event in existence, the Nouveau Théâtre des Vampires. They go to the event with their finest clothing, while Guillermo struggles to live with his mom in the Bronx. Guillermo finally decides to visit the gang, only to find an empty house and the letter the vampires left behind. He immediately realizes that the invite was a trap set by the Vampiric Council and goes to the theater to save them. Nadia, Laszlo, Nandor, and Colin Robinson are restrained by the vampires at the theater, led by Vladislav, and are sentenced to death for the whole theater to watch, having been blamed for the deaths of all the vampires that Guillermo has killed since the death of the Baron. Guillermo comes to the rescue and slaughters most of the vampires in the theater, saving his group, but in the process shows his true colors as a vampire hunter.

Season 3 (2021)

No.
overall
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season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
211"The Prisoner" Kyle Newacheck Paul Simms September 2, 2021 (2021-09-02)XWS030010.498 [34]
Twenty-nine days after the massacre, the vampires are trying to decide what to do about Guillermo, who is supposedly imprisoned in a cage in their basement but has actually been regularly sneaking out of the basement to perform his usual household duties. Nandor vouches for Guillermo as he saved their lives, while Laszlo, Nadja, and Nadja's doll are in favor of killing him to keep themselves safe. Guillermo reveals his freedom when he leaves the basement to protect the vampires from the arrival of a messenger from the Supreme Vampiric Council, the group who oversees all of the world's other Vampiric Councils. The messenger, referred to as "The Guide," promises not to harm the vampires and delivers a video message from Viago, a member of the Supreme Council, who explains that since Guillermo has now killed almost 70% of the most powerful vampires in the New York area, the Supreme Council has been forced to appoint Nandor, Nadja, Laszlo and Colin as the new Vampiric Council for the American Eastern Seaboard. The vampires decide to make Guillermo their bodyguard, and perform a group hypnosis ritual on him that will prevent him from ever harming them: Guillermo privately reveals that vampire hypnosis no longer works on him, but plays along anyway. The Guide escorts the quartet and Guillermo to the Council headquarters, where Nandor, Nadja, and Colin all begin arguing over which of them should be the "Supreme Leader" of the new Council.
222"The Cloak of Duplication" Yana Gorskaya Sam Johnson & Chris Marcil September 2, 2021 (2021-09-02)XWS030020.448 [34]
Nandor and Nadja reluctantly agree to be the co-leaders of the new Council, although they each plan to ultimately take the role entirely for themselves. The Guide gives the group a tour of the Council's facilities, including the "Chamber of Curiosities," which houses many ancient mystical artifacts and keepsakes: it also houses the Sire, the world's first and most ancient vampire, who is kept locked up behind a sealed door. Nandor decides to use one of the magical artifacts, the Cloak of Duplication (which allows one person to take on the exact likeness of another) to win over a human woman named Meg, a receptionist at a gym where he sometimes works out, by having Laszlo use the Cloak to take on his appearance and woo Meg in his stead. Colin and Laszlo each try and fail to impress Meg using this method, although Laszlo hypnotizes her to forget those incidents afterwards; Guillermo then tries instead and seems to have more success, although Meg comes to the conclusion that Nandor and Guillermo have feelings for each other. Meanwhile, Nandor, Nadja and Colin visit a group of rebellious young vampires who have refused to obey the Council's orders, led by a vampire named Wes Blankenship. After they try and fail to negotiate peacefully with the rebellious group, Nadja kills Wes and thereby secures the others' obedience. Nandor then visits Meg at the gym and confesses his feelings for her, but she reveals that she is a lesbian and suggests that he pursue a relationship with Guillermo instead, causing him to erase her memories again and leave. Nandor and Nadja argue over her belief that he has grown soft during his time in America, and she uses the Cloak to play a prank on him.
233"Gail"Kyle NewacheckMarika SawyerSeptember 9, 2021 (2021-09-09)XWS030030.311 [35]
Nandor begins leaving the vampires' house at odd hours. The others follow him one night and discover that he has been hooking up with a human woman named Gail, who has been his on-again, off-again partner for the past forty years. Nadja explains that Gail has always turned Nandor down every time he offers to turn her into a vampire and marry her, but Nandor decides to try again and obtains an engagement ring with the intent of proposing to her, which distresses Guillermo. However, Gail is revealed to have recently become a werewolf, which angers Nadja and Laszlo. Nandor convinces the other vampires to visit the rest of Gail's pack, which leads to a confrontation when it's revealed that Gail is also dating Anton, one of the werewolves. Guillermo proposes that the vampires and werewolves resolve their differences "Twilight-style" by playing a game of kickball, which ends badly when Nadja accidentally kills Gail by hitting her in the head with a ball. Nandor revives Gail by turning her into a vampire/werewolf hybrid and proposes to her, but she turns him down again. Meanwhile, Laszlo and Colin discover that Laszlo's old "jalopy" car, which had been confiscated and impounded by the previous Vampiric Council many years earlier, is stored in a secret room in the Council's library. Laszlo gets the car working again, and they move it out of the Council building by disassembling it and rebuilding it outside, although they damage several artifacts in the process. Laszlo and Colin then take the rest of the group on a drive around the neighborhood to lift Nandor's spirits.
244"The Casino"Yana GorskayaSarah NaftalisSeptember 16, 2021 (2021-09-16)XWS030040.462 [36]
The vampires are all invited on a group vacation to Atlantic City by their neighbors Sean and Charmaine, while Nandor convinces the other vampires that they should start treating Guillermo as part of their group rather than as a familiar. The vampires spend their first night having fun in a casino, before returning to their hotel rooms to sleep through the day. However, Nandor, Nadja and Laszlo are horrified to discover that the hotel housekeeping staff have vacuumed up all of their ancestral soil (which they had brought with them and spread under their hotel beds), without which they will begin to lose their powers. Desperate for a solution, Nandor sends Guillermo on a mission to Europe, where he obtains bags of soil from England, Greece, and Iran, to replenish each of the vampires' supply of ancestral soil. Meanwhile, the vampires remain stuck in Atlantic City and begin to weaken as their powers slowly fade; Laszlo and Nadja try to help Sean when he relapses into his gambling addiction and loses a large amount of money, while Colin teaches Nandor about the origins of the universe after Nandor plays a casino game based off of the TV series The Big Bang Theory , prompting Nandor to question what the title refers to, spiraling Nandor into an existential crisis when he learns his religious assumptions of the universe are incorrect. Eventually, Guillermo returns with the ancestral soil, and the vampires use it to restore their powers. The vampires and Guillermo then devise a plan to rig a boxing match so that they can win a large enough bet to earn back all of Sean's lost money (as well as a loan that Laszlo borrowed from Sean to pay for Guillermo's plane tickets), and are successful, although one of the two boxers is accidentally killed in the process. Sean thanks Laszlo for helping him, but then proceeds to gamble all of the newly-earned money away as well, before the group finally heads back home to New York.
255"The Chamber of Judgement"Kyle NewacheckWilliam MenySeptember 23, 2021 (2021-09-23)XWS030050.399 [37]
Nandor and Nadja are excited to preside over their first Vampiric Council Tribunal, while Laszlo and Colin are invited to a "boys' night" with Sean and his friends. Nandor and Nadja cannot agree over which of them should sit on the Council leader's throne, so Guillermo convinces them to let him sit on it in disguise. Unfortunately, one of the vampires that they are charged with judging is Derek, a member of the Mosquito Club of amateur vampire hunters who was turned into a vampire during the group's first hunt and has been unknowingly breaking vampire rules of secrecy ever since. Nandor and Nadja sentence Derek to death, but Guillermo is plagued with guilt since he left Derek behind on the night that he was turned into a vampire, and helps him to escape from the execution chamber. Meanwhile, Sean confesses to Laszlo that he's become involved in a pyramid scheme focused on selling a special brand of pillows, and that he is being taken to small claims court by the man who sold him a large number of pillows after failing to repay him. Laszlo offers to help, and he and Colin become Sean's representatives in court: however, they are unsuccessful and Sean loses his case, prompting a despondent Laszlo to get drunk by feeding on a group of drunken businessmen. Guillermo recruits a drunken Laszlo to help him save Derek, convincing Laszlo to act as Derek's defense attorney and promising that Laszlo will help Derek to work off his sentence. Nandor and Nadja reluctantly agree, and Derek is put to work using hypnosis to sell Sean's pillows so that Sean can pay off his debt.
266"The Escape" [38] Yana GorskayaJake Bender & Zach DunnSeptember 30, 2021 (2021-09-30)TBATBD
277"The Siren" [39] Yana GorskayaShana GohdOctober 7, 2021 (2021-10-07)TBATBD
288"The Wellness Center" [40] Yana Gorskaya Stefani Robinson October 14, 2021 (2021-10-14)TBATBD
299"A Farewell" [41] Tig FongSam Johnson & Stefani Robinson & Marika Sawyer & Paul SimmsOctober 21, 2021 (2021-10-21)TBATBD
3010"The Portrait" [42] TBATBAOctober 28, 2021 (2021-10-28)TBATBD

Production

Development

Promotional poster for the first season. What We Do in the Shadows (TV series).png
Promotional poster for the first season.

On January 22, 2018, it was announced that FX had given the production a pilot order. The pilot was written by Jemaine Clement and directed by Taika Waititi, both of whom are also executive producers alongside Scott Rudin, Paul Simms, Garrett Basch, and Eli Bush. [43] On May 3, 2018, it was announced that FX had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes, which premiered on March 27, 2019. [9] [8]

According to Clement: "We stay pretty basic '70s/'80s vampire rules, with a little bit of '30s. They can turn into bats. They can't go in the sunlight; they don't sparkle in the sun, they die. They have to be invited in; in a lot of literature vampires have to be invited into private buildings, but this is a documentary so it's the real rules which means they have to be invited into any building." [44] The main influences on the series are Fright Night , Martin , The Lost Boys , Nosferatu , Interview with the Vampire , Vampire's Kiss , and Bram Stoker's Dracula . [44]

The song used in the opening credits is "You're Dead" by Norma Tanega (1966).

The second season premiered on April 15, 2020. [3] [4] On May 22, 2020, FX renewed the series for a third season, which premiered on September 2, 2021. [5] On August 13, 2021, FX renewed the series for a fourth season, ahead of the third season premiere. [7] Upon the fourth season renewal, it was reported that Rudin would no longer be an executive producer beginning with the third season due to abuse allegations. [1]

Filming

Principal photography for the first season took place from October 22 to December 18, 2018, in Toronto, Ontario. [45] Filming for the third season is currently scheduled to begin on February 8, 2021, and finish on May 3, 2021. [46]

The writer/producer Paul Simms said that series does not use CGI effects: "There's no fully digital characters or anything like that. One of the movies we really talked about a lot when we were conceiving the show was Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula where he went back to really doing as many effects as possible in camera and figuring out ways to do that. One of my favorite supernatural moments is completely in camera. It's where Beanie Feldstein's character is walking along in the park and Nadja appears walking next to her. That was all just done completely the old fashioned way where Natasia was hiding behind a tree and the camera was tracking along and at the right moment, she walked out from behind a tree. I think there's something about that old fashioned way that makes things more interesting than when you can tell it's digital and rubbery and fake looking". [47]

Among the cinematographers D.J. Stipsen and Christian Sprenger's influences for the series was the work of Michael Ballhaus and production designer Thomas E. Sanders on the Coppola-directed Bram Stoker's Dracula: "We referenced that film for the general sumptuousness of the vampires' mansion, which was our main set. Our take, however, was that the Staten Island vampires have let their place go. The former glory is evident but now exists in a worn, faded and distressed state. Production designer Kate Bunch and I had a lot of conversations about striking the right balance between sumptuousness and neglect. There are strong reds, but also yellow that has faded to the point of being a warm brown." [48]

Release

Marketing

On October 31, 2018, a series of teaser trailers for the series were released. [49] On January 10, 2019, another teaser trailer was released. [50] On February 4, 2019, the official trailer for the series was released. [9]

Premiere

On October 7, 2018, the series held a panel at the annual New York Comic Con moderated by Rolling Stone 's Alan Sepinwall and featuring co-creators Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, along with fellow executive producer Paul Simms. Before the panel began, the first episode of the series was screened for the audience. [51] The world premiere for the series was screened during the 2019 South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas as a part of the festival's "Episodic Premieres" series. [52]

Reception

Critical response

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has an approval rating of 94%, based on 71 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Delightfully absurd and ridiculously fun, What We Do in the Shadows expands on the film's vampiric lore and finds fresh perspective in its charming, off-kilter cast to create a mockumentary series worth sinking your teeth into." [53] On Metacritic, it a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [54]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has an approval rating of 98%, based on 43 reviews, with an average rating of 8.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Bat! What We Do In the Shadows loses no steam in a smashing second season that savvily expands its supernatural horizons while doubling down on the fast flying fun." [55] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 79 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [56]

The third season received universal acclaim from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the third season has an approval rating of 100%, based on 16 reviews, with an average rating of 9.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Carried on the wings of its cast's incredible chemistry and the strongest writing of the series so far, What We Do in the Shadows' third season is scary good." [57] On Metacritic, the third season has an average score of 98 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". [58]

Ratings

Season 1

Viewership and ratings per episode of What We Do in the Shadows
No.TitleAir date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1"Pilot"March 27, 20190.20.617 [15] 0.40.9380.61.556 [59]
2"City Council"April 3, 20190.30.658 [16] 0.20.5990.51.257 [60] [lower-alpha 8]
3"Werewolf Feud"April 10, 20190.10.305 [17] 0.30.6370.40.943 [61]
4"Manhattan Night Club"April 17, 20190.20.439 [18] 0.30.6990.51.139 [62]
5"Animal Control"April 24, 20190.10.320 [19] 0.30.7000.41.021 [63]
6"Baron's Night Out"May 1, 20190.20.418 [20] 0.20.5630.40.982 [64]
7"The Trial"May 8, 20190.20.527 [21] 0.40.7090.61.237 [65]
8"Citizenship"May 15, 20190.20.522 [22] 0.30.6360.51.159 [66]
9"The Orgy"May 22, 20190.20.434 [23] 0.30.7270.51.162 [67]
10"Ancestry"May 29, 20190.20.427 [24] 0.30.6760.51.104 [68]

Season 2

Viewership and ratings per episode of What We Do in the Shadows
No.TitleAir date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1"Resurrection"April 15, 20200.20.537 [25] 0.20.5430.41.080 [69]
2"Ghosts"April 15, 20200.20.409 [25] 0.10.5060.30.915 [69]
3"Brain Scramblies"April 22, 20200.20.566 [26] 0.20.5200.41.086 [70]
4"The Curse"April 29, 20200.20.618 [27] 0.20.4460.41.064 [71]
5"Colin's Promotion"May 6, 20200.20.378 [28] 0.20.5450.40.923 [72]
6"On the Run"May 13, 20200.20.436 [29] 0.20.6010.41.037 [73]
7"The Return"May 20, 20200.20.377 [30] 0.20.6050.40.982 [74]
8"Collaboration"May 27, 20200.20.443 [31] 0.20.5620.41.005 [75]
9"Witches"June 3, 20200.20.433 [32] 0.10.4890.30.922 [76]
10"Nouveau Théâtre des Vampires"June 10, 20200.20.406 [33] 0.20.5570.40.963 [77]

Season 3

Viewership and ratings per episode of What We Do in the Shadows
No.TitleAir date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1"The Prisoner"September 2, 20210.20.498 [34] TBDTBDTBDTBD
2"The Cloak of Duplication"September 2, 20210.20.448 [34] TBDTBDTBDTBD
3"Gail"September 9, 20210.10.311 [35] TBDTBDTBDTBD
4"The Casino"September 16, 20210.10.462 [36] TBDTBDTBDTBD
5"The Chamber of Judgement"September 23, 20210.10.399 [37] TBDTBDTBDTBD

Accolades

YearAssociationCategoryNominee(s)ResultRef.
2019 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour) DJ Stipsen (for "Manhattan Night Club")Nominated [78]
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) David Barbee, Angelina Faulkner, Steve Griffen, Sam Lewis, John Guentner and Ginger Geary (for "Werewolf Feud")Nominated [78]
Saturn Awards Best Horror Television Series What We Do in the ShadowsNominated [79]
TCA Awards Outstanding New Program Nominated [80]
2020 Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Awards Best Cable Network Series (New or Recurring)What We Do in the ShadowsWon [81]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Paul Simms, Scott Rudin, Garrett Basch, Eli Bush, Stefani Robinson, Sam Johnson and Derek S. RappaportNominated [82]
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil (for "Collaboration")Nominated
Stefani Robinson (for "On the Run")Nominated
Paul Simms (for "Ghosts")Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series Gayle Keller, Jenny Lewis and Sara KayNominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series Yana Gorskaya and Dane McMaster (for "Resurrection")Nominated
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour) Kate Bunch, Aleks Cameron and Shayne Fox (for "Resurrection", "Collaboration", "Witches")Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation Steffan Falesitch, David Barbee, Angelina Faulkner, Steve Griffen, Sam C. Lewis, John Guentner and Ellen Heuer (for "The Return")Nominated
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Comedy What We Do in the ShadowsNominated [83]
Writers Guild of America Awards New Series Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Jemaine Clement, Josh Lieb, Iain Morris, Stefani Robinson, Duncan Sarkies, Marika Sawyer, Tom Scharpling, Paul Simms and Taika WaititiNominated [84]
2021 AACTA International Awards Best Comedy SeriesWhat We Do in the ShadowsNominated [85]
American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Comedy Series for Commercial Television Dane McMaster and Varun Viswanath (for "On the Run")Nominated [86]
Yana Gorskaya and Dane McMaster (for "Resurrection")Nominated
Art Directors Guild Awards Excellence in Production Design for a Half Hour Single-Camera Television Series Kate Bunch (for "Resurrection", "Collaboration" and "Witches")Won [87]
Casting Society of America Television Series – ComedyGayle Keller, Jenny Lewis, Sara Kay and Emer O'CallaghanWon [88]
Costume Designers Guild Awards Excellence in Sci-Fi/Fantasy Television Amanda Neale (for "Nouveau Théâtre des Vampires")Nominated [89]
Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Science Fiction/Fantasy SeriesWhat We Do in the ShadowsNominated [90]
Best Actor in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Series Kayvan Novak Nominated
Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Series Natasia Demetriou Won
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Comedy Series What We Do in the ShadowsNominated [91]
Best Actor in a Comedy Series Matt Berry Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Series Natasia DemetriouNominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Harvey Guillén Nominated
Mark Proksch Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Comedy Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Paul Simms, Scott Rudin, Garrett Basch, Eli Bush, Stefani Robinson, Sam Johnson, Marika Sawyer and Derek S. RappaportNominated [92]
Satellite Awards Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy What We Do in the ShadowsNominated [93]
Writers Guild of America Awards Comedy Series Jake Bender, Jemaine Clement, Zach Dunn, Joe Furey, Shana Gohd, Sam Johnson, Chris Marcil, William Meny, Sarah Naftalis, Stefani Robinson, Marika Sawyer and Paul SimmsNominated [94]

Notes

  1. Paul Reubens played a local vampire king's acolyte in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992).
  2. Tilda Swinton played a vampire lover in Only Lovers Left Alive (2013).
  3. Wesley Snipes played half-vampire daywalker Eric Brooks/Blade who hunted vampires in the Blade franchise (1998, 2002, 2004).
  4. Danny Trejo played a vampire bartender in From Dusk till Dawn (1996).
  5. Indeed every known member of the Vampiric Council has played an on-screen vampire before. Mentioned only: Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga (2008–2012), Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys (1987), Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt as Lestat de Lioncourt and Louis de Pointe du Lac in Interview with the Vampire (1994). It is reported that Waititi denied Cate Blanchett council membership due to insufficient on-screen vampiric experience. [10]
  6. Bobby Wilson played an actor auditioning for a "sexy Indian" role in Twilight in the 1491s satire, New Moon Wolf Pack Audition (2009). [11]
  7. Evan Rachel Wood played Sophie-Anne Leclerq, the Vampire Queen of Louisiana, in True Blood Seasons 2–4 (2009–2011).
  8. Live +7 ratings were not available, so Live +3 ratings have been used instead.

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