"What We Do in the Shadows" Is Enjoyable for Humans, Too!
"What We Do in the Shadows" offers a hilarious look into four vampires' everyday lives. Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi bring us this expansion on their 2014 movie of the same name, and this critic could not be more thrilled with the product.
Each character is, pun-intended, well fleshed out and dynamic. Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) is the only female vampire in the group. She and her husband Laszlo (Matt Berry) are an excellent comedic pairing, sometimes even in how resigned they are towards one another’s silliness. Nadja also makes a meaningful connection with a human character named Jenna (Beanie Feldstein), but things go another route that is far more enjoyable to watch unfold.
The show touches on numerous items of relevant topics, such as feminism, citizenship, gun control and more. In the eighth episode, when vampire Nandor (Kayvan Novak) is told his home country had disintegrated centuries ago, he decides to apply for a United States of America citizenship. *Spoiler alert* Nandor is unable to complete the process because, to name one of numerous reasons, he cannot say "God," as a vampire without life-threatening repercussions. Nandor is upset, because he'd wanted to buy a gun, he tells Guillermo (Harvey Guillen). Guillermo replies that he doesn't have to be an American citizen to buy a gun, they give those to anyone.
Nadja is a strong, independent female who does not depend on the male vampires in her life. She sees a college student, Jenna (Beanie Feldstein), and *spoiler alert* decides to turn her into a vampire so that no one will push her around anymore. Nadja and Jenna have a story arc together that shows a fiercely funny bond that I thoroughly enjoyed. Nadja's character is a feminist one, as is the story she and Jenna share. Their conversations are not about men, beauty, or other topics women are downsized to having on television, but rather, they focus on the subject of Jenna's transformation into a vampire as self-sufficient as her mentor, Nadja. One of the greatest strengths of "What We Do in the Shadows" comes in its ability to bring humor out of mundane moments. Humor comes from the fact there are vampires experiencing these mundane occurrences, and of course, every actor in the show has amazing comic timing.
For instance, one of the four vampires, named Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), is not your stereotypical vampire. He is an energy vampire who feeds off of the energy he drains from victims. He can even obtain energy from the other vampires, and can go into sunlight without a hitch. And because he feeds off of people’s energies, what better place is there for him to work than an office space? Funnily enough, actor Mark Proksch also played a small role, warehouse worker Nate, in "The Office".
I highly recommend "What We Do in the Shadows". The show is a great spooky pick, especially as summer winds down into fall. If you enjoy comedy, horror, or simply having a laugh, you can binge this ten episode show on Hulu now. Season two will premiere in 2020 on Comedy Central.