What We Do in the Shadows (TV series)

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What We Do in the Shadows
What We Do in the Shadows Title Card.jpg
Genre
Created byJemaine Clement
Based on
Starring
Opening theme"You're Dead" by Norma Tanega
Composer(s)Mark Mothersbaugh
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
Production location(s)Toronto, Ontario
CinematographyDJ Stipsen
Editor(s)
Running time22–30 minutes
Production company(s)
  • FXP
  • Two Canoes Pictures
  • 343 Incorporated
Distributor
Release
Original networkFX
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. It was renewed for a second season while the first season was still in progress.[1] The 10-episode second season debuted on April 15, 2020,[2][3] and in May 2020 the series was renewed for a third season.[4]

Premise[edit]

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.[5]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Kayvan Novak as Nandor the Relentless, once the bloodthirsty leader of the fictional kingdom of Al-Quolandar in Southern Iran. As the oldest vampire, he is the self-proclaimed leader of the group, and as such frequently calls house meetings for frivolous discussions. Although he genuinely cares for his human familiar Guillermo, he has difficulty expressing it.
  • Matt Berry as Laszlo Cravensworth, an English nobleman vampire who was turned by Nadja and is now married to her. He is often preoccupied with thoughts of sex and is a former porn actor. He also enjoys making topiary sculptures of vulvas in the yard, including those of his wife and mother.
  • Natasia Demetriou as Nadja, a Greek vampire who turned Laszlo into a vampire and later married him. She is frequently frustrated with her male housemates and nostalgic about her human life. She has entertained an affair with a reincarnated knight named Gregor for hundreds of years, only for him to be decapitated in every reincarnation.
  • Harvey Guillén as Guillermo De la Cruz, Nandor's long-suffering Latino familiar. Despite his frustration with his unreasonable workload and Nandor's disregard for his mortality, he has served his master for 11 years in the hope of being made a vampire, a dream inspired by Armand in the 1994 film Interview with the Vampire. Late in season one, Guillermo discovers that he is a descendant of the famous vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, and he proves to be very skilled at killing vampires, giving him conflicting feelings about his desire to become a vampire.
  • Mark Proksch as Colin Robinson, an energy vampire who lives in the basement. He lives by draining humans and vampires of their energy by being boring or frustrating. As a "day walker" who is not harmed by sunlight, he is able to work in a cubicle office and feed on his coworkers' frustrations. Unlike the others, he shows no outward sign of vampirism except that his irises glow when he feeds on energy, and his reflection shows a pale version of himself. The others are continually annoyed by him and often try to avoid associating with him.[6]

Recurring[edit]

  • Doug Jones as Baron Afanas, an ancient vampire from the Old Country who believes vampires should rule the world. Both Nadja and Laszlo had secret affairs with the Baron despite his lack of genitals. Later is disclosed that he is not actually a Baron, but simply "barren" because he was unable to have children. He is accidentally killed by Guillermo when the familiar opened the front door and the Baron was incinerated by the light of the rising sun. (season 1)
  • Beanie Feldstein as Jenna, a LARPer and virgin who Guillermo lured for the vampires to feast on. She was later transformed by Nadja into a vampire when she witnessed Jenna being treated poorly by her peers. During her vampire training with Nadja, she discovers she has the rare ability to turn invisible, which fits the tendency of people to ignore her. (season 1)
  • Jake McDorman as Jeff Suckler, a reincarnation of Nadja's former human lover, Gregor, a knight who has been killed by decapitation in each of his lives. Nadja eventually restores Jeff's memories of his previous lives so that he can be more like his former self, leading to him falling into insanity and being committed to a mental institution. It is later revealed to Nadja and Gregor that Laszlo had been causing each of his deaths through history, which he does again. (season 1; guest season 2)
  • Anthony Atamanuik as Sean, the human next-door neighbor. He sometimes witnesses Laszlo doing something vampiric, but is easily hypnotized into forgetting everything. The vampires spare him because he brings their trash cans in when they forget. (season 1; guest season 2)
  • Veronika Slowikowska as Shanice, Jenna's college roommate who witnesses her transformation into a vampire, and later joins the Mosquito Collectors of the Tri-State Area, a secret team of amateur vampire hunters.

Guests[edit]

  • Nick Kroll as Simon the Devious, a vampire who rules over the Manhattan vampires and owns the Sassy Cat nightclub. He was a close friend to the Staten Island trio when all the vampires first arrived in America. He is obsessed with Laszlo's cursed hat made out of witch skin. (season 1–present)
  • 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. (season 1)
  • 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. (season 1)
  • 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". (season 1)
  • 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. (season 1)
  • 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.(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). (season 1)
  • 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. (season 1)
  • Kristen Schaal as The Guide (also known as the "Floating Woman"), an envoy of the Vampiric Council who likes to float and sometimes speak in a demonic voice. (season 1)
  • 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. (season 1)
  • 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.[a]
  • Tilda Swinton as Tilda, the leader of the Vampiric Council.[b] (season 1)
  • Evan Rachel Wood as Evan the Immortal Princess of the Undead, a member of the Council who just goes by her first name.[c] (season 1)
  • Danny Trejo as Danny, a Hispanic tattooed member of the Council. He has an open dislike towards Wesley.[d] (season 1)
  • Paul Reubens as Paul, a member of the Council.[e] (season 1)
  • 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.[f] (season 1)
  • Craig Robinson as Claude, the leader of the Mosquito Collectors of the Tri-State Area, a secret team of amateur vampire hunters. (season 2)[8]
  • Mark Hamill as Jim the Vampire, who claims that Laszlo owes him rent money from the 1800s and demands retribution. (season 2)[9]
  • Haley Joel Osment as Topher, Nadja and Lazlo's new familiar who is accidentally killed and revived as a zombie.(season 2)
  • Benedict Wong as Wallace, a necromancer and tchotchke salesman (season 2)
  • Greta Lee as Celeste, a familiar who pretends to be a vampire (season 2)
  • Lucy Punch as Lilith, a witch and rival of Nadja (season 2)
  • James Frain as the voice of Black Peter, a goat and witch's familiar (season 2)

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
110March 27, 2019 (2019-03-27)May 22, 2019 (2019-05-22)
210April 15, 2020 (2020-04-15)June 10, 2020 (2020-06-10)

Season 1 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Pilot"Taika WaititiJemaine ClementMarch 27, 2019 (2019-03-27)XWS010010.617[10]
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 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 Staten Island.
22"City Council"Jemaine ClementPaul SimmsApril 3, 2019 (2019-04-03)XWS010020.658[11]
The vampires start their plan to take over Staten Island by attending the 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 ClementJosh LiebApril 10, 2019 (2019-04-10)XWS010040.305[12]
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. They eventually decide to team up and have a brief relationship, before breaking up.
44"Manhattan Night Club"Jemaine ClementTom ScharplingApril 17, 2019 (2019-04-17)XWS010030.439[13]
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. Once he has the hat, Simon kicks them out. 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 BeekDuncan SarkiesApril 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)XWS010080.320[14]
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 BeekIain MorrisMay 1, 2019 (2019-05-01)XWS010050.418[15]
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. 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[16]
The three vampires must face the vampiric council for the death of Baron. 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 WolinerStefani RobinsonMay 15, 2019 (2019-05-15)XWS010070.522[17]
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.
99"The Orgy"Jason WolinerMarika SawyerMay 22, 2019 (2019-05-22)XWS010090.434[18]
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[19]
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)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
111"Resurrection"Kyle NewacheckMarika SawyerApril 15, 2020 (2020-04-15)XWS020010.537[20]
Laszlo and Nadja are elated with their latest familiar, Topher (Haley Joel Osment), who appears to be the 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 vampires who invade the house. 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 along side other zombies making miniature license plate key chains.
122"Ghosts"Kyle NewacheckPaul SimmsApril 15, 2020 (2020-04-15)XWS020030.409[20]
The vampires deduce that a ghost has invaded their home and Nadja performs a seance to summon the ghost. Nadja discovers the ghost is the spirit of her former lover Jeff/Gregor, who has unfinished business. The vampires, since they are dead themselves, wonder if they have their own ghosts with unfinished business, so they perform a second seance. Their spirit doppelgangers appear and each of them try to help them finish whatever unfinished business they have. Nadja's ghost ends up inhabiting a doll, 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[21]
The vampires are invited to their neighbor Sean's Super Bowl party, though they mishear it as a "Superb Owl" party. Sean mentions to Nandor and Laszlo that he only sees them at night and jokes that they are 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 memory. 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 club meeting. However, he learns that it is just a cover for a group of vampire hunters. One of the members is Shanice, Jenna's college roommate who is aware of her being a vampire.
144"The Curse"Liza JohnsonSarah NaftalisApril 29, 2020 (2020-04-29)XWS020040.618[22]
The vampires panic after receiving a chain email 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 against his nest. Initially delighted to find out it is a different house, it turns out that it is still full of vampires. Guillermo manages to kill many of them, but with the loss of one of his team. Colin takes the opportunity to use the chain email to feed himself while calming the other vampires.
155"Colin's Promotion"Jemaine ClementShana GohdMay 6, 2020 (2020-05-06)XWS020050.378[23]
Colin is promoted at work. He forces subordinates to listen to him, which multiplies his power and forms a feedback loop allowing him to drain people and plants instantly and even fly. After draining his housemates to the point that the vampires age, he splits into three copies of himself, who drain each other, leaving one survivor. The survivor, having destroyed his company, moves to a new one. Nadja also discovers that Nandor pillaged the village she grew up in before she was born. Colin expresses grief that his need for both energy and companionship are incompatible.
166"On the Run"Yana GorskayaStefani RobinsonMay 13, 2020 (2020-05-13)XWS020070.436[24]
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 the vampire a month's rent in California 167 years ago. Laszlo flees Jim the Vampire and sets up shop in a small town in Pennsylvania, killing the bar owner and assuming control of it. In his new human persona, Laszlo goes by the name of Jackie Daytona, and is greatly admired by the town not only for his partying skills but for acting as a great supporter of the girls volleyball team. While Laszlo has a great time with his new job of bar tending and frequenting girls volleyball games, his vampire roommates have trouble coping with his disappearance. Jim the Vampire also continues to search for Laszlo.
177"The Return"Jemaine ClementJemaine ClementMay 20, 2020 (2020-05-20)XWS020060.377[25]
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 the 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 as he stays over at their house. Carol, one of Simon's crew members, accuses Guillermo of being a slayer after which he kills her in an act of self-defense. Nandor finds out about it and become wary of Guillermo. Meanwhile, Colin Robinson uses social media to troll people online to feed on their energy. However, someone gets all of his profiles 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 GorskayaSam Johnson & Chris MarcilMay 27, 2020 (2020-05-27)XWS020080.443[26]
Lazlo hears the song "Come On Eileen" while attacking a jogger, and believes he is the song's original writer. Looking back through his old songs reminds him and Nadja about when they used to sing as a duo. Colin Robinson hears them and offers to set them up with a concert, 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. The new situation is nice, but ends when the actual vampire returns 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 the audience already knows.
199"Witches"Kyle NewacheckWilliam MenyJune 3, 2020 (2020-06-03)XWS020090.433[27]
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. Guillermo is captured and imprisoned with Nadja and Colin. 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 room 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[28]
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. Guillermo comes to the rescue and slaughters countless vampires, saving his group, but in the process shows his true colors as a vampire hunter.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

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.[29] 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.[6][5]

According to Jemaine 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."[30] 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.[30]

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

The second season premiered on April 15, 2020.[2][3] On May 22, 2020, FX renewed the series for a third season.[4]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography for the first season took place from October 22 to December 18, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario.[31] Filming for the third season is currently scheduled to begin on February 8, 2021 and wrap up on May 3, 2021.[32]

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 Bram Stoker'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".[33]

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."[34]

Release[edit]

Marketing[edit]

On October 31, 2018, a series of teaser trailers for the series were released.[35] On January 10, 2019, another teaser trailer was released.[36] On February 4, 2019, the official trailer for the series was released.[6]

Premiere[edit]

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.[37] 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.[38]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has an approval rating of 94%, based on 70 reviews, with an average rating of 7.84/10. 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."[39] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[40]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has an approval rating of 100%, based on 30 reviews, with an average rating of 8.45/10. 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."[41] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 78 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[42]

Ratings[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Viewership and ratings per episode of What We Do in the Shadows
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Pilot" March 27, 2019 0.2 0.617[10] 0.4 0.938 0.6 1.556[43]
2 "City Council" April 3, 2019 0.3 0.658[11] 0.2 0.599 0.5 1.257[44][g]
3 "Werewolf Feud" April 10, 2019 0.1 0.305[12] 0.3 0.637 0.4 0.943[45]
4 "Manhattan Night Club" April 17, 2019 0.2 0.439[13] 0.3 0.699 0.5 1.139[46]
5 "Animal Control" April 24, 2019 0.1 0.320[14] 0.3 0.700 0.4 1.021[47]
6 "Baron's Night Out" May 1, 2019 0.2 0.418[15] 0.2 0.563 0.4 0.982[48]
7 "The Trial" May 8, 2019 0.2 0.527[16] 0.4 0.709 0.6 1.237[49]
8 "Citizenship" May 15, 2019 0.2 0.522[17] 0.3 0.636 0.5 1.159[50]
9 "The Orgy" May 22, 2019 0.2 0.434[18] 0.3 0.727 0.5 1.162[51]
10 "Ancestry" May 29, 2019 0.2 0.427[19] 0.3 0.676 0.5 1.104[52]

Season 2[edit]

Viewership and ratings per episode of What We Do in the Shadows
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Resurrection" April 15, 2020 0.2 0.537[20] 0.2 0.543 0.4 1.080[53]
2 "Ghosts" April 15, 2020 0.2 0.409[20] 0.1 0.506 0.3 0.915[53]
3 "Brain Scramblies" April 22, 2020 0.2 0.566[21] 0.2 0.520 0.4 1.086[54]
4 "The Curse" April 29, 2020 0.2 0.618[22] 0.2 0.446 0.4 1.064[55]
5 "Colin's Promotion" May 6, 2020 0.2 0.378[23] 0.2 0.545 0.4 0.923[56]
6 "On the Run" May 13, 2020 0.2 0.436[24] 0.2 0.601 0.4 1.037[57]
7 "The Return" May 20, 2020 0.2 0.377[25] 0.2 0.605 0.4 0.982[58]
8 "Collaboration" May 27, 2020 0.2 0.443[26] 0.2 0.562 0.4 1.005[59]
9 "Witches" June 3, 2020 0.2 0.433[27] 0.1 0.489 0.3 0.922[60]
10 "Nouveau Théâtre des Vampires" June 10, 2020 0.2 0.406[28] 0.2 0.557 0.4 0.963[61]

Accolades[edit]

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2019 TCA Awards Outstanding New Program What We Do in the Shadows Nominated [62]
Saturn Awards Best Horror Television Series Nominated [63]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour) DJ Stipsen (for "Manhattan Night Club") Nominated [64]
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 [64]
2020 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 Waititi Nominated [65]
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Comedy What We Do in the Shadows Nominated [66]
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. Rappaport Nominated [67]
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 Kay Nominated
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

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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.[7]
  2. ^ Tilda Swinton played a vampire lover in Only Lovers Left Alive (2013).
  3. ^ Evan Rachel Wood played Sophie-Anne Leclerq, the Vampire Queen of Louisiana, in True Blood Seasons 2–4 (2009–2011).
  4. ^ Danny Trejo played a vampire bartender in From Dusk till Dawn (1996).
  5. ^ Paul Reubens played a local vampire king's acolyte in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992).
  6. ^ Wesley Snipes played half-vampire daywalker Eric Brooks/Blade who hunted vampires in the Blade franchise (1998, 2002, 2004).
  7. ^ Live +7 ratings were not available, so Live +3 ratings have been used instead.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]