‘What We Do In The Shadows,’ Hanging Out Again

Season 4 hearkens back to the show’s original premise

When we last left the cast of ‘What We Do In The Shadows,’ one of our protagonists was dead, and the rest had dispersed to the four corners of the Earth to seek their ridiculous destinies.

In the premiere episodes of the fourth season of the FX comedy vampire soap opera, our heroes all return to their now-decaying Staten Island home, not one whit wiser about the ways of the world, and the dead protagonist has returned as a hilariously naughty toddler. As WWDITS advanced past its first season, the plots, while never anything less than hilarious, got more complicated and convoluted. It looks like the fourth season will revolve around them setting up a groovy “vampire disco,” complete with a sprinkler system that sprays blood. Compared with last season’s premise, which involved the brainwashing of Nandor to believe he was a human, and all kinds of vampiric political shenanigans, this season appears to be a return to the show’s original purpose: To be a hangout comedy.

What We Do In The Shadows
It’s a disco party in ‘What We Do In The Shadows,’ Season 4.

This is all for the better, because more or less since its pilot episode, What We Do In The Shadows has been the most consistently funny show on TV. Not only does it take aim at melodramatic horror tropes, it also has some of the most original characters in TV history, and knows exactly what situations they require. Nandor is a former monarch of some sort of ancient Silk Road kingdom. He longs for true love and a deeper purpose. Laszlo, played by the incomparable Matt Berry, is a completely louché aristocrat, full of elevated diction, pretentiousness, and the biggest hard-on of any creature, living or undead. Lazlo’s wife, Nadja, is an abrasive Greek peasant with an obsession for her endlessly-reincarnated love, Gregor, and she seems on some sort of predestined path to become the absurd Queen of the Vampires..

And then there are the two non-vampire characters. Guillermo is Nandor’s familiar, a sweet, chubby gay man who longs to become a vampire. But also, in the show’s greatest twist, he’s the world’s most skilled vampire killer, with the blood of the Van Helsings coursing through his veins. And then you have Colin Robinson, an “energy vampire,” with a unique set of powers, skills, and abilities to bore people nearly to death.

The entire cast is note-perfect. Nearly every episode is endlessly hilarious. From the “witch’s hat” to the Vampiric Council, the show endlessly serves up lore for its fans. And it doesn’t skimp on the blood, either. Because as wacky as these characters are, they’re still monsters who need to violently murder people to live. It’s a simple premise, which the show seems happy to revisit now.

And this season, they’re opening a disco that any fan of the show would want to visit. But unlike other great TV hangout comedies, that sounds like more fun than it would actually be in real life. Because any human who ends up dropping by What We Do In The Shadows usually ends up as meat. I’m always glad to have What We Do In The Shadows back, but I’m happy to view these characters from a distance. Staten Island isn’t far enough away. The world is too small to contain their disaster.

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Neal Pollack

Book and Film Globe Editor in Chief Neal Pollack is the author of 12 semi-bestselling books of fiction and nonfiction, including the memoirs Alternadad and Stretch, the novels Repeat and Downward-Facing Death, and the cult classic The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature. A Rotten Tomatoes certified reviewer for both film and television, Neal has written articles and humor for every English-language publication except The New Yorker. Neal lives in Austin, Texas, and is a three-time Jeopardy! champion.

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