TV Review – “What We Do in the Shadows” on FX

FX is known for a good raunchy comedy with some strong language. Their latest addition certainly fits that mold. What We Do in the Shadows is a spinoff of sorts of the 2014 horror comedy starring Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi as vampires trying to live an average life in today’s world.

Both Clement and Waititi have returned for this new series, Clement as a writer and Waititi as a director. Both are also producing. Admittedly, I’ve never seen the original film, but the new series seems more than capable of standing on its own as a hilarious new dark comedy in FX’s lineup.

To best describe What We Do in the Shadows, think Flight of the Conchords meets The Office. It has a lot of that dry, awkward comedy that you’re used to seeing from Clement while also featuring plenty of confessional interviews and nods to the camera.

Fair warning, as I said earlier, this series does include some strong language. So maybe think The Office with a handful of F-bombs spread throughout. I will say they’re used well and really hammer home the hilarious thought of vampires living modern day lives.

Clement and Waititi are only behind the camera for the new series, but that leaves a new cast of vampires an opportunity to shine. And they do just that, glitter and all.

Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou and Matt Berry star as Nandor, Nadja and Laszlo respectively, three vampires living under one roof trying to adjust to modern times. Harvey Guillen plays Guillermo, Nandor’s “familiar,” essentially an awkward servant with aspirations of becoming a vampire. Mark Proksch plays Colin Robinson, the fourth vampire in the house. The reason I mention him separately is he is a very different kind of vampire. He’s an energy vampire, draining humans of their energy by boring them. Everyone knows a Colin Robinson.

The cast is fantastic. In just one episode, they’ve established a chemistry that some comedies never reach. Novak and Berry in particular play off of each other perfectly. I’m excited to see how this cast grows in future episodes.

Aside from the film its based off of, What We Do in the Shadows has a unique story to tell, and a hilarious one at that. Seeing these ancient beings dealing with what would normally be mundane, everyday problems – like handling a rude stranger in a park or shopping for a party – is hysterical because of the way they attempt to adjust to their surroundings.

The confessional interviews are great because they allow the characters to explain a bit of their vampiric history before jumping back into their present day hijinx. The first episode even goes as far as to acknowledge the documentary camera crew filming the events of the series. So throw some fourth wall breaks into that dry, awkward comedy.

Overall I think What We Do in the Shadows is certainly worth watching. I’m very interested to see if this incredibly talented cast and crew will put it all together for a full season. So far, it’s very funny.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."