A television spin-off of the great What We Do in the Shadows is arriving on FX on March 27. Good news! It looks to have much of the cheeky Kiwi charm and humor of the movie!
What We do in the Shadows is one of my all-time favorite horror movies, and when I heard they were doing a television adaptation of this my reaction wasn’t glee, but dread. How could they possibly match the wry sass and humor of the movie? The movie spent six years in development and cobbled together untold hours of ad-libbed madness, and would seem to be a Herculean task to recreate, for sure.
But rejoice! Taika Waititi (Thor Ragnarok) is directing the pilot, and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) wrote it. So, the creators of the passion project have a strong hand in the vision and direction of the series, ensuring continuity of tone and style. YESSS! Instead of Vladislav, Viago, Peytr, and Deacon, the television show turns its attention to a different group of vampire roommates, this time in Staten Island rather than Wellington. Vampire communes are a thing, the world over, I guess.
In the television show, we will be following the nominal house leader, Nandor (Kayvan Novak) an imposing Ottoman warrior, prone to parade around in his armor and a massive cape, and horribly equipped for modern culture. The temptress Nadja (Natasha Demetriou) and foppish British vampire Laszlo (Matt Berry) are a bonded vampire pair, who form the ultimate old bickering couple. The three of them bicker and fuss over everything from the small household tasks to how to conquer the world. These aren’t the smartest vampires around, and how they survived this long is a bit of a marvel.
With them in the dilapidated mansion are Nandor’s dutiful minion Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) who is wonderful in these trailers, and the energy-sucking daywalker, Colin (Mark Proksh) who is everybody’s nightmare of an office colleague. Also featured is Nadja’s LARP’ing friend Jenna (Beanie Feldstein), who has been transformed, but hasn’t figured it out just yet.
Much of the old magic and dynamics from the feature are on display here. The show continues the tweaking of familiar vampire cliches while reveling in the banality and mundanity of the lonely life of a New Zealand vampire. Hats off to the set designers and costumers who have recaptured the decaying luxury of vampire life, and the over the top ridiculous Gothic vampire wear. If the show can maintain the tropey whimsy shown in the trailers, this could be a real treat and a binge-worthy hit for FX.
Set your DVR’s for Wednesday!