Pilot – | Review Score – 4.5/5
City Council – | Review Score – 4/5
Werewolf Feud – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Manhattan Night Club – | Review Score – 4/5
Animal Control – | Review Score – 4/5
Baron’s Night Out – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Trial – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Citizenship – | Review Score – 4/5
The Orgy – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Ancestry – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Following in the footsteps of the cult movie of the same name, What We Do in the Shadows is a funny, well written mockumentary, one that constantly reinvents itself across the span of 10 hilarious episodes. With a central group of charismatic characters and a loose over-arching plot tying everything together, Shadows does well to keep things interesting, ending on a suitably intriguing note ready for its inevitable second season.
At the core of this vampire drama is human Familiar, Guillermo. Desperate to be turned into a vampire, he serves the enigmatic Nandor whose accompanied in the afterlife by fellow housemates, and vampires, Laszlo and Nadja. Rounding out the household is emotional vampire Colin Robinson, who feeds on the energy of others through boring them with mundane topics. With the characters established, the rest of the episodes explore each of the characters in turn, with Guillermo’s internal conflict around being a vampire and Nadja’s unrelenting lust for Gregor playing central to most of the drama here.
As the episodes progress, an overarching plot involving The Baron becomes core to the drama early on, with an ensuing trip to the Vampire Council proving to be one of the big highlights of the season. With the comedy flowing throughout the show, it’s hard to pick out one or two stand out moments but this is certainly one of them, along with Colin’s opening episodes introducing us to his life.
There’s a few well worked, fourth wall breaks here too which really helps keep the mockumentary tone consistent. From The Baron launching himself at the camera crew to the subtle glances from the vampires themselves, this constant reminder of the audience and those watching is ultimately what makes this such an entertaining show.
Much like The Office, American Vandal and others in this genre, What We Do in the Shadows sticks to the usual conventional tropes you’d expect and subverts them in unexpected and humorous ways. From a showdown with werewolves and references to Twilight, through to the celebrity-filled Vampire Council, Shadows is a cleverly written comedy and the scripts are tightly written throughout its 10 episodes.
With a second season already green-lit, this certainly isn’t the last we’ll see from our vampire brethren. The ongoing saga with Guillermo certainly leaves room for a deeper exploration of his ancestry too and hopefully we see more of this next season. With well written comedy and a combination of stand-alone episodes and an overarching plot, What We Do In The Shadows is one of the biggest surprises of the year and certainly one of the better comedies out there. It’s not perfect, and a few of the episodes do fall a little flat, but for the most part Shadows is a thoroughly entertaining watch and one of the easiest shows to recommend this year.
Verdict - 8.5/10