When I found out Taika Watiti and Jermaine Clement had decided to make a TV series version of the unexpected 2014 smash hit film, What We Do in the Shadows I was dubious. Although everything Watiti touches seems to turn to gold, turning movies into TV shows is very hit and miss, especially when you change the setting, characters and actors.
It turns out I had nothing to worry about. Waititi’s reimagined fly on the wall vampire mockumentary is just as funny as a series as it was as a film.
In this iteration the vampire clan in question is based in Staten Island. Nandor (Kyvan Novak) is a bit of a dandy who spends most of his time bossing around his put upon familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillén). Guillermo dreams of becoming a vampire but the chances of Nandor actually turning him are slim to none. Married couple Laszlo (Matt Berry) and Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) are more Married With Children than Twilight and the new addition of energy vampire, Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) is genius. Colin is that guy who sucks the joy out of every social situation. He is such a familiar character and every one of us can think of a Colin we know in real life.
The situations the group find themselves in are a perfect juxtaposition of mundane and outlandish, which is what makes them so funny. The episode where they attempt to plan an orgy had Mr O and I rolling on the floor. It is second only to the one where they take the ancient Baron (Doug Jones) on a night out and get wrecked on drug blood.
The actors throw themselves wholeheartedly into their roles, which makes them totally believable. They get caught up in random day to day issues but are still totally weird and vampiric. Demetriou in particular is outstanding. She is in equal parts sexy and revolting and her weird obsession with her reincarnated lover, Gregor (Jake McDorman) and Laszlo’s jealousy are especially funny.
Look out for the trial episode where famous vampires from film and TV appear, played by the super famous actors that originally played them on screen.
There is blood, gore and a lot of bad language and sexual references so it won’t be for everyone but I already can’t wait for the next season.