Imagine: You’re trapped in a house, only able to leave during certain hours. When you do go outside, it’s only for food or other essentials. When you’re out in the world mingling with others, you must exercise the utmost caution.
FX’s outstanding horror comedy What We Do in the Shadows got a whole lot more relatable in the month leading up to tonight’s second season premiere. A spin-off of the mockumentary film directed by Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and recent Oscar-winner Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit), the show focuses on the night-to-night lives of a quartet of vampires — Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak), married couple Laszlo Cravensworth (Matt Berry) and Nadja (Nastasia Demetriou), and “Energy Vampire” Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) — living in Staten Island, New York.
The second season picks up where the first left off: With Nandor’s put-upon human familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) struggling with the revelation that he's a decendant of Van Helsing. Meanwhile, Laszlo and Nadja are going through their own familiars like tissues in a pandemic (sorry), while Collin Robinson tries out “humor” as a new tool to drain others of their energy.
The show is at its funniest when their dark rituals are contrasted with (or closely mirror) the mundane routines of modern life. As such, it’s difficult to get into the plot specifics without spoiling some of the fun, but suffice it to say those who enjoyed the first season — particularly its clever riffs on supernatural ghouls like werewolves and city council members — will find plenty to enjoy in season two.
As with the first season, the high concept of the show puts a lot of pressure on the performers, all of whom kill. Matt Berry has been excellent at capturing distinctly English pompousness in shows like Toast of London and his aristocratic yet epicurean Laszlo is a great riff on the fancier side of vampire mythology. Kayvan Novak’s Nandor projects unearned self-confidence in a world he clearly doesn’t understand. And if you’re a fan of cringe comedy, Mark Proksch’s Colin Robinson will have you wheezing with laughter when you’re not wincing with horror.
With a great cast, a killer concept, and top-notch execution, What We Do in the Shadows is just as strong in its second season as it was in its first. And thanks to the sudden change in events out here in the real world, Guillermo isn’t the only thing familiar about the show.
Season 2 of What We Do in the Shadows premieres April 15 at 10pm ET with back-to-back episodes on FX.