I get a lot of joy from “What We Do in the Shadows,” the gothic-horror comedy about vampire roommates on Staten Island, and I’m keeping it on my to-watch list. I loved the first season, so, as always, I worried that the second season, currently airing on FX, might be a letdown. How much more can they get out of the premise, which was also the basis of a movie of the same title on which the show is based? My concerns were for nothing, though, because it is still as funny and twisted as ever. It’s like “The Munsters” of our time, but more subversive for a cable audience.
This is a show whose cast is perfection from top to bottom. As the three blood suckers, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, and Kayvan Novak are kookily brilliant – especially Demetriou, whose Nadja makes me laugh out loud at least once an episode, especially now that she has a possessed little doll with weird facial expressions. So is Mark Proksch, who plays the energy vampire living in the basement of the old mansion, who feeds from people by boring them into a stupor.
This season, Harvey Guillen has been great, driving the story arc forward as the bumbling, sweet Guillermo. His pride as the familiar to one of the big three, Novak’s Nandor, is upset by the ease with which he kills vampires, reminding him that he has Van Helsing blood (which we learned last season). He’s part of a group of vampire slayers, as a spy, he says. But the story line, while amusing, is secondary to the little moments and the game guest stars (including Craig Robinson and Haley Joel Osment so far this season). These vampires are a little bitter, a little bored, and, for such ancient beings, very stupid. The writers get a lot of the best material just showing us the banality of their eternal lives.