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The vampires get cultured as What We Do In The Shadows wraps up a killer second season

Illustration for article titled The vampires get cultured as iWhat We Do In The Shadows /iwraps up a killer second season
Photo: FX Networks
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Wow, is it the end of season two already? Whether it’s because of its lightning-fast pacing, or, you know, 2020 doing its 2020 thing, the second season of What We Do In The Shadows didn’t seem as long as the first. That isn’t a dig at the first season—again, there’s a lot going on in the world right now—but it does say something about how the show has evolved. Although the writing has been consistently funny and excellent this season, in terms of joke-a-minute quotability, my notebooks haven’t been as full of lists of names and titles of late, with the blessed exception of Nadja & Laszlo Sing Songs Of Love & Terror. But looking back at old recaps, a common refrain in season one was that I wished the vampires could get out a little more, and well, they sure followed through on that one this season, didn’t they?

That includes this week’s episode, which finds our apparently quite unpopular foursome thrilled to finally score an invitation to the grand spectacle that is the Noveau Théâtre des Vampires—the “Nouveau” presumably added to avoid issues with both Anne Rice and the Italian metal band linked below. The concept and staging of the show is highly reminiscent of Paris’ legendary Le Theatre du Grand Guignol, which from the 1890s up to WWII titillated audiences with naturalistic horror plays that, much like the pantomime of the vampires’ supposed crimes, simulated beheadings, burnings, and stabbings on stage. (It was also apparently a popular spot for adulterous liaisons, which would have tickled Laszlo and Nadja’s fancy.) Simply everyone is there, from Mikhael the Awful to Marichella, Mistress of the Night. Even Jemaine Clement is there, reprising his character from the original film as the emcee of a stage show that also quite cleverly serves as a recap of the season.


The ensuing events close up a hole in the plot I noted last week, namely that the vampire council seemed to be slacking in its efforts to bring the vampires to justice. “Noveau Théâtre Des Vampires” also brought Guillermo’s inner conflict to its inevitable conclusion, although his departure from the household didn’t last very long. Is it better to be an overworked, never paid vampire familiar with your own room and occasional joy rides above Staten Island, or to live at home with a broken fridge and no personal space? It’s safe to say at this point that Nandor and the gang will never value Guillermo any more than the bare minimum they do now. (Hey, at least they learned his first name, finally.) But they also need him—or need somebody to pick up after them, at least.

Despite all that affection, however—Nandor was moping like he just got dumped until the invitation arrived—it’s not clear where the dynamic between Guillermo and the vampires will go from here. (Maybe if they had paid attention, they would have realized his last name means “of the cross,” an essential tool in a vampire hunter’s kit.) It was awesome to see Guillermo really get his action-hero moment, first scaling a building like he had supernatural powers himself, then stabbing and flinging holy water all over the theater crowd. The cliffhanger ending, where he declared, “My name is...Guillermo De La Cruz” only to be shouted down by the ungrateful vamps, got a good chuckle out of me as well. Nandor took the news unexpectedly well, but it’s hard to imagine Laszlo and Nadja tolerating a vampire hunter in their midst, unless circumstances force them to—which is possible, given that they’re more wanted by the Vampire Council than ever.

So what happens now? Does Guillermo embrace his destiny and wander the earth killing vampires? (We’ve covered every borough but Queens and parts of Pennsylvania at this point, but there’s so much left to explore!) Will the vampires finally find another familiar who can survive in the house for more than a couple of days? Will Jim the Vampire join forces with the remaining Council members to take down our vampire heroes once and for all, and will Guillermo take them into his protection like a bespectacled, sweater vest-clad Terminator? And what the hell has Jenna been up to this whole time? What We Do In The Shadows has been renewed for a third season at FX, so we’ll find out soon enough, presumably next spring. In the meantime, remember: Vampires can’t come into your house unless you invite them. And always tip your bartenders, especially the normal human ones.

Stray Observations

  • The vampires leaving dead bodies all over the house reminded me a lot of the dog shit piled up everywhere in the documentary The Queen Of Versailles.
  • Several months into working at home, Nandor and Laszlo’s familiar-less attempts to dress themselves don’t seem so bad. Good on them for changing their clothes regularly, despite being born during some very stinky centuries in European history.
  • Laszlo’s imitation of Colin Robinson is downright Canadian. A skill picked up over all those months filming in Toronto, perhaps?
  • A great eyebrow raise from Natasia Demetriou when Laszlo says, “I’ve heard there’s a lot of nudity. And I mean a lot.”
  • “And I don’t just mean a whiff of tit. I mean the full rack. Full boobies, full boners, the full display ... There’s some genitalia on show there that would make a human go, ‘what is that, exactly?’”
  • Give it up one more time for Nadja’s ghost doll, there when the plot needed her the most.
  • Also give it up for Carol, who appears alongside Bertrand the Corpse Defiler and Toni “Teeth” Falcone in the In Memoriam video.
  • Colin was a horny little devil in this episode, wasn’t he?
  • “Bring them to justice by bringing the ruckus.”
  • The one thing I would change about my recaps for season two would be to give On The Run” a full A—although I still think it would have been perfect if only Berry had sung.
  • That being said, three full As in a season is a lot for me. I don’t hand those out lightly.
  • As one might expect given their common penchant for melodrama, the connection between vampires and theater kids is strong—but never stronger than with the Italian band Théâtres des Vampires. This Cradle Of Filth-esque symphonic goth-metal stuff is very much not for me, but I do applaud the makeup and capes in their video for “Carmilla.”

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