• middletennesseenews

"What We Do in the Shadows" Season 3 Review

By MTN Reporter Will Chappell


What We Do in the Shadows continues to deliver hilarious antics in its third

season, as it places its protagonists into a new power dynamic leading to evolution in

their relationships. The mockumentary (FX Thursdays 10ET) follows four vampire

roommates, Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), her

husband, Laszlo Cravensworth (Matt Berry), and Collin Robinson (Mark Proksch), and

their human familiar (vampire’s assistant), Guillermo de la Cruz (Harvey Guillen),

through their adventures living on Staten Island.


During the first two seasons, the group’s dynamic mostly centered around the

ignorant and entitled vampires mistreating their devoted, retiring servant, Guillermo. But

in the second season, Guillermo discovered he was descended from Van Helsing, the

vampire slayer, and became more confident as he transformed into a hardened vampire

killer while remaining committed to his “master,” Nandor. Guillermo’s evolution

culminated in the finale of season 2 when Guillermo saved the vampires from the wrath

of the vampiric council by killing dozens of vampires.


Following these monumental events, the show has taken the opportunity to

develop its characters and explore their changed relationship in the third season with

outstanding results. The most notable changes are in Guillermo, who is now confident

and demands respect from the vampires. This sees his title changed from ‘familiar’ to

‘bodyguard,’ but there is still ample tension as he struggles to command the respect he

deserves. Guillen has always been the emotional backbone of the show, delivering

consistently powerful performances. He masterfully depicts Guillermo’s driving desire to

become a vampire and gnawing fear that his dreams will never come true after nearly a

decade of service to Nandor. His evolution into an actual force to be reckoned with has

added a welcome new element to the show’s fabric.


Nandor has also undergone emotional evolution this season. After being a cold

and dismissive master to Guillermo for the first two seasons, Nandor has begun to

appreciate his erstwhile familiar. In the season premier, he protected Guillermo’s life

when his roommates wanted to execute him and a sense of genuine friendship has

begun to develop between the two, largely owing to Nandor’s respect for Guillermo’s

martial abilities. Nandor has also begun looking for romantic connection this season,

with hilarious results. In the second episode, Novak delivered rollicking impressions of

all the other main cast members as they each used a magical cloak to assume his form

to try to pick up a woman he had a crush on.


In addition to the personal and relational developments amongst the

housemates, the crew is now in charge of the vampiric council, following the last

edition’s massacre by Guillermo. This has given the writers ample opportunity to create

hysterical, mythical totems and historical texts, which has always been a strong point for

the show. From the aforementioned cloak of duplication to The Shroud of Urine (no, not

Turin) to Laszlo’s long-confiscated jalopy, the council’s headquarters have proven a

treasure trove of hilarious gags and mythical worldbuilding opportunities. The new

authority conferred by being on the council has also given Nadja a chance to shine as

well. Often on uneven footing as the only woman in a houseful of men, Nadja is a

powerful force to be reckoned with as the leader of the council. Demetriou’s strong, cutting performance continues to delight as she is given more room to work with.


After a hilarious first season largely relying on the inherent comedy of centuries-

old vampires living in the modern world, What We Do in the Shadows lost some

momentum during its second season as it sought to define the relationship of its

protagonists and find a framework for consistent storytelling. But in the third season the

show has hit on a strong formula to allow its talented and hilarious cast to shine. There

are a plethora of new possible storylines thanks to the group’s new job as vampiric

council and Guillermo’s emergence as a respected member of the group gives him

reason to stay even while his quest to become a vampire helps maintain a level of

tension.

Recent Posts

See All

Walk the Line Preview

By: MTN Reporter Will Chappell Red Bull Walk the Line will take over Lower Broadway this Saturday, showcasing professional slacklining. Athletes will alight a two-inch slackline thirty feet above the

"Brooklyn Nine Nine" Review

By: MTN Reporter Will Chappell Brooklyn Nine Nine’s eighth and final season wrapped up on September 17 in a satisfying, if somewhat predictable finale. The end of the show saw most of the members of t

" The Many Saints of Newark" Review

By: MTN Reporter Will Chappell The Many Saints of Newark is billed as the origin story of Tony Soprano, but instead delivers an entertaining, self-contained mafia story against the backdrop of the rac