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TV Series Review

There’s more to being a vampire than dressing up in eveningwear and knocking back a few pints of blood. You’ve got familiars to juggle. Werewolves to fight. Civilization to enslave.

Oh, and the rent to pay. Can’t forget the rent.

Sure, if you’ve conscientiously saved all your undead life, perhaps rent’s no problem for you. And if you live back in the old country … well, real estate prices have been a bit depressed in Transylvania as of late, so buying a fixer-upper castle is within the reach of many an undead immortal with a strong credit rating.

But in New York City? Different story. Even Staten Island is expensive these days—especially if you hope to find a place in a good neighborhood where the neighbors don’t mind your all-night carnivorous revelries, your strong aversion to garlic and the fact that you always smell a bit like bat guano.

Yep, if you’re a vampire and hope to live in New York, you’ll need a roomie or two. Maybe three in a pinch. And hopefully, you’ll all get along. After all, you could be stuck together ‘til doomsday. Literally.


Nandor the Relentless, a one-time Ottoman warrior, shares a Staten Island house with English nobleman Laszlo Cravensworth and his wife, Nadja. The three of them have been as close as three undead people can be for, oh, hundreds of years. They always say eating brings people together, and that’s especially true when you’re sucking blood from the very same necks.

But they have their issues. Fidelity is a bit of a rarity in vampire relations anyway (or so I assume). Nadja might’ve turned Laszlo into a vampire and then married him, but she also has eyes (and teeth and everything else) for a guy named Jeff. See, the mortal reminds Nadja of another lover of hers—one whom she accidentally beheaded while in the throes of … well, you get the idea.

Meanwhile, Nandor must deal with his human familiar, Guillermo, who’s been serving Nandor for a decade and really thought he’d be turned into a vampire by now. And even though Nandor made a nice glitter portrait of the two of them, Guillermo must wonder whether Nandor has a fear of commitment.

And then there’s Colin. He’s not a vampire in the traditional sense: Colin doesn’t have fangs or the ability to turn into a bat, and his skin doesn’t even shimmer in sunlight. No, he’s an energy vampire, which means that he drains people of their essence by boring them to death (or, at least, nearly so).

It’s not a perfect living situation. But it’s workable, and that’s something, right? Or at least it was workable, before Baron Afanas—a big-deal vampire in the old country—stops by for a visit. Seems he expects the roomies to take over the world, and he’ll just take a nap in the attic until they do so. Adding to the discomfort? Laszlo and Nadja both had affairs with the bloodsucker, and neither of them know. Awkward.

As Plain as the Nosferatu on Your Face

FX’s mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows runs with the blood of a zany, 2014 New Zealand movie of the same name. The movie’s creators, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, are the brains behind the new series, too, and in fact directed the show’s first four episodes.

Those who’ve seen Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok have already gotten a taste of the sort of humor we find here: deadpan silliness mixed with just a wee bit of heart, Monty Python on Red Bull.

But let’s be honest: Zany or not, What We Do in the Shadows checks all the wrong boxes for Plugged In.

Let’s start with the show’s spirituality, because vampires. We should at least make note of the fact that our main characters here are undead magical creatures who've technically been forever damned by God.

Does that sound churlish, given the show’s wacky ethos? OK, fair enough. But if we forgive the vamps of their undead-ish-ness, let’s not forget that all of them are, essentially, serial killers, luring unsuspecting victims in for a little dinner (little knowing that they’re the main course). We see plenty of blood. Why, even the opening-credit sequence features the trio sitting around a dead, terrified-looking body with blood spatter all around his head.

That’s just what vampires do, you say? Well, then, let’s talk about all the sex being had. Bela Lugosi was never so randy. And then there’s this: As archaic and antique as these vamps can seem at times, clinging to the old vampiric ways, they’ve kept up with the bleeding edge of popular profanity. And they never pass up a chance to use it.

What We Do in the Shadows can indeed be droll and witty. But like its main characters, it comes with a dark side.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

April 18, 2019: "Manhattan Night Club"



Readability Age Range



Kayvan Novak as Nandor; Harvey Guillén as Guillermo; Natasia Demetriou as Nadja; Matt Berry as Laszlo; Mark Proksch as Colin Robinson






Record Label




On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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