The Unicorn Scale: What We Do in the Shadows Volume 2

By Jennie Roberson

March 04, 2023



Photo credit: Image/FX

Greetings and salutations, my favorite blood bag — er, I mean bis! I’m so glad you invited me across your threshold. Incredibly kind of you. Especially since I turned up after dark and am looking a bit more pale than usual (these longer nights are taking away my California tan). I’m sure you won’t come to regret welcoming me into your home.

Well then, now that we’re all comfortable, let’s talk about one of my favorite comedic series of the past few years, What We Do in the Shadows. I love a good mockumentary, and supernatural themes are something we haven’t seen really touched on in that genre, so that makes this show extra entertaining — and a consistently funny satire as we emerge from its fourth season running. (My sister and I make some joke about Jackie Daytona to each other at least once a week.)

Now, I know a colleague of mine covered this show before, but with the emergence of the last season, I thought it was worth a revisit. Those who have seen and giggled at its development already know why. But for those who haven’t seen it yet, please note that my review will contain SPOILERS. Also, there are brief moments of gore and violence (we are talking about bloodsucking vampires, after all) as well as a few other disclaimers you can peruse over here. And if this is your first time in this column (a hearty welcome to you! Hope you stick around (but no stakes, please)) you can learn all about the metric here.

What We Do in the Shadows continues the satirical what-if quandary of its 2014 movie, about what would vampire roommates get up to if they had to pass a millennium together both out of necessity and companionship — think vampires in a dorm comedy. This time around the block, our favorite nocturnal gang is up to some new tricks and adventures. Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) decided to pursue a lifetime dream of opening a vampire club. Laszlo (Matt Berry) is very busy raising the baby that emerged from the cavity of dead energy vampire Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch). And Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak), well... that’s what we’re here to talk about today.

What I Liked: 

WWDITS has done well in the past as far as having a good amount of bi characters and recurring guest stars (including Beanie Feldstein and Doug Jones!), and this season is no exception. While we do see Laszlo have another go at Jones’ Baron character, the surprise and delight of the season is discovering that Nandor is bi, too.

In the second episode of the season, during his search for a new wife, Nandor casually mentions that that in his past human life he had boy wives as well as girl wives. It’s not done as a joke, but just as an extra tidbit about his past. And when he does reanimate them all, they all get a second shot at love with him — though the men tend to see wrestling for courtship over the women getting more typical date fare.

But in case one thought Nandor was just marrying the men for sexual pleasure, that conclusion gets put to rest with “Freddie”, the second-to-last episode of the season.


Having chosen and remarried one of his former brides, Marwa (Parisa Fahkri), whom he brought back to life with the help of a djinn (Anoop Desai), Nandor has grown bored of her. But when familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) brings home his new boyfriend, Freddie (Alastair “Al” Roberts), Nandor becomes so enamored with the Brit that he has the djinn turn Marwa into a clone of him and pursues him as a new love interest.

Morally bankrupt? Absolutely. But that’s not the point I’m driving at here (and especially not with a stake — why do you keep bringing that up?) It’s that Nandor is attracted to whomever he’s attracted to — gender doesn’t matter. Is there a bit of this that has to do with sadistically claiming something that Guillermo loves, like a jealous sibling snatching a beloved toy out of the other’s grip? Sure. But Nandor isn’t a human anymore — he’s a vampire, and so I don’t feel as beholden to the same standards of judging him as I would a human character — especially in a supernatural comedy genre.


What I Didn't Like:

That doesn’t mean I liked what Nandor did. We are still dealing with some old tropes about bis being murderous, etc etc etc. But with comedy, everything is kind of fair game, so again it doesn’t bug me. Also, Nandor gets both some comeuppance and a chance to redeem himself when he ultimately lets Marwa-Freddie go free. Do I want to give a lot of credit to someone who reanimated someone and then enslaved them and took away their personality multiple times? Not necessarily. But I can’t entirely write him off, either.


The Rating:

What We Do in the Shadows is still a bloody good time — great viewing both during Spooktober or any time of year. It has fun with the joke #notallbisarevampiresbutallvampiresarebi and makes sure we’re in on it, too.

Oh my, you look like you’re positively under a spell. Have I hypnotized you with my extolling about this exquisite show? It seems I have. Yes, nod off a little bit more, that’s right... it just exposes your neck and its sweet veins all the better. Hope you don’t mind if I move over just next to you and... don’t worry, it’ll just be a nibble...


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