If you’re in need of a spooky pick-me-up, look no further: FX’s vampire mockumentary series, What We Do in the Shadows, has got you covered. Not to be confused with the 2014 movie of the same name, this series has two ten-episode seasons to date, and it follows the hijinks of four Staten Island vampires as they navigate the contemporary world.
Our point of entry into the series as viewers comes from Guillermo, the human familiar who works for Nandor, one of the vampires, in the hopes that he’ll one day be turned into a vampire by Nandor. In the style of The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Arrested Development, Guillermo can often be found slipping a frustrated glance to the camera as he deals with the ridiculousness of Nandor, Laszlo, Nadja, and Colin Robinson, the four vampires with whom he lives in a Victorian-style mansion.
Last fall, I took a Gothic fiction class in the English department, and that course helped me appreciate this series all the more; with references to Dracula and other pieces of popular culture about vampires, What We Do in the Shadows is a rich and absolutely hilarious addition to the already-massive vampire canon.
While the show certainly cashes in on the campy nature of vampire literature and film, it does so with originality: throughout the series, the vampires and Guillermo find themselves participating in mind-numbing city council proceedings, a Super Bowl party (or, as the vampires call it, a “Superb Owl” party), college fraternity parties, and more. The mockumentary twist elevates the show from enjoyable to excellent—there’s something so perfect about the blending of a campy tv form with campy subject material.
I will go to great lengths to avoid horror movies, so for me, the ultimate selling point of this series is that it embraces the fun parts of vampire pop culture without ever becoming truly scary. Halloween may not be the same as it usually is this year, but you can still get yourself in a spooky mood with What We Do in the Shadows, which you can stream on Hulu and other streaming services.