“What We Do in the Shadows” revel in the recklessness of vampires who fail to the top

Feckless is a word that became popular in 2018, when we were trapped in the dark heart of the previous administration. It’s a simple word that could apply to anyone in the inner circle of the occupant of the 45th Oval Office, as it can mean weak and inefficient, or worthless and irresponsible.

Every member of the “What We Do In The Shadows” line of vampires also carries the term accurately, as they’ve demonstrated over two seasons of stacking a number of bodies, humans and vampires. Most of these deaths count as dinner, but the vampire mortality was not entirely their fault. It does not matter.

Ever since Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo (Matt Berry), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), and energy vampire Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) have managed to hold onto their wealth and stay for at least 100 years, this hasn’t was only a matter of time until they failed to the top. As it is America, so is the underworld of vampires.

The third season would seem to escalate the stakes for the vampires of Staten Island by giving them power and responsibility, except for the fact that the world of vampire governance is practically toothless. There are also no laws that can never be broken, despite previous claims to the contrary. In the season two finale, Nandor’s familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillén), now a fully realized killer, slaughters a room full of rival leeches to protect his allies and roommates.

Under vampire law, this should result in termination with the most extreme harm. Rule number one is that vampires don’t kill vampires, you see. In fact, the crew were about to be beheaded for allegedly breaking the most sacred of laws.

Instead, the Supreme World Vampiric Council promotes all four of them to lead the East Coast Vampiric Council of the new world. Their reasoning? According to the representative, conveying his message via a wobbly VHS recording is that yes, killing other vampires is bad. But a quartet that can take out 70% of the tri-state region’s strongest vampires in one fell swoop? “Well, they’re vampires who know how to get things done!”

The gothic, manly humor that bounces through “What We’re Doing in the Shadows” makes it one of TV’s most trusted sources of vertigo, as its lead cast is a perfect combination of lazy, self-centered, out of touch. , titled and, yes, insane. Each new season offers a sort of fortuitous catharsis.

This latest arc allows us to drink some glee as we watch a stupid government in action – an odd proposition, given the massive injustices the Texas legislature has inflicted on its people in the span of a few weeks. Either way, however, watching our favorite undead pack suddenly have powers and responsibilities imposed on them for utterly illegitimate reasons seems different because the stakes are non-existent.


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The Supreme Worldwide Vampire Council itself essentially exists to vary its membership in celebrity vampires, as it does in season one, when a tribunal meets and Tilda Swinton, Danny Trejo, Evan Rachel Wood, Paul Reubens and Jemaine Clement reveal their fangs. They also sentence Nandor, Nadja, and Laszlo to death on this occasion, but the roommates easily escape and go on with their afterlife, ignoring Guillermo’s efforts to protect them.

Without him, they would be lost. Definitely dead too, but entirely rudderless as long as they are able to survive, since the collective inability of Nandor, Laszlo, and Nadja to interface with the modern world is a common joke. (Colin, being an energy vampire, thrives in our disaffected age.)

Take all that misfortune, tie it to power and responsibility, and you have the makings of a dark and comedic season.

In the first two episodes, the gang are introduced to the Secret All-New York-area Vampire Basement Headquarters, a location that includes powerful artifacts and historical documents encased in a huge magical library.

Nandor immediately uses his new post to steal a magic cloak to help him hit the receptionist at his gym. Laszlo moved into the library’s huge collection of pornography, delving into titles such as “The Knobnomicon”, “Egypt’s Longest Penises” and “Roy Cohn, Esquire’s 169 Sex Positions”. (“I bet you didn’t know this existed!” He sings.)

They do absolutely nothing for the benefit of anyone other than themselves, other than Nandor and Nadja forging a tenuous power-sharing deal that each of them plans to break to achieve their own. glory. “The plan is that I, Nandor the Relentless,” he declares, “I sit on my throne and make a number two!

Thanks to this bewildered coven, the authors of What We Do In The Shadows argue that the reasons government doesn’t work are simple enough. This may be because the people with the duty to govern often have no idea what to do with it – or because the people entrusted with the power to enforce the law are too shy. to do it.

Then again, no one wants the opposite either, as evidenced by Nadja’s excitement to, in her own words, “crank things up to insane levels.”

She makes this announcement when she joins Nandor on a visit to an upstart Brooklyn herd that refuses to pay their dues. This is their first official act of leadership, and the first time their leadership has been called into question, as young vampires refuse to acknowledge their authority or listen to anything they have to say. “You really don’t seem qualified to do shit!” their blissful leader sings, followed quickly by announcing that he has a master’s degree in urban planning

So instead of employing reason, Nadja forces them to comply using brute force, correcting the child in a way angry liberals would like their senators to deal with filibuster.

No one can be blamed for wanting to collapse into bed forever realizing what a mess we find ourselves in as well as the sobering fact that our means to fight back are limited. Those charged with writing laws to counter these injustices always commit to being fair and polite, believing or pretending to believe that they can appeal to the best nature of the opposition, which simply does not exist.

It’s natural to seek out the balm “What We’re Doing in the Shadows” offers after a series of punitive reminders of how monstrous and evil politicians can be for the people they are meant to represent. In his field, recklessness is happiness. It informs the hum of vampires through a political landscape where the only entity to take real damage is pride.

More than anything, it is exciting to serve wisdom wrapped up in jokes from Nandor, a century-old vampire who believes in coming out of darkness with Nadja by his side: “There is nothing wrong with a number business. of them.”

The first two episodes of Season 3 of “What We Do In The Shadows” air on Hulu. New episodes air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX and air the next day on FX on Hulu.

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