Halloween is a great time to indulge in everything scary, whether that be decorations and costumes or horror movies and TV shows. However, as we enter the notorious midterm- and cold-filled part of the semester, it may be overwhelming to know where to start. I highly recommend the FX series “What We Do in the Shadows” — a vampire mockumentary, based on Taika Waititi’s film of the same name, currently in its third season of antics and scares.
Like Waititi’s film, this TV series focuses on a group of four vampires navigating modern-day Staten Island. We follow the lives of Nandor the Relentless from Al Quolanudar (current southern Iran), Nadja of Antipaxos, her husband Laszlo Cravenzworth from England and, more uniquely, the energy vampire Colin Robinson — who feeds off people’s emotional energy instead of their blood — in addition to Guillermo de la Cruz, Nandor’s human servant (aka his familiar) who helps the household.
“What We Do in the Shadows” remains playful in its presentation, with funny interactions between the characters and the human documentary crew behind the camera in a variety of settings — their home, Atlantic City and even a gym. The show also continues to play with vampire clichés, especially with the Twilight-inspired conflict between vampires and werewolves, a tension first emphasized in Waititi’s film and in many seasons of the series. In season three, this is hilariously referenced with Nandor’s recurrent lover Gail also having a werewolf boyfriend and more specifically through a kickball game referencing Twilight’s notable baseball scene, even soundtracked with Muse’s “Supermassive Black Hole” for full Twilight effect.
With this light-heartedness, this season still feels a lot different compared to the last two. There’s slightly less focus on world-building, despite the several introductions to new characters like sirens, a cult of vampires that don’t want to be vampires, gossiping statue gargoyles and the first vampire to ever exist. Instead, this newest season emphasizes a change in dynamics, as the vampires deal with leading the local Vampiric Council after the vampire massacre in season two. There’s more attention to our main vampires’ navigation of themselves, emotions, personal problems and general existence. The latter applies mainly to Nandor, as he deals with an eternal life crisis, questioning if there’s more to being a vampire than “lifeless killing and bloodlust.” His questioning and gradual pursuit of a purpose stands out in the light-hearted atmosphere, since it becomes a lot more realistic and applicable to how exhaustive our world is as now.
Altogether, season three of “What We Do in the Shadows” is unique in its gradual, existential focus on vampire life, yet it’s still effective in maintaining its fun, carefree atmosphere. “What We Do in the Shadows” is a clear must-watch for all, especially with the season finale on Oct. 29 and the fourth season renewed for 2022.