'Shadows' vampires warmed up, but still bite

Nadja (Natasia Demetrious) and Laszlo (Matt Berry) return in "What We Do In the Shadows" Season 2. Photo courtesy of FX
1 of 3 | Nadja (Natasia Demetrious) and Laszlo (Matt Berry) return in "What We Do In the Shadows" Season 2. Photo courtesy of FX

LOS ANGELES, April 15 (UPI) -- The people behind the vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows learned a lot in its first season. Their second season, which premieres Wednesday on FX, will emphasize the funniest parts of the first season. They also learned how to keep the actors happier while they make the jokes.

What We Do in the Shadows is a faux reality TV show following a household of vampire roommates. It is based on the movie that starred Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, who developed the series spinoff.


The comedy films in Ontario, Canada. Since the characters are vampires, most of their scenes take place at night. Winter nights in Canada can make it difficult to be funny.

"It's not ideal to keep people out in minus 14 for any length of time," Matt Berry, who plays Laszlo, told UPI in a recent interview.


Natasia Demetriou, who plays Laszlo's wife, Nadja, said more of Season 2 filmed in a warmer indoor setting. That created a better atmosphere for Season 2, Berry said.

"It just makes for a happier crew because they're not frozen," he said.

In addition to Laszlo and Nadja, the household includes vampires Nandor (Kayvan Novak) and Colin (Mark Proksch). Nandor also has a "familiar" -- a human servant who does all his daytime tasks -- named Guillermo (Harvey Guillen).

Season 2 picks up one summer after their first season.

"In the first episode, we have the line, 'It's been an eventful summer,'" Demetriou said.

Colin is a different sort of vampire. As an energy vampire, he doesn't suck blood. He drains your energy by talking incessantly about mundane things. Colin's major sources of energy are his colleagues at an office job, and his housemates.

Colin was based on real-life people who can exhaust you. What We Do In the Shadows treats his energy sucking as a true supernatural power. Proksch said Season 2 reveals Colin has even more sources of energy.

"People will be surprised, maybe, mildly surprised to learn that he can suck the energy out of non-humans and non-vampires," Proksch said. "So he can suck the energy out of plants and wildlife."


Colin became a fan favorite character in Season 1. However, What We Do In the Shadows is not going to become the Colin show. Proksch wanted to be sure the show never overdoes it on Colin.

"It's a difficult balance because you don't want to have too much Colin," Proksch said. "A little bit can go a long way."

Nadja and Laszlo are centuries-old lovers. Imagine the friction couples have within a human lifetime. That's exponential for Nadja and Laszlo.

When Season 2 begins, their marriage is healthy.

"I feel like they're very strong this year, very into each other," Demetriou said.

The show might introduce a love triangle between Nadja, Laszlo and Colin, for one episode at least.

"Colin makes a pass at Nadja, which is rebuffed, but it's in a sweet moment," Proksch said.

Demetriou loved that complication, as short-lived as it may have been. It showed Nadja's powers of seduction have limits.

"It was one of the most thrilling moments of my life because he's repulsed by me," she said.

Guillermo has been Nandor's familiar for 10 years. He put up with menial tasks in the hopes that Nandor would turn him into an immortal vampire. Nandor is just stringing Guillermo along, but Guillermo doesn't seem to be able to quit.


Season 1 introduced a new wrinkle for Guillermo. He found out he is descended from the Van Helsing family of vampire hunters. That gives Guillermo more purpose than Nandor ever gave him, and Season 2 begins with Guillermo using his slaying powers to fend off evil vampires.

Guillen said Guillermo will continue to try to work for Nandor, but explore his Van Helsing heritage on the side. Trying to multitask will lead to more comedy in Season 2.

"It's like someone's taking night classes at the community college who has a full-time job, but is still trying to get that degree," Guillen said. "I think everyone can relate to a human conflict like that."

What We Do In the Shadows has plenty of jokes about vampire powers. Visual effects allow the characters to fly or transform into bats. Most of the jokes arise from the day-to-day experience of living forever. For example, they can hold a grudge for hundreds of years.

"What party did they go to and piss everyone off?" Demetriou said. "Then that person comes back and goes, 'You were at my party 200 years ago and you were rude and ruined everything.'"

Some of the conflicts from Season 1 persist. Laszlo and Nadja keep having the same fights over superficial issues, like her husband's fashion.


"My haunted hat comes back," Berry said.

Demetriou added, "much to Nadja's annoyance."

Guillermo, on the other hand, is changing his fashion. He wore sweaters throughout the first season. Now that he's a Van Helsing, he is changing his look, too.

"Guillermo gets a new outfit this year, sets the tone," Guillen said. "You will eventually see a new outfit for Guillermo and everything will make sense."

Season 2 will also explore new areas of the house that didn't get screen time in Season 1.

"There's a new room, for instance, that me and Matt have, a music room which is just so beautiful I want to live there," Demetriou said.

What We Do in the Shadows airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT on FX, with new episodes added to Hulu every Thursday.

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