What We Do in the Shadows is the best place to start if you want to get educated on vampires.
Adapted from the 2014 mockumentary of the same name, What We Do in the Shadows follows four vampires and their familiar as they live together on Staten Island. The vampires made a pact with the documentary crew not to eat them, but to let them observe their lives. Of course, not all vampires can be as scary as Dracula. These vampires are insanely out of depth with the world.
The Shadows film was created by Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a New Zealand indie with the same premise. But if there are vampires in New Zealand, there had to be more elsewhere, right? What We Do In the Shadows was then adapted into a television series by Clement, despite everyone thinking it was a Taika-only project. The What We Do in the Shadows series gave us more stories to tell with idiot vampires. Recently, FX gave WWDITS fans a treat, and confirmed that the show is already slated for seasons five and six.
To get you ready, here’s your cheat sheet for every season of What We Do in the Shadows, just in time for season four.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak): Nandor considers himself to be the leader of the Staten Island group. Having hailed from what is now Southern Iran, he often recounts times when he was an army general before becoming a vampire. He’s sweet, nostalgic, and forever out of touch with the modern world. But that’s okay when he’s got his trusty familiar Guillermo by his side.
Guillermo de la Cruz (Harvey Guillen): Nandor promised Guillermo that he would turn him into a vampire if Guillermo became his familiar… ten years ago. Since then, Guillermo has become the vampire’s housekeeper. With little to no acknowledgment of his efforts from the vampires, Guillermo tries his best to let Nandor know that he’s worth earning vampire status if only Nandor could stop brushing him off.
Nadja & Lazlo (Natasia Demetriou & Matt Berry): If you’re looking for an old married couple, these two will bicker for eternity. Together, they’ll speak to the camera crew about their eternal marriage and sexual escapades. They both have a high sex drive, especially for each other. But when they’re not together, Nadja is often reminiscing about her old flame Gregor. Then when she’s not looking Lazlo is probably getting himself involved in some scheme or chatting about his former career as a porn star.
Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch): Colin Robinson is a breed of vampire that didn’t appear in the original film. He’s an energy vampire, in every sense of the word. Colin will feed off the energy of anyone, human or supernatural in order to survive. He is the vampire of the group who can live amongst humans. To his delight, he loves to work in an office, make awkward small talk and then sharpen his pencils for an hour straight. Of course, anger and annoyance feed him the most, so he loves to do anything that will piss off the other vampires.
The first season of What We do in the Shadows kicks off with a letter from Baron Afanas, one of the oldest vampires in existence. He believes that vampires should take over the world and looks to the younger vampires to do his bidding. So, he comes over to see if the Staten Island clan has taken over the world. Only, the group couldn’t decide if he meant the world, New York City, or just Staten Island. So far, they’d only taken over one street and maybe the one around the corner. Disappointed at the news, The Baron decides to go back to sleep. They had until he woke up again to take over the world.
So the season follows Nandor, Nadja, and Lazlo as they try to take over the world with their terrible social skills. When the Baron wakes up later, he wants to see this “New World” and goes on a night out with the gang. High on drug blood, no one really remembers what happened that night, except The Baron is dead and Guillermo seems more on edge than usual. Later, the Vampiric Council knock on the door saying these vampires killed The Baron. The group tries their best not to avoid a death sentence. Unfortunately, they do get a death sentence. They escape the Council’s death sentence and the Staten Island clan continues to live life like it’s normal, only now the Vampiric Council is watching their every move. Fortunately, they haven’t discovered that Guillermo is a descendant of Van Helsing with killer reflexes.
Season Two is Guillermo’s story, hands down. With the Vampiric Council trying its best to assassinate the vampires in Staten Island, Guillermo is on high alert. Not only is he doing his best to run the house, but he’s also killing vampires left and right. His masters notice nothing and continue to live their lives like normal. While he goes on the hunt for virgins, he discovers a group called The Mosquito Collectors of the Tri-State Area. These “mosquito collectors” are amateur vampire hunters in disguise, so Guillermo joins the group to make sure that Nandor and the other vampires are safe.
Eventually, Guillermo becomes more fed up with the group dismissing him. He leaves the clan because he can’t distinguish between his duties as a familiar vs as a vampire killer. How can he protect people who continue to brush him aside? But, the Vampiric Council invites the clan to the theatre to honor them. The vampires get excited about going to the theatre but discover the invitation is a trap when they are attacked by assassins. Guillermo comes to their rescue and slaughters all the assassins. Unfortunately, because of Guillermo’s heroics, now Nadja, Lazlo, Colin, and Nandor are convinced he’s out to kill them.
Now having revealed himself to the gang as a vampire hunter, Guillermo terrifies the housemates. So, they put him in a cage so he can’t hurt them. When they’re not looking, he escapes the faulty cage to look out for the Council’s assassins. That is until the Vampiric Council has other ideas for the Staten Island clan. Due to Guillermo’s vampire kill count, they are now responsible for having killed 70% of major vampires in the tri-state area. Having that high of a kill count gives the group more prestige than before so they are promoted to lead the Vampiric Council of the Eastern Seaboard. From there, the decision to promote Guillermo from Familiar to Vampire Bodyguard is unanimous and he continues to protect the clan.
Everyone but Lazlo joins the Council, so Nadja and Nandor spend the rest of the season bickering instead of decision-making. Eventually, Nandor feels he’s taken a backseat from being in charge and seeks another purpose in his life. He tries to renounce his vampirism but that doesn’t work out, so he decides to leave and travel the world. Guillermo doesn’t like this because Nandor won’t let him protect him. He’s loyal and loves his master, giving Nandermo shippers hope when Nandor agrees to take Guillermo with him.
Meanwhile, Nadja gets the chance to serve on the World Vampiric Council in Englan. Lazlo refuses to go, but won’t explain why. With Lazlo not working for the Council, he spends more time with Colin Robinson. He develops a fondness for Colin because he discovers that energy vampires die after their 100th birthday. Lazlo doesn’t want to dampen Colin’s last moments so he keeps it a secret from everyone. But once Colin dies, Lazlo decides to take care of him because now Colin’s been reborn as a baby. So Lazlo sends Guillermo along with Nadja to England, taking away Guillermo’s chance to travel the world with Nandor.
Be sure to check out the trailer What We Do in The Shadows season four now that you’re all caught up:
What We Do in the Shadows flies to FX Networks on July 12th at 10 pm ET/PT and will be on Hulu the next day.