Out of all the mythical creatures depicted on film, none have changed more than vampires. Going from the horror monsters of early cinema to the mysterious, pale-skinned love interests of the 2000s and 2010s, they have shown quite a remarkable change in perception. However, recently they have begun to go through another change: that being the wacky, offbeat characters as shown in movies like the recent Renfield. People have begun to take a more comedic approach to vampires, and one show can be seen as the catalyst.
What We Do in the Shadows (WWDITS) started as a movie back in 2014, but the show that came a few years later really solidified itself as the new face in supernatural comedy. Almost an overnight success, WWDITS spearheaded the change in the perception of vampires to more crazy and comedic characters. Although the first three seasons I consider to be a masterclass of supernatural horror-comedy, the fourth season tried a bit too many new ideas. With several shake-ups to the status quo, and the reduced role of one of the main cast, season four felt lesser than the sum of its parts. It left a lot to be desired in terms of both story and comedy, and many of the changes it introduced had no bearing on the characters overall. Before starting season five, I worried that we had finally been heading toward seasonal rot.
Luckily, when watching the new season, I was pleasantly surprised when my expectations were blown out of the water and the new season turned out to be one of the best ones so far. Following the familiar Guillermo after having asked another vampire besides his boss Nandor to turn him, he has to both deal with the consequences and hide his transformation so his vampire master won’t kill him. Along the way, his vampire friend Lazzlo investigates why his transformation is taking so long, leading to some of the best horror-comedy of the entire show. The plot is simple enough to follow while also shaking up the status quo just a bit to lead to some new and exciting moments that weren’t possible before, something season four tried and didn’t really succeed at.
The best parts of the new season are the updated role of Kristen Schaal as the Guide and the return of Mark Proksch as Colin Robinson, the energy vampire, after being downgraded to a lesser role of his child self (it’s complicated). While Guide doesn’t get much attention until later in the season, the return of Colin Robinson makes for some of the funniest parts of the new season. It’s great to finally see all these characters interacting again after such a big status quo shake-up of last season.
Overall, WWDITS’s season five makes an astonishing return to form, continuing to hold its place as one of the best and funniest portrayals of vampires currently on television today.
Rocco Lippi is a first-year Film, Photography & Visual Arts major with an astute knowledge of all things vampire media.