What We Do in the Shadows premieres with two episodes on FX on July 12, 2022, with one new episode weekly on Tuesdays.
Season 4 of What We Do in the Shadows picks up a year after energy vampire Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) died and was reborn as a baby and the rest of the vampire roommates went their separate ways. The distance and time jump could have been an opportunity for character growth, but so little has changed that while the show’s strongest elements continue to shine, its weak points have become even more threadbare in the two-episode Season 4 premiere.
Laszlo Cravensworth (Matt Berry) abandoned his wife Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) to take care of the baby with Proksch’s face that crawled out of Colin Robinson’s corpse. Laszlo calls the kid only “Boy,” insisting that a series of questionable science experiments has shown that the child won’t actually become the same kind of energy vampire who feeds off of boring those around him. “I think I can mold this blank canvas of a boy into the most interesting adult there has ever been,” Laszlo says.
He better get on it fast because Colin Robinson’s wry wit and constant trolling of his roommates is sorely missed in the first two episodes of Season 4. As the only vampire with a connection to the modern world, he kept the house running and it’s fallen into a highly exaggerated state of disrepair despite Laszlo’s inept attempts to maintain it.
But as the name of the first episode of Season 4, “Reunited,” implies, Laszlo isn’t alone with his young charge for long. Nadja returns from London having been disenchanted with working for the vampiric council which wound up being heavy on bureaucracy and low on glamor. They repeatedly turned down her dream of opening a Blade-inspired vampire nightclub, complete with blood sprinklers. The pursuit of that ambition seems like it’ll be one of the main plot threads of the season and certainly provides plenty of opportunity for entertaining scenes and conflicts.
Those kicked off in Episode 2, “The Lamp,” where Laszlo and Nadja have to convince the vampire archivist The Guide (Kristen Schaal) to let them tear apart the regional vampiric council headquarters she managed for as long as she can remember and convert it into a club. Schaal unsurprisingly continues to shine as a highly neurotic foil who must be appeased in order to tell her army of bloodthirsty wraiths to stand down. A sequence where Laszlo uses Freudian psychotherapy to help her accept change, leading to inevitably highly sexual revelations and treatment, is the show at its best.
Nadja and Laszlo have always had the strongest plots, driven by their boundless unearned confidence. But the writers continue to struggle with what to do with the ancient conqueror Nandor (Kayvan Novak) and his human familiar/bodyguard Guillermo de la Cruz (Harvey Guillén). After briefly considering checking out for a few hundred years by going into a “Super Slumber” in Season 3, Nandor instead decided to go on an eat, pray, love tour to his ancestral homeland, promising that he would finally fulfill Guillermo’s wish and make him a vampire at the end of the journey. But that trip was sabotaged by Laszlo, who packed Guillermo in a crate and shipped him to London to take care of Nadja in his stead.
After being shipped across the Atlantic twice, Guillermo insists he’s going to start looking out for number one, but he immediately winds up back to being a servant as he tries to properly raise the boy and gets looped into Nandor’s latest search for love. There’s some good absurdism in their half of “The Lamp,” a riff on The Bachelor powered by a very staid djinn who brings all of Nandor’s wives back from the dead so he can pick a favorite, but Nandor and Guillermo’s dynamic is starting to feel stale.
Guillermo is standing up to the other vampires a bit more, demanding to be made the accountant of Nadja’s club, but that still seems likely to just put him in the same role he always has of protecting the vampires from themselves. The eternal raunchy romance between Nadja and Laszlo is just as funny as ever because it’s filled with joy and passion. Nandor continues to look for someone who will never challenge him while ignoring Guillermo’s devotion, and after four seasons that relationship has moved from comic to just sad.
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