This seductive blood-sucking comedy about the everyday struggles of a gang of vampire housemates in New York is silly, deadpan and full of killer gags
Television loves a good vampire, but for some reason, the eternal torment of immortal parasitic killers tends to lend itself more to melodrama than humour. From Buffy the Vampire Slayers perpetually unfortunate sexual attraction to the undead, to the Twi-lite of The Vampire Diaries, bloodsucking fiends are usually much less funny than they are in the wonderful and charismatic new comedy What We Do In the Shadows.
The series is based on the 2014 film of the same name, co-written and co-directed by Flight of the Conchords Jemaine Clement and Thor: Ragnaroks Taiki Waititi. The pair also starred in the original film, but have handed over acting duties in the TV iteration to a new gang of undead roommates, making the most of the talented comedians who play them, as they struggle not only to transform Staten Island into a vampire colony, but to live together as a foursome (plus familiars) in relative peace and harmony.
The transition from big screen to small has been smooth. Kayvan Novak is Nandor (I kept hearing it as Nandos in a West Yorkshire accent, which gave it an extra comic flourish), better known as Nandor the Relentless, a formerly outstanding pillager whose purpose in life is now to keep his vampire house in a state of acceptable hygiene. He also enjoys the stationery section of a supermarket, which means that for me, he is the only one you can truly have any sympathy for.
He is joined in his immortal community by Matt Berry as Laszlo, a fearsome blusterer who enjoys sexual intercourse and hearing how he says those words may put you off anything even vaguely resembling human contact for life and Natasia Demetriou as his wife, the temptress Nadja, who is on the hunt for the reincarnated version of her former lover Gregor, one who still has his head.
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