What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 Premiere Review – “Reunited” and “The Lamp”

What We Do in the Shadows launches on July 12, 2022 with two episodes on FX, with a new episode weekly on Tuesdays.

Season 4 of What we do in the shadows begins a year after energy vampire Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) died and was reborn as a baby and the rest of the vampire housemates 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 flimsy in the two-episode Season 4 premiere.

Laszlo Cravensworth (Matt Berry) has left his wife Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) to look after the Proksch-faced baby that crawled out of Colin Robinson’s body. Laszlo just calls the child “boy” and insists that a series of questionable scientific experiments have shown that the child doesn’t really grow into the same kind of energy vampire who feeds on boring those around him. “I think I can mold that blank canvas of a boy into the most interesting adult that has ever existed,” says Laszlo.

He’d better get started quickly, because Colin Robinson’s tongue-in-cheek wit and constant trolling from his roommates are sorely missed in the first two episodes of season four. As the only vampire with a connection to the modern world, he kept the house running and it has fallen into a grossly over-the-top state of decay despite Laszlo’s clumsy attempts to maintain it.

But as the name of the first episode of Season 4, “Reunited,” suggests, Laszlo is not alone with his young protégé for long. Nadja returns from London after becoming disillusioned with working for the vampiric council, which ended up having a lot of bureaucracy and little glamour. They repeatedly turned down their dream of opening a Blade-inspired vampire nightclub, complete with blood splatters. Pursuing that ambition seems to be one of the main storylines of the season, and certainly provides plenty of opportunity for entertaining scenes and conflict.

These began in Episode 2, “The Lamp,” where Laszlo and Nadja must convince vampire archivist The Guide (Kristen Schaal) that they must have the regional Vampire Council headquarters, which they have managed for as long as she can remember, ripped apart and converted into a club. Unsurprisingly, Schaal continues to shine as a highly neurotic counterpart who must be placated in order to tell her army of bloodthirsty specters to retreat. A sequence in which Laszlo uses Freudian psychotherapy to help her accept change, which inevitably leads to highly sexual revelations and treatment, is the show at its best.

Nadja and Laszlo have always had the strongest plans, fueled by their boundless undeserved self-confidence. But the writers continue to struggle with what to do with ancient conqueror Nandor (Kayvan Novak) and his human familiar/bodyguard Guillermo de la Cruz (Harvey Guillén). After briefly contemplating going into a “super sleep” for a few hundred years in Season 3, Nandor instead opted for an Eat, Pray, Love tour to his ancestral homeland, promising that he would finally grant and do Guillermo’s wish would make him a vampire at the end of the journey. But this trip was sabotaged by Laszlo, who packed Guillermo in a box and sent him to London to take care of Nadja in his place.

There’s some good absurdity in their half of The Lamp, but the dynamic of Nandor and Guillermo is starting to feel stale.

After being shipped across the Atlantic twice, Guillermo insists he will start looking out for number one, but he immediately ends up being a servant again while trying to raise the boy properly, and becomes involved in Nandor’s latest quest for love entangled. There’s a bit of absurdity in her half of “The Lamp,” a riff on The Bachelor powered by a very serious genie who brings all of Nandor’s wives back from the dead for him to pick a favorite, but the dynamic is there by Nandor and Guillermo is starting to feel stale.

Guillermo stands a little more against the other vampires and demands to be made accountant of Nadja’s club, but that still seems to put him in the same role he always has, which is to protect the vampires from himself. The never-ending, raunchy romance between Nadja and Laszlo is as fun as ever because it’s full of joy and passion. Nandor continues to search for someone who will never challenge him while ignoring Guillermo’s devotion, and after four seasons that relationship has gone from weird to just plain sad.

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