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When you write What We Do in the Shadows down on paper, it sounds absolutely ridiculous. Never in my life would I have thought a mockumentary series in the vein of The Office or Parks and Rec about the misadventures of vampires in Staten Island would be so successful. However, What We Do in the Shadows is one of the funniest comedy shows that FX has had to offer. It oozes comedy of every type, having something for everyone viewer, but it also has a ton of heart. What We Do in the Shadows season 5 premiere has finally arrived on FX and Hulu, bringing two hours of vampiric antics to our screens once again.

The first part, “The Mall” was written by Marika Sawyer and directed by Yana Gorskaya, with the second part of the premiere “A Night Out with the Guys” was written by Paul Simms and directed by Kyle Newacheck. Bringing to life these larger-than-life characters are Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, and Natasia Demetriou, along with vampire familiar Guillermo played by Harvey Guillén. So what exactly is this family of vampires up to in the What We Do in the Shadows season 5 premiere? Oh, so much dear reader.

 [Warning: Spoilers from What We Do in the Shadows Season 5 Premiere are below!]

Guillermo’s big secret and other changes

When we join up with the vampires in What We Do in the Shadow’s season 5 premiere, there’s been a return to normal. The vampire nightclub is no more, which provided a ton of comedic impact last season. Instead, the vampires are back to being secluded in their house on Staten Island, removed from the world, similar to their stories in the earlier seasons. While there’s a return to normal, there’s one thing that is vastly different. There’s something off about Guillermo and everyone can see it. 

While Nador (Novak) and Nadja (Demetriou) have noticed the change, neither are as suspicious about the change in Guillermo as much as Laszlo (Berry) is. Guillermo has always had a nervous energy to him, but now that he’s harboring a secret, it’s to a whole new level. What exactly is that secret you might be asking yourself? Well, hold onto your butts, because Guillermo is now a vampire!

What we do in the shadows season 5 premiere
Nador (Kayvan Novak), Guillermo (Harvey Guillén), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), and Laszlo (Matt Berry). What We Do In the Shadows (FX).

Except, he isn’t? Not exactly. Throughout “The Mall” you learn that while Guillermo went through the very bloody process to do so, with help from Derek the vampire, the transition process didn’t quite go right. It’s been weeks and Guillermo hasn’t fully changed into a vampire. There are some changes to his life, such as improved vision and a desire for raw meat, however, he can’t change into a bat, doesn’t have a taste for blood, and still can step into sunlight.

The lack of changes has become frustrating for Guillermo, who has wanted to be a vampire for years and denied that by his master, Nador. Although, he also realizes he made a mistake in asking Derek to him with the change. It’s a huge slap in the face to your master to have another vampire make you a vampire. A disrespect that results in the death of the famillar that betrays their master in that way. 

“The Mall” sees a huge change in Nadja, who is lost and depressed after the loss of her nightclub. It doesn’t help that she became a vampiric alcoholic, drinking the blood of humans who are intoxicated. Her addiction resulted in the loss of the club, as well as the destruction of doll Nadja’s legs. She’s lost, a story that continues on to episode two.

A trip to the mall with vampires and other threads

Threaded throughout the narrative of Guillermo’s transition, which is the main storyline of the first two episodes, are the usual antics that viewers have come to know and love. In the first episode, Nador decides to celebrate Guillermo’s birthday, believing that his change is due to having his birthday forgotten. So Nador, Nadja, and Laszlo take Guillermo out for dinner at a nice restaurant, where Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) is now working at. 

The dinner is followed up with a trip to the mall for some errands that Guillermo needs to complete. Watching Nador riding a carousel was one of the high points of the premiere. I laughed so hard I cried. While Nador and Nadja explored the mall, Laszlo follows Guillermo closely, looking for the truth behind his changed behavior…

A boys’ night out and Nadja’s Hex in the What We Do in the Shadows season 5 premiere

Continuing into the second part of the premiere, Nador and Laszlo decide to go out with their friends, who are just normal men from their neighborhood. However, as Laszlo points out, Nador has a problem keeping his vampiric ways a secret. Cue the mind control, Nador’s calling card, which is becoming quite the problem. 

WWDITS- Laszlo and Guillermo
Laszlo (Matt Berry) and Guillermo (Harvey Guillén). What We Do in the Shadows (FX).

Throughout the night, Nador keeps slipping up but is covered by Laszlo’s charm who can talk himself out of any situation. But can Laszlo’s charm keep the evening together? And why is Laszlo so bothered by Nandor’s talent for hypnosis? 

Guillermo spends episode two trying to figure out why his transition hasn’t taken full effect yet, and if there’s a way to reverse the process. He seeks help from Derek and Baron Afanas (Doug Jones), who has a few ideas of what might help change a vampire back. Even if those ideas are bad. Eventually, Guillermo shares his secret with Laszlo, who becomes burdened with the knowledge of Guillermo’s betrayal.

The Guide (Kristen Schaal) returns just in the nick of time. Nadja has a hex placed on her, however, she doesn’t know how to handle it. With the help of her new friend and Colin Robinson, the group set off on their own adventure, which coincides with a trip down memory lane for Nadja. I hope of all storylines introduced in this season, we see more of Nadja’s heritage.

Overall, the What We Do in the Shadows season 5 premiere is a strong beginning to what I believe is going to be a fantastic season. Both episodes provided a solid hour of hilarious laughs. Where the show felt a little lost last season, it feels like it’s found its footing once again. The only thing that I wished these episodes had more of was Colin Robinson, who felt relegated to a background character in both episodes. Hopefully, there’s more of him coming in future episodes.

What We Do in the Shadows is streaming on Hulu and on FX weekly . What did you think of the premiere? Let us know on Twitter or in The Cosmic Circus Discord.

Review: What We Do In The Shadows– “Sunrise, Sunset” (S4 EP10)

What we do in the shadows s4 finale

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Brian Kitson

Working hard to bring you the latest news and thoughtful analysis of all things nerdy!

Brian Kitson has 368 posts and counting. See all posts by Brian Kitson