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What We Do In the Shadows Could Live as Long As Its Immortal Characters

Beginning its fifth season, What We Do in the Shadows is in a special situation because FX has already committed to both Seasons 5 and 6 of the show for 2022. This means that we can expect at least one more season of the antics of Staten Island's beloved clumsy vampires. And there is tremendous room for the series to grow beyond that. According to the show's star Kristen Schaal, "I think this is one of the most unique shows to ever come along for an actor," she tells Consequence. Everyone I speak with about the show wants to stay on it, including the writers, producers, and directors. because it has the capacity to essentially become anything.

The cast finds consolation in their comparatively secure employment. Natasia Demetriou, who portrays the long-lived Nadja, says that it's nice to know what's coming up in your life if you can. "Because there's always a risk that if you don't know [whether the show has been renewed], you'll be like, 'Bye then, this is it.' Being able to say, "Oh, I did a really bad job in that episode," is incredibly soothing. I've got ten more to go, though.

According to Mark Proksch, who portrays energy vampire Colin Robinson, "it does help you relax and have fun, instead of over-thinking every single moment you're acting."

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While it is comforting to know that at least one more season is assured, the cast's excitement about the idea of more seasons is unmistakably driven by the show's flexibility. We are currently experiencing a dual reality in which "vampires can exist," "anything is possible," and "everything is kind of on the table," according to Schaal. Our characters can turn into smoke, and the comedy can be absolutely irreverent, which is really wonderful. Our characters are immortal. Our characters might change. You know, if you sped up to a hundred years from now, we would still be here. We might be living if you did a flashback episode from 2000 years ago. The most imaginative concepts possible can play here.

The writers' commitment to coming up with fresh situations for these people, according to Demetriou, "maybe is a little bit the reason the show has able to continue, since they reinvent everything so much. I believe the writers' decision to say, "Right, let's completely change it up," was done on purpose. Let's draw attention to this facet of a character. Let's draw attention to this relationship.

After appearing on the show in recurring roles for several seasons, Schaal recently joined the cast as a series regular. Despite only working part-time, Schaal adds, "I know that when I go to work or get called to come play with everyone, that I will be doing something that I've never done before. I'm not going to think, "Oh, this scene again." How can I make this order of coffee and something different from the last one? No, it sounds as if you'll be conversing with a devil. You'll be arriving here by air. You'll be bringing a fresh soul into the world. Just so much joy.

I question Schaal's co-star Harvey Guillén about his thoughts on the experience once she finishes. He responds with the perfect deadpan, "It's okay."

Future of What We Do in the ShadowsHow We Work in the Dark (FX)
He then tells a tale of the first time the show's authors truly startled him: "Guillermo didn't even have a last name [in Season 1]. I ultimately asked [creator] Jemaine [Clement] and [executive producer] Stefani Robinson, "Can I give him a last name?" because that really worried me for the first few episodes. I had constant worry because I didn't know where this character was heading because they kept everything in the first season so covert — just like Taika [Waititi] and Jemaine did in the [original] movie. I don't understand the character's perspective. He is who? His last name, please?"

When the writers asked Guillén what he believed Guillermo's last name may be, Guillén responded, "de la Cruz." "They're like, 'What does that mean?'" Guillén claims. And I said, "It refers to the cross." Can I do that?" Since they're vampires, obviously. When that happened, Jemaine said, "Actually, that's fantastic.

Guillén discovered at the season's conclusion that Guillermo was a Van Helsing ancestor, which made the final name he had given very appropriate. My portrayal of this character, which they had already developed but kept from the actor, "blew my mind." I thought it was fantastic because I got to play him without knowing; when Guillermo found out, that's when I realized he was a Van Helsing.

And as viewers of the program are aware, the surprises kept coming. It's enjoyable to be surprised each season, adds Guillén. Every time they perform, especially this season, they amaze me.

A through-line of some form is helpful for a show to achieve the kind of durability that Shadows has enjoyed. The question of "whether or not Guillermo's going to become a vampire and get his wish," according to Schaal, is crucial to the show. How his connection with Nandor is going to develop is, at least for me as a fan, the major plot point of the show. They may not always reside in that home, in my opinion. But in my opinion, the connections must continue to run parallel to one another. For instance, I don't think a separation between Laszlo and Nadja would work. That, in my opinion, would harm the show. But I have no idea because I'm not a writer. I've made mistakes before.

Are there any aspects of Shadows that need to stay the same? "I truly have no idea. Like I don't know," Demetriou quips. "I'm aware that Colin will say some dull things and Nandor and Harvey might have a touching encounter. Lazlo will discuss his genitalia. I'll sound quite strident. I am aware that they will be discussed, but beyond that, I have no idea. And that, in my opinion, accounts for at least some of the show's longevity.

"I guess writing the show, the writers have to be excited by putting the characters in new situations, and I think ultimately that's where they lead," continues Kayvan Novak (who portrays the aforementioned Nandor). And because of their excellent instincts, it's always exciting to execute those scripts, to speak those words, and to take off all your clothing on a chilly Toronto night.

Demetriou laughs, "We weren't filming then, so that's irrelevant," and goes on to laud the writers. "They are willing to throw anything out of the show, but they are very good at finding their way back to something that seems true and doesn't completely shift everything to the point where you are like, 'Well, what show is this?'" I believe the writers are excellent at it. Moreover, I wouldn't rule anything out for them.

The cast as a whole is in favor of the program's continuation after Season 6, because as Demetriou puts it, "I just can't fathom a world where I'll get to be in a show like this again. So, make it last and extend it. It ought to go on forever.


Daniel Jack

For Daniel, journalism is a way of life. He lives and breathes art and anything even remotely related to it. Politics, Cinema, books, music, fashion are a part of his lifestyle.