What We Do In The Shadows Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Pilot

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If you've ever wondered what life would be like for a group of vampires living on Staten Island, FX's new comedy series What We Do in The Shadows has your answers.

The series is based on the 2014 film of the same name by Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi who both serve as Executive Producers on the show along with Paul Simms, Scott Rudin, Garrett Basch, and Eli Bush.  

It's an amusing, documentary-style look into their daily lives and what happens when their leader arrives in the New World to remind them of why they're there in the first place - total world domination.

Arrival of the Virgins - What We Do In The Shadows Season 1 Episode 1

You won't be rolling on the floor laughing (or you'll miss all the fun), but thirty minutes of chuckling at the ridiculous way they navigate through the world and with each other are well worth your time.

What We Do In The Shadows Season 1 Episode 1 introduces us to the main players, including Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) who is the familiar of Nandor, the Relentless (Kayvan Novak).

Guillermo is quite aware that he's nothing more than a slave to Nandor, but that doesn't stop him from being genuinely dedicated to his job. 

From procuring virgins to disposing of bloodless corpses, Guillermo dutifully performs his tasks, but he has a dream that he hopes will come to fruition sooner rather than later.

Guillermo - What We Do In The Shadows Season 1 Episode 1

In fact, he believes that the arrival of the vamps' leader, the Baron, and the preparations for said arrival is an indication that Nandor is going to finally turn him into a vampire as a reward for his ten years of service.

Guillermo has always loved vampires and believes that if Antonio Banderas can play the vampire Armand in Interview in the Vampire, his chances of being a real-life Hispanic vampire is a done deal.

But Nandor is a dufus and while he remembers it's Guillermo's anniversary, the only gift he has for his slave is a portrait of the two of them he created out of the leftover glitter from their earlier shopping trip.

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Although it was hilarious as hell to see how proud Nandor was of his homemade gift, it was a slap in the face to Guillermo that was made even worse when Nandor didn't even know how long the guy worked for him.

It has to be frustrating to be so close to a dream, yet so far away from it. Guillermo is a little more than disappointed with the outcome, and it's interesting that he might realize he has the upper hand when it comes to the vamps.

Being a vampire's familiar is like being a best friend, who, who's also a slave.


If they piss him off enough, he might just leave the curtains open and trick them to rise when the sun still shines, and since they are old school vamps, that means they'll disintegrate into thin air.

Nandor - What We Do In The Shadows Season 1 Episode 1

Guillermo changed his mind about punishing Nandor, but the Baron might not fare so well. We don't know yet if Guillermo was the one who let sunlight into the basement, but who else would have removed that plank?

Nandor is by far my favorite member of the family. He's completely nuts, and the only relentless thing about him is his wackiness.

He wants to be the vamp in charge, and he is in his head, but his housemates (except for Guillermo) have no respect for him. 

Nandor: I would like us to get a colorful dust that sparkles.
Guillermo: Glitter?
Nandor: Yes, get me some glitter.
Guillermo: Whatever for, Master?
Nandor: Well, I want to do something special for the immortal one's arrival. I am going to sprinkle it on my face and on my body. Like Twilight.

The way he walks around with his flowing warrior cape like he's the king of fashion is ridiculous, but the way his mind operates is what makes him so entertaining.

The best and most hilarious moment of the premiere came when he and Guillermo were shopping for the Baron's big arrival.

Not only did he develop an instant and deep love affair with "creepy paper" (crepe paper), but his desire to purchase glitter so he could sprinkle it on his body and face "like Twilight" showed just how preposterous he is.

Nadja - What We Do In The Shadows Season 1 Episode 1

And the fool actually did turn himself into Sparkly Edward when he put it all over his face to try to impress the Baron. At least he realized how stupid he looked after the night turned into a disaster.

Still, just writing about that moment cracks me up, and I can't wait to see how his goofiness develops over the course of the season.

Do you remember that first time we made love? It was so passionate, I accidentally cut off your head.


Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and Lazlo (Matt Berry) are the show's resident couple who have been together for quite some time, Nadja having converted Lazlo many moons ago.

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Lazlo is a narcissist with a filthy mouth. Nadja is smart and sassy and always has sex on her mind.

Like Nandor, they are surprised by that the Baron will be visiting but they're also titillated because they both had separate love affairs with the big boss which they are more than eager to share with the documentary crew.

It defines them as much as their ridiculous outfits which they proudly wear in public not even realizing that their "dressed down" look has the opposite effect of what they desire which is to not draw attention to themselves.

Lazlo - What We Do In The Shadows Season 1 Episode 1

Nadja is the more interesting of the two mostly because her life doesn't revolve around living in the house. She has a secret crush on a human named Jeff Suckler (yep) that she thinks is a reincarnation of her old flame from the old country, Gregor.

Jeff is a loser but he's completely intrigued by this woman who seems to have formed some connection with him and likes to talk dirty. She's the woman of any lonely pervert's dreams, and Jeff is a pretty lonely guy.

We've been very careful not to stand out. Which is why we dress down.


While we didn't spend a lot of time with him, we also meet Colin Robinson who is an energy vampire. Out of all the players, he's the most boring and that's probably the point.

Energy Vampire - What We Do In The Shadows Season 1 Episode 1

Not even the others like him very much and didn't involve him in preparing for the Baron's arrival, but Lazlo is worried that Robinson's powers are growing stronger because of how he so quickly overpowers his "victims" with his incessant and pointless talking.

How he even ended up living in the same house as the rest has yet to be explored, but I hope the reveal isn't as mindnumbing as the character appears to be at the moment.

Overall, the premiere episode of What We Do in The Shadows was a lot of fun and I can't wait to again chuckle into the night with the ridiculous antics of this group of vampire misfits.

Over to you!

What did you think of the pilot episode of What We Do in the Shadows?

Did you find yourself chuckling at the vamps' antics or were you rolling on the floor in hysterics?

Who's your favorite character?

Hit the comments and share your thoughts!

If you want to see what all the fuss is about, you can watch What We Do In The Shadows online right here via TV Fanatic!

Pilot Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (8 Votes)

Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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What We Do In The Shadows Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

They would call me Nandor the relentless because I would never relent.


Being a vampire's familiar is like being a best friend, who, who's also a slave.