Last year, What We Do in the Shadows made the transition from film to TV and delivered one of the funniest seasons of any comedy series in 2019. Now, it has returned for a second season which doubles down on the comedy, builds upon the existing lore and is just a tonne of fun through every minute of each episode.
The comedic prowess of Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry and Natasia Demetriou as Nandor, Laszlo and Nadja is through the roof as the three of them go back and forth delivering genuine laugh-out-loud moments across the entire season. When the three of them are together, the hijinks they get up to is some of the funniest content of the series. However, even when they go off to follow their own arcs the writing is so strong, and their comedic timing is so flawless, that it remains funny the entire time. It’s not all that common to have a comedy series where every single character is unique and funny enough to hold their own story arcs without interacting with the rest of the main cast. Another show that did so successfully is The Office (US).
The memorable moments that the show creates make it feel like it’s a show I’ve seen 20 times and it’s still funny. This is undoubtedly an instant classic that will never not be absolutely hilarious. I need to give a specific shoutout to Matt Berry’s “Jackie Daytona” arc which is the unrivalled standout of the season. Pure comedy that we must see more of going forward.
Outside of the main three performances, I feel like this season allowed both Harvey Guillén and Mark Proksch to shine as Guillermo and Colin Robinson respectively. They both have a heavier presence in this season, one that only brings a greater variety of laughs in ways I would not have expected. Then you have the cameo appearances from larger actors that add even more to the fun to the series. Everyone in here is just great and it’s their comedic abilities that make this show stand out above the rest.
The writing across every episode is fantastic, with each one packed with hilarious moments and a contained story that is entertaining and easy to follow. There’s never a dull moment across the whole season where a joke runs on too long or there’s a long stretch without a joke that hits. There’s a delicate blend of the more ridiculous comedy and smaller subtle comedic beats so one doesn’t overpower the other.
Despite not every episode having Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement on as writers, it feels like they’re right behind the camera directing every scene. The fact that the series can remain so tonally consistent to the first season and the original movie is remarkable. The mockumentary style is executed to perfection here, with the interviews adding another layer to the events actually going on in the show. Even the brief moments where it’s acknowledged that there’s a crew behind the cameras filming them are great, especially while following Colin Robinson or Guillermo.
In the end, What We Do in the Shadows definitely appeals to a specific audience and won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But for anyone who loves a blend of smart and ridiculous comedy filmed in the style of a mockumentary and with the genius minds of Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement behind it, this is the show for you. It’s the funniest comedy series on TV that has gotten even better with this second season. Can’t wait to see where they take a third season from here.