Year after year, What We Do in the Shadows proves exactly why it’s must-watch TV for any comedy fan. It’s not often you find a series that’s able to offer impeccable quality and consistency across every episode without fail. Somehow, four seasons in, it still feels like the best of What We Do in the Shadows is yet to come.
Every time I review a season of What We Do in the Shadows, I feel like a broken record… but it’s for all the right reasons. The writing continues to be the strongest of any comedy series on TV right now, and maybe even of any comedy series I’ve ever seen. Every episode is jam-packed from beginning to end with quick-witted dialogue, visual gags and running jokes – as you’d expect. But as impressive as the comedy is within this season, it’s the writers’ ability to also notably develop characters beyond who we’ve known them to be in seasons passed. The storylines that carry through the season actually push our characters into brand new territory, making for an entirely refreshing journey each time. Nothing feels rehashed. Every episode, even in this fourth season, feels unique in concept and execution – a true testament to the talented minds in the writers’ room.
When comedic gags dictate a narrative, you’re left with an end result that may be funny, but is typically almost unwatchable from a story perspective. In this series, for the most part, it’s clear as day that the narrative and journey of our characters came first, with the comedy and improvised moments being built around that. This structure rewards audiences by not treating them like idiots. It presents a number of narrative throughlines that are fun and engaging, while allowing the comedy to flow naturally and fit the situation the characters are in. On top of this, it also paves the way for a couple of genuinely impactful emotional beats to play a part. This isn’t a huge component of the season, but the effectiveness of these heartfelt moments is a testament to the attention to detail in the writing. I wasn’t expecting the few emotional beats that came in the tail end of the season, which made it all the more impactful.
Speaking of not expecting things, this entire season is riddled with comedic one-liners, celebrity cameos and absolutely insane concepts that had me completely hooked and in stitches. The running gag that makes this season as incredible as it is, is the baby Colin Robinson arc. It’s the gift that keeps on giving – hands-down one of the most perfectly executed running gags I’ve witnessed. Then there’s the presence of episode eight. I won’t spoil anything about it, but it’s one of the most magnificent concepts I’ve ever seen – a complete hurricane of ingenuity and laughs from beginning to end. It’s also a brilliant showing of how editing can be used for enhanced comedic effect.
The impeccable writing and witty dialogue is one thing, but it’s the performances from our lead cast that spell out just how exceptional this season is. As with the previous three seasons, there isn’t a single standout in this ensemble – everyone lifts their weight and nails every scene with perfect comedic timing. Chemistry across the board amongst the ensemble is once again off the charts. No matter who is in a scene, whether it be just two of the crew or the whole gang, it’s guaranteed to be entertaining due to the conflicting personalities and developing character relationships. Specifically, Matt Berry (Laszlo) and Mark Proksch (Colin Robinson) share some of my favourite moments from the season. They both go through a lot this time around, and every moment is brilliant. Then of course, Kayvan Novak (Nandor), Natasia Demetriou (Nadja) and Harvey Guillén (Guillermo) are each perfect in their own ways. I honestly cannot pick a favourite character. This really is a unified group to where every performance is dependant on the other, and there are not faults whatsoever.
I also really admire the recurring use of side characters like Kristen Schaal’s The Guide and Anthony Atamanuik’s Sean. They both feature throughout the season and contribute to so many great moments despite their limited screen time. They’re not part of the main crew, but their contributions to the comedy and the narratives make them very valuable additions. They also add an extra dash of variety on top of what we already get within the main cast.
In the end, I have no complaints. What We Do in the Shadows proves time and time again why it’s such a beloved series and one of the greatest shows on TV. With four seasons gone and two confirmed seasons in the pipeline, this show is a must-watch for anyone who loves a good laugh, especially in that mockumentary style. Every single episode is brilliantly written, with hilarious one-liners and running gags that span the length of the season. This season is crazier than ever, with some of the most amazing concepts and storylines of the series so far. I could honestly sit here and praise this series endlessly – so I’ll just say to do yourself a favour and get on it!