Welcome to Bleeding Cool TV's Top 10 of 2020- a look back at the year in broadcast, cable, streaming, and online television with a focus on the best and brightest in what continues to be an ever-growing pool of quality content. Normally, this is where I would discuss how we're living in a new "Golden Age of Television" but with a year like 2020? It's important for us to highlight just how much Television stepped up in the face of a global pandemic, even as other mediums left their audiences to go it alone. Not Television. When others said, "Sorry, but we'll see you when the coast is clear," Television stepped up to make our lockdown times a little more sane- a bit more bearable. From live-streaming table reads to tweet-a-longs with shows' best and brightest offering fans new content to productions going into massive "bubble modes" to knock out as much content as possible. In 2020, Television proved once again what it's always been. A reflection of what we've been, who we are, and who we have the potential to be- in the toughest of times. So with that in mind, we kick off our year-end countdown with Jemaine Clement-created FX series What We Do in the Shadows.
Based on the feature film from Clement and Taika Waititi, the series focuses on vampire roommates Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), Laszlo (Matt Berry), and Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) as they take on both the supernatural as well as the all-too-real horrors of Staten Island, with the help of their human familiar, Guillermo (Harvey Guillén)- who just so happens to come from a long line of vampire hunters. As for why the series deserved to "stake" out a spot on our year-end list, here's our resident WWDITS reviewer Alejandra Bodden with her personal thoughts.
"'What We Do in the Shadows' was the gem I found in the midst of quarantine-slash-lockdown-slash-became addicted to my television screen. It was a really tough time when the pandemic first started- thankfully, my roommate introduced me to the show they thought would be right up my alley- and damn right it was. I was introduced to it just before the second season and I could not stop myself from needing to get caught up as soon as was humanly possible. WWDITS quickly became my weekly companion for several months, helping me cope with the work/sleep monotony that so many of us found ourselves suffering from as we adjusted to 24/7 home life," Bodden explained.
Alejandra continued, "It really does say something about this show when I go to research the episode titles to make sure I was mixing them up and find myself unable to stop laughing just from remembering what happened. There was not a single episode that did not have me laughing like crazy, but the laughs always had meaning and purpose. Best of all, the season remained true to Nandor, Laszlo, Nadja, Colin, and Gullermo- allowing them to grow without ever giving us a second when they still were not true to themselves. I have a wide selection of favorite moments spread across the entire season, but if I had to choose? Matt Berry as 'Jackie Daytona' aka Laszlo, and the wonderful (but temporary) life he carved out for himself in the fourth episode. 'What We Do in the Shadows' is the perfect balance of horror and comedy- having fun with the genre without ever feeling the need to make fun of it."
What We Do in the Shadows, based on the feature film by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, returns for its second season, documenting the nightly exploits of vampire roommates Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), Laszlo (Matt Berry), and Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) as they navigate the modern world of Staten Island with the help of their human familiar, Guillermo (Harvey Guillén).
Over the course of the season, the vampires will try to find their way in a world of human Super Bowl parties, internet trolls, an energy vampire who gets a promotion and becomes drunk on power and of course, all the ghosts, witches, necromancers, zombies and shadowy cloaked assassins who roam freely in the Tri-State area. Is Guillermo destined to be a vampire or a vampire hunter? Or maybe just a familiar for the rest of his life?
Created by Clement and produced by FX Productions, What We Do in the Shadows stars Kayvan Novak as Nandor, Natasia Demetriou as Nadja, Matt Berry as Laszlo, Mark Proksch as Colin Robinson, and Harvey Guillén as Guillermo. Clement, Waititi, and Paul Simms serve as executive producers, alongside Scott Rudin, Garrett Basch, Eli Bush, and Stefani Robinson.