‘What We Do In The Shadows’ Season 4 Premiere Review

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What We Do In The Shadows is back from a wonderfully short hiatus, less than a year after the finale of season 3 (season 3 premiere review here). With Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, Matt Berry, Harvey Guillen, and Mark Proksch all back, I couldn’t be more excited to continue what has as of yet, been a fantastic year for television. Though, sadly, the premiere episodes of season 4 have been a little disappointing thus far.

[Warning: Spoilers for the 2 episode premiere of FX’s What We Do In The Shadows season 4 below!]

FX’s Hit Comedy, Back At Home

Season 3 left off with a brilliantly exciting cliffhanger, promising to see our lovable bunch split up into 3 groups, exploring new parts of the world and themselves. Though perhaps due to circumstances outside their control (pandemic, you know?), season 4 of the series has the gang right back in the house they left one year ago. That’s exactly where season 4 picks up: one year later, following the events of the season 3 finale.

The season still needs to be given a chance to find its footing, but the same can be said for me as a viewer. The world of the series is so unique and interesting, but so far removed from the world of our own that it takes some time to adjust. “Reunited” is kind of just one big catch-up-extravaganza, taking a lot of time just to get back into the groove of things. The characters slowly become reacquainted over the course of the episode and have some familiar rapport, reminding us of the dynamics and people involved. But I don’t feel like this premiere episode gives a whole more to latch on to.

Guillermo and Nandor in Season 4 of What We Do In The Shadows season 4
Harvey Guillen as Guillermo with Kayvan Novak as Nandor in Season 4 of What We Do In The Shadows. (FX)

The second episode is a bit better, and there’s a feeling the writers can really stretch their muscles now things have reached the status quo once again. “The Lamp” is an episode that could fit right alongside the episodes of previous seasons. Using the majority of its runtime to play off the idea of an ancient magic thing, this time a djinn jamp, and kind of cranking out as many jokes as you can from that. Though it does a good job playing into one of the long-term stories of the season as Nandor goes on a journey to find love.

The djinn lamp is used to hilariously bring to life and “re-dead” (as they call it) all of Nandor’s past wives in an attempt to track down the one he recalls he really loved. An episode that doesn’t really push the envelope creatively or conceptually, but a fun episode nonetheless. Like I said, right at home alongside some of the classics in the series.

Lazlo and “The Boy” aka Baby Colin Robinson

The most amazing addition to the season has been Lazlo’s relationship with the child that crawled out of the dead Colin Robinson’s chest cavity. It’s a disgusting little thing, with the body of a toddler and the bizarrely pasted-on face of Mark Proksch‘s Colin Robinson. The baby, now larger than it should be in just a one-year time jump likely due to some magic, claims its name to be Colin Robinson.

But, Lazlo has a clear disdain for the idea that the baby is reincarnation, and he hopes the baby can be something new completely. The idea that Lazlo, after forming some faux-connection with Colin Robinson in his final days, is now in full-on dad mode is laugh-out-loud funny. 

Lazlo and Baby Colin season 4 What we do in the shadows
Lazlo (Matt Berry) and Baby Colin (Mark Proksch) season 4 of What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Matt Berry has really turned up the heat this season. While in my heart, I’ve always known Nadja and Lazlo to be the hearts of the show, the focus has always been on Guillermo and Nandor’s relationship. Well, this season has turned the tide and I think it’s time for Matt Berry to get the respect he deserves.

Far and away, Lazlo is the funniest and most endearing part of these two premiere episodes. I hope as the season goes on, and even in the future seasons of the show, we can get Lazlo in a more front-and-center role. Berry has always had the best comedic chops, able to send me into a laughing fit with the delivery of a single word, but this storyline with “The Boy” is beginning to shine a light on Lazlo’s more endearing side. We could very well come out the other side of season 4 with Lazlo being both the funniest and most well-defined character of the show.

This season is off to a familiar but unimpressive start. I wasn’t blown away by anything, or even really laughing all that much, but the show has crafted a comforting environment. A place where I know I can come turn on FX every Tuesday at 10 pm PST, and just relax. The characters are really what makes the show work, and they are back and operating business as usual. But, I do hope that dreaded “running in place” feeling fades away soon. Otherwise, the show may soon become another piece of ancient vampire legends.

New episodes of What We Do In The Shadows premiere Tuesday nights on FX, and debut the next day on Hulu. What did you think of the two-episode premiere of What We Do In The Shadows season 4? Is it as good as ever, or was it a bit of a letdown? Let us know on social media!

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