‘What We Do in the Shadows” season 4 loses some of the show’s signature bite

Jared Tucker, Staff Writer

Spoilers for season 3 and 4

The first three seasons of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waitit’s smash-hit comedy What We Do In The Shadows is truly one of the most hilarious shows of all time. The raunchy and chaotic comedy is based off Waititi’s 2014 feature of the same name, and follows four vampires and their human “familiar” Guillermo as they go through the extravagant excursions of their daily lives. The show has developed a massive cult following, with an incredibly passionate fanbase who wait weekly for familiar, raunchy, and heartfelt shenanigans from the vampire friends. But season four, while still critically acclaimed and well-liked by most of the audience, seemed to fall flat. What went wrong?

At the end of the third season, the characters go their separate ways. Nandor heads on a worldwide trip to try and find his true purpose, Nadja heads to London to work on the Worldwide Vampiric Council with Guillermo, and Laslo stays home to take care of the baby Colin Robinson who emerged from the chest of the older, dead, Colin Robinson. The season finale was fantastic, and set up the characters for a full season of new plotlines in new places as they all seem to delve deeper into themselves. However, in the premier episode of season four, all the characters come back home, and the massive and shocking season finale set up before almost feels worthless. 

Season 4 has good plotlines, a decent amount of laughs, and a fair amount of emotion, but it still felt like a different show. Without adult Colin Robinson, the relationships between characters feel broken. Colin Robinson was the glue that held the show together, even if it was hard to tell in the earlier seasons. Also, fan-favorite Guillermo was given so little to do this season that he basically just stood around and had little character development until the twist in the season finale. 

To make matters worse, the baby Colin Robinson’s entire development over the course of the season was to become the same character that existed a season before. It essentially created another main plotline that went on a road to nowhere. Nadja, who spent half the season building up her vampire nightclub burns it down at the end of the season, once again a plotline that ends up right back where it started. 

Despite story flaws that spanned over the course of the entire season, What We Do In The Shadows season four still musters enough comedy to keep it entertaining, but it’s simply not as funny as it used to be. A lot of the jokes felt like the writers are trying too hard, and the comedic timing that was so perfectly executed in seasons 1-3 wasn’t as successful in the fourth. It felt as if the jokes felt scripted in the fourth season while the first three felt so natural. 

Overall, What We Do In The Shadows is far from bad, especially compared to most comedies, like Friends, which are far from being comedies. There are plenty of emotional and laugh out loud moments, but the season was unable to capture the charm, comedy, and flamboyance of the first three seasons. Hopefully season five explores the complexities of the characters and reverts back to the absolute incredibleness that was the first three seasons of What We Do In The Shadows.