What We Do in the Shadows: Pilot
March 27, 2019 7:56 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Watching this pilot made me want to rewatch the movie more than it made me want to watch the next episode, but, maybe now that the piloty stuff is out of the way it will grow on me?

I’m not sure about the States Island setting - since they’re filming in Toronto, it feels like they’d have been better off picking some Canadian city/town. Are they going to use stock footage/green screen for the iconic Staten Island sites (the ferry? views of the Statue of Liberty or Manhattan skyline?). If it’s just going to be all night-shoots and Toronto-for-generic-US-city, not sure why they bothered.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:00 AM on March 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

I wasn't aware about the movie until now. I thought this pilot was enjoyable in that it (ironically?) manages to breathe just a wee bit of new life into the, imho, very worn-out "Office" conceit. I'll definitely give the next episodes a watch.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:20 AM on March 28, 2019

Staten Island is conceptually funny as a place for Vampires to live. You'd think of Ann Rice vampires in Manhattan, or even artsy hipster vampires in Brooklyn, but working-class shlub vampires in Staten Island? Way funnier. Like Canadian vampires would be Aussie-vampire funny, but Staten Island vampires are New-Zealand-vampires funny.
posted by rikschell at 9:59 AM on March 28, 2019 [6 favorites]

Oh god, definitely watch the movie. I'm so happy they kept the theme song, too.

As far as the show goes, I'm in for more energy vampiring.
posted by rewil at 10:04 AM on March 28, 2019 [5 favorites]

There were some good laughs in this -- the little absurdities were great. However, a lot of the "big" jokes fell a bit flat for me. I did really enjoy Matt Berry in this, though, and I look forward to seeing what he does with his character.

I think it kind of suffered from being the pilot episode, though, so I'm going to keep watching it. I hope it finds its own voice outside of the original movie and I think it will.
posted by darksong at 10:10 AM on March 28, 2019

I wished they played up the Staten Island aspect too. Maybe when we meet the werewolves, they will be a gang of fist-pumping guidos.
posted by cazoo at 10:46 AM on March 28, 2019 [4 favorites]

Matt Berry is delightful in the right kind of comedy and I liked a lot of beats here. Some pilot pacing but Guillermo! We agreed he is the sweetest. Poor Joan. The energy vampire is an odd weirdness and slightly blah yet actually creepy. I laughed at the tree bloodbath. I'm glad they're keeping the old illustrations pastiche. The larping was a lame joke on stereotypes, not that funny.

Very much on board, I can't imagine though the weight of expectations given how much of a cult favourite WWDITS has become.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:36 PM on March 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

I liked the show more than the movie. I feel like the extra campy/arch delivery of the show's vampires better suits the material.
There were moments where I chuckled in the movie (swearwolves), but for the most part I was waiting for a punchline that never came.
posted by ishmael at 5:56 PM on March 29, 2019

I'm looking forward to e02 and 3 before making judgment. This has mostly been fun but there's a lot of "bleh."
posted by porpoise at 6:38 PM on March 29, 2019

The energy vampire is an odd weirdness and slightly blah yet actually creepy.

There's actually a couple levels of meta-joke going on with him, in that 'energy vampire' is both a descriptor of a type of person who's a drag to be around, and also a subset of actual real world people who want to say they're vampires but obviously can't go around sipping human vitae all day.... so they invented this 'energy vampire' silliness to maintain the image of being a cool Dracula but also goth psychic in a way that doesn't upset law enforcement with constant murders, or upset their tummies with constant blood chugging.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:51 AM on April 1, 2019 [8 favorites]

Loved the movie, loved this episode even though it repeated a lot of the movie.

The energy vampire is incredibly hilarious to me, the way we keep popping into the middle of his deathly banal monologues about nothing important.

I love that I can apparently recognize Doug Jones even in full makeup—he’s seriously one of my favorite actors.

Is the character of Guillermo supposed to be throwing shade at Guillermo del Toro?

I agree that the LARPing virgins joke was lazy. I mean, I’m not a LARPer myself but I figure that the “nerds are virgins” idea breaks down once you get a whole lot of them together in one place enjoying a shared passion and plentiful corsets.
posted by ejs at 6:59 PM on April 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

oh yeah!: Watching this pilot made me want to rewatch the movie more than it made me want to watch the next episode

Well put! And agreed. It felt a bit off, like a well-meaning copy of the movie. Werewolves, not swearwolves!

rewil: As far as the show goes, I'm in for more energy vampiring.

Perhaps he's part of my off feeling, but I love seeing Mark Proksch, aka "Walter Off-White" in Better Call Saul, aka Kenny 'K-Strass' Strasser, Yo-yo Master (previously, twice).

Some of my favorite bits in the show: Nandor says: "I want to do something special for the Immortal One's arrival. I'm going to sprinkle it on my face and on my body. Like Twilight. So deliciously macabre." He's even more thrilled to find "creepy paper," and ignores Guillermo's corrections to crepe paper, twice. But then Guillermo holds up the paper skeleton and says "Master, this is pretty 'macarb'," instead of macabre.

And then he made Guillermo a glittery vampire portrait! He made him into a sparkly vampire! For his two years of service! Er, 10 years!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:44 PM on April 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

This episode begins on BBC2 in about three minutes, so it looks like I'll be watching the show at US/Torrent speed and BBC speed, which could get confusing.
posted by Grangousier at 1:42 PM on May 19, 2019

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