What We Do in the Shadows: Nouveau Théâtre Des Vampires
June 13, 2020 7:16 PM - Season 2, Episode 10 - Subscribe

The vampires prepare to attend the most exclusive event on the vampiric social calendar. [Season finale]

The vampires get cultured as What We Do In The Shadows wraps up a killer second season (Katie Rife for TV/AV Club; rating: A)
[...] this week’s episode, which finds our apparently quite unpopular foursome thrilled to finally score an invitation to the grand spectacle that is the Noveau Théâtre des Vampires—the “Nouveau” presumably added to avoid issues with both Anne Rice and the Italian metal band [of the same name]. The concept and staging of the show is highly reminiscent of Paris’ legendary Le Theatre du Grand Guignol, which from the 1890s up to WWII titillated audiences with naturalistic horror plays that, much like the pantomime of the vampires’ supposed crimes, simulated beheadings, burnings, and stabbings on stage. (It was also apparently a popular spot for adulterous liaisons, which would have tickled Laszlo and Nadja’s fancy.) Simply everyone is there, from Mikhael the Awful to Marichella, Mistress of the Night. Even Jemaine Clement is there, reprising his character from the original film as the emcee of a stage show that also quite cleverly serves as a recap of the season.

The ensuing events close up a hole in the plot I noted last week, namely that the vampire council seemed to be slacking in its efforts to bring the vampires to justice. “Noveau Théâtre Des Vampires” also brought Guillermo’s inner conflict to its inevitable conclusion, although his departure from the household didn’t last very long. Is it better to be an overworked, never paid vampire familiar with your own room and occasional joy rides above Staten Island, or to live at home with a broken fridge and no personal space? It’s safe to say at this point that Nandor and the gang will never value Guillermo any more than the bare minimum they do now. (Hey, at least they learned his first name, finally.) But they also need him—or need somebody to pick up after them, at least.
Episode soundtrack from Tunefind.
posted by filthy light thief (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This was a really good episode, even if I was a little disappointed that it took us right to the moment of confrontation we've been waiting for all season, when Guillermo's slayer skills are revealed... and then ended right there. After this bloodbath I'd imagine that Guillermo and the vamps might have to go on the run... but then I kind of thought that at the end of the first season, and they found a way to just get everybody back in the house.

I liked how they played Nandor's reaction to losing Guillermo, how he was clearly heartbroken but also still kind of a clueless asshole. "Fuck that guy anyway, for making me wonder if I should have been more aloof to him!"

The vamps in the original movie seem to have enjoyed quite a bump in status following the "documentary." They were on the vampire council last season and now Vladislav is the host of this thing that is apparently THE big vampire shindig of the year. (Weirdly enough the vampires from the original movie kind of seem like they're the villains in this show, heading the council that's trying to kill the current crew!) So, if the original documentary was released, it would seem like humans know about vampires now... but the humans we meet (other than the slayers) clearly don't know vampires are real. Was the documentary just seen as fiction by humans, and only vampires understood that it was real? Is the show actually supposed to be set in our world, and the original film was seen as a comedy but it was really a documentary and all the "actors" in the movie and this show are really vampires after all??
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:06 PM on June 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

My guess is that it was a documentary that came out in New Zealand, so it was seen by approximately two people on Staten Island, even if it did get a US distribution deal.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:26 AM on June 14, 2020 [12 favorites]

I really enjoyed this episode, am sad that we'll have to wait for more, but my favorite part was Nandor cheering Guillermo on and giving him helpful tips while Guillermo killed the rest of the theater.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:29 AM on June 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Okay but vampire planning is actually decent here? After all their individual assassins failed, they folded their retribution/justice into a pre-planned event where their targets would choose to show up to a particular location and be surrounded by the strongest of their kind. It didn't work, but it was a surprisingly smart idea. The downside being that their targets had more time to continue their murder spree, apparently. I love that they got the blame for Guillermo's many "unexplained" vampire killings!

I also love that, although the overall situation is very funny, Guillermo's vampire-killing action sequences are actually played pretty straight. The show wants us to know that he is impressive!
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:27 AM on June 14, 2020 [5 favorites]

“I am Guillermo de la Cruz.” Did we know Gizmo’s last name before? I can’t remember, but I love it. And I loved his happy look over the roof top when he scampered up there. I’m so pleased with his arc over the last two seasons.

And Nandor got out of his coffin all by himself! With no one holding his hand!

The show really got stronger this season. Carol has my vote for scariest villain. Even her in Memoriam picture was scary. I’m slightly sad none of the vamps clapped during the in memoriam. It seems like something they’d do.
posted by gladly at 9:48 AM on June 14, 2020 [8 favorites]

Vampires seem like a selfish bunch, at least in this universe of vampires. They'll support each-other, to a point.

I think this is the first time we learned Guillermo's last name, which means "of (or from) the cross." I think if we knew it earlier, it could have given away too much.

This season was fantastic, IMO, and in no small part due to Guillermo's transformation. This is still my favorite exit.

But there was also Colin Robinson's growth, finding his place in management. Nadja got a new best friend in little Doll Nadja and previously was reunited with her star-crossed lover, and her brief reunion with the old lady she visited decades prior as a girl. Laszlo had his brief period as Jackie Daytona. It feels like Nandor is ready for his moment or episode (though seeing him in a jersey in this episode makes me want to go back to watch "Citizenship" from last season, when he talks about his love of the '92 Dream Team).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:31 AM on June 14, 2020 [6 favorites]

My favourite was the theatre version of Guillermo as a hapless tiny familiar. The vampire community arrogance towards their familiars is delightful when it is being bloodily punctured.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:31 PM on June 14, 2020 [5 favorites]

Now that I think of it, it's kind of strange that they had an insulting caricature of Guillermo all ready to go, complete with pathetic fight choreography... As if they were expecting the vampires to make the argument that Guillermo was behind the slayings.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:45 PM on June 14, 2020

"As if they were expecting the vampires to make the argument that Guillermo was behind the slayings."

Of course they expected it. lt's one of the three rules of the Vampire Club:
  1. Dress Appropriately
  2. The Familiar Broke It
  3. Never Make Eye Contact With Nicolas Cage
"It’s safe to say at this point that Nandor and the gang will never value Guillermo any more than the bare minimum they do now. (Hey, at least they learned his first name, finally.)

Okay, whose familar fucked-up the copyediting?

"You're too kind. We can all do it. We're vampires."
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:00 PM on June 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

I keep trying to figure out the Nicolas Cage joke. Is this a reference to something they said on the show, or something about him starring in Vampire's Kiss?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:11 PM on June 15, 2020

I kinda wonder how they tied the disco vampire slayings to our crew, but I suppose the alternative is that there's someone else out there killing vampires, and the Vampiric Council refuses to believe that.
posted by ckape at 10:37 AM on June 16, 2020

Or it's just more convenient to blame them and consider the matter resolved.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:13 AM on June 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Guillermo DE LA CRUZ, baby! Nominative determinism FTW!
posted by whuppy at 7:55 PM on June 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

I love Guillermo so much, and this Vulture article gets him, How Guillermo Found His Power on What We Do in the Shadows. It's so cool how the entire production thinks about Guillermo and his secret.
Neale is also behind the creation of the most dramatic addition to Guillermo’s costume: his custom-made Van Helsing trench coat. While his brown sweaters are a way to hide inside his own life, the green-hued trench coat is “liberating” because it’s designed for movement. Season two includes several major fight scenes for Guillermo, featuring stunts Guillén does almost entirely himself (except for those not improved by insurance, he said), and the trench coat is a vital visual cue, a signal of Guillermo’s surprising vampire-killing agility. It shows up first in “The Curse,” when Guillermo joins a vampire-hunting club, but when he puts it on in front of Nandor, no one seems to notice. It’s not shiny or attention-grabbing. It’s just a coat. Later in the episode, though, as Guillermo’s called into action to save his club from a vicious vampire family, the trench coat’s full visual power is revealed. It flaps behind him as he lunges toward a vampire. Suddenly, it looks almost like a cape.
(behind a paywall but a private window worked for me)
posted by gladly at 8:40 AM on July 13, 2020 [5 favorites]

For Your Consideration Ad: What We Do In The Shadows’ Jackie Daytona shills for normal human alcohols (AV Club, August 20, 2020)

Taika Waititi Scores Emmy Double With ‘Mandalorian’ & ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ Nominations (Deadline, July 28, 2020)

What We Do In the Shadows has 8 Emmy nominations this season.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:14 PM on August 20, 2020

I’m finally watching this show. I saw this episode weeks ago and “Guillermo…..is there something you haven’t been telling us?” has been making me giggle intermittently since then.
posted by bq at 2:43 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

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