What We Do in the Shadows (2019) s02e08 – Collaboration

Traditional sitcom writer team—seriously, IMDb them (“Frasier” and “Newsradio”—Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil contribute this episode’s script and… well, maybe things make more sense now. Also they don’t seem up on the show because they don’t know how to use Natasia Demetriou at all. Distressingly don’t know how to use her.

Anyway, the main plot involves Kayvan Novak’s familiar from the seventies (Jack O'Connell) remembering he was Novak’s familiar and showing up at the house, causing some tension with current familiar Harvey Guillén.

O’Connell returning isn’t actually the main plot, but Guillén once again getting upset about Novak not making him a vampire, which drives Guillén to the house of a newly changed vampire (Greta Lee), who promises he won’t have to wait so long to become a vampire.

It seems weird the show never came up for a good reason the vampires don’t want to make new vampires, because this episode just has Novak and other vampires staring blankly into the camera, offering empty promises about vampire-making. It’s completely unthought, not just wishy-washy. It gives Novak and Guillén some rather weak scenes to act through at times.

And O’Connell’s nowhere near funny enough, not as actor or character.

It seems like it should be funny—if they’d gotten Fred Willard or someone—but then they didn’t. They just got a bland guest star.

Meanwhile, Demetriou, Matt Berry, and Mark Proksch have a subplot about how Berry actually wrote all the popular songs in the world and didn’t get any credit for them. He and Demetriou start writing new music and driving each other nuts so, of course, Proksch wants to get them to a live music venue so he can feed off the discomfort of all involved.

It’s sporadically funny thanks to the actors and the actual singing is funny but… it’s like Johnson and Marcil didn’t know Berry could do singing and so on. Or, worse, they did and this subplot’s the best they came up with.

It’s not bad.

It’s just nowhere near as good as the other episodes this season. It feels very season one.

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