A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
A comedy about vampires is a strange place to draw positive messages, but themes of tolerance and respect for differing points of view do occasionally peek through.
Positive Role Models
Characters have some ethnic and gender diversity, more than the movie's vampires, anyway. Each character has a distinct personality that much of the show's humor arises from, and each is portrayed sympathetically (considering that the vampires are brutal killers).
Violence & Scariness
This comedy is built around vampires, so expect bloody deaths, always played for laughs. Two vampires pull a man up into the trees, talk about how "delicious" he is; deluge of blood drops onto woman who was walking through park with him. Vampires gather for "blood feast," where nervous would-be victims are herded into dark chamber and one is bitten by a vampire; we see vampire leaning forward and then pulling back with bloody face. Guillermo and vampires deal with leftover dead bodies, wrapping them in material, lugging them outside. Vampires themselves may look human, or may have special-effects makeup to look something like pale, leathery bats.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to sex are jokey: "There's only one part of my anatomy that was affected by leprosy," says Laszlo. Laszlo and Nadja are in relationship, talk about having sex with each other and with other people; they talk about each having had an "intense sexual affair" with a male vampire they both know ("very acrobatic," says Laszlo). Vampires often hope for blood of virgins.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language and cursing includes "f---ing," "s--t," "damn," "hell."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that What We Do in the Shadows is a comedy based on the 2014 film of the same name. The levels of sex, language, and violence are about the same as in the original film, and the tone and humor is similar too. Expect bloody deaths, like when two vampires pull a man into a tree to suck his blood and blood rains down on his companion, or when a vampire bites the neck of a man, who slumps to the ground, dead. There are also dead bodies being comically disposed of. Vampires may have special-effects makeup that makes them appear horrifying, or they may appear human. There are jokes about sex, but no nudity or intense kissing; there are also lots of references to virgins and their blood. Language is infrequent but mature: "f---ing," "s--t," "damn," "hell." Characters are somewhat diverse in terms of ethnicity and gender, and there are messages about tolerance and respect to be gleaned from the way they work out their differences at their house.
Is It Any Good?
Nailing the same absurdity-tinged-with-horror tone as the movie that preceded it, this endlessly quotable mockumentary proves that the "vampire roommate" premise still has plenty of bite. Genius co-creators Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement made smart moves by transferring the action in What We Do in the Shadows to Staten Island, New York ("That's where the boat dropped us off," explains Nadja), and shaking up the vampire mix. Fans of the film may have expected to see retreads on the characters they remember from the original, and Nandor and Laszlo could creditably pass for the film's Vladislav and Deacon. But Nadja injects a note of wanton sexuality into the proceedings -- the film's vampires mostly struck out, lovewise -- and Colin's oatmeal-bland relentless drone gives the undead vampires a (really boring) common enemy to bond over.
The plight of Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) proves to be a rich source of gags as well. Ten years in the service of Nandor, he expects to be made a vampire any day now. Meanwhile, he dutifully takes Nandor shopping, lights candles to ready the house for Nandor's nightly wakeup call ("Very scary, Master," he says approvingly as Nandor rises from his casket), and lugs out dead bodies. "Being a vampire's familiar is like being a friend ... who's also a slave," he admits. Meanwhile, Nandor and company barely notice his service, content instead to argue over how to mark victims so that the roomies will know who belongs to whom ("Use Sharpie, name of month, date, year," advises Nadja), or where they should hold their next Blood Feast. Even if you've never had a house chore wheel or argued over who left the most dishes, watching this quartet of flatmates work out their daily differences is bloody delightful.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.