Scene from Season 2 of What We Do In the Shadows.
Scene from Season 2 of What We Do In the Shadows.

TV show guaranteed to make you laugh

If there's one TV show right now that's guaranteed to have you holding your sides (and your bladder), it's What We Do in the Shadows.

The first season was a test as to whether an American remake of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's oddball 2014 New Zealand vampire movie could be transformed into a Staten Island-set TV series (spoiler, it passed).

What We Do in the Shadows' second season, starting tonight on Foxtel*, is about cementing its status as the most laugh-out-loud comedy on right now.

For the uninitiated, Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo (Matt Berry), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and Colin (Mark Proksch) are vampire housemates in Staten Island.

Despite being centuries old bloodsuckers and tasked with world rule - or, at least, the New World (ie. America) - the group have mostly contented themselves with dominion over their neighbourhood block.

Nandor has a human familiar named Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) who performs menial chores around the house in the hopes he'll be turned into an undead.

Colin is a creation of the TV series in that he's an energy vampire, draining people of not their blood but their vigour with his inane chatter - you know the type, there's one in every office, they probably try to explain chess moves under the mistaken impression you care.

 

Kayvan Novak as Nandor in a scene from season two of the TV series What We Do In The Shadows. Supplied by Foxtel.
Kayvan Novak as Nandor in a scene from season two of the TV series What We Do In The Shadows. Supplied by Foxtel.

The vampires are physically strong and immortal but emotionally and mentally neurotic, narcissistic, vain, immature and insecure - and so much of the comedy comes from the tension between their strengths and weaknesses.

It's perfectly cast, each actor hitting the exact note for their characters and situations. There's no better comedy ensemble on TV.

If you haven't seen any What We Do in the Shadows episodes, you can read the spoiler-free season one review here.

If you're up to season two, you'll be glad to know that not only does the new batch of episodes match the first for chuckles and guffaws, it exceeds it, elevating the laughs-per-minute ratio to a new level.

Even just the first two episodes, you're treated to guest stars Haley Joel Osment as a new familiar and Benedict Wong as a necromancer, and then forces the trio to confront their own ghosts' unfinished business. Plus, Guillermo is becoming very adept with a wooden stake.

 

Bike helmets: Safety first. Picture: Russ Martin/FX
Bike helmets: Safety first. Picture: Russ Martin/FX


What We Do in the Shadows is unequivocally silly and goofy, and it really, really leans into it. So it's definitely above poop and semen jokes. It knows how to have a great time, and it brings its audience along with it.

And you only need to remember the previous season's star-studded vampire council cameos featuring very famous actors who had played vampires before - Tilda Swinton (Only Lovers Left Alive), Wesley Snipes (Blade) and Evan Rachel Wood (True Blood) - to realise that this series has so much fun playing with supernatural lore and pop cultural expectations.

Of course, it's on the nose, but it always manages to make the joke land.

When it comes to pure pleasurable TV watching, you can't go past What We Do in the Shadows.

What We Do in the Shadows season two starts on Thursday, June 25 on Fox Showcase and Foxtel Now at 8.30pm

Share your TV and movies obsessions | @wenleima

*Foxtel is majority owned by News Corp, publisher of news.com.au

Originally published as TV show guaranteed to make you laugh



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