What We Do in the Shadows is back and Season 4 is proving kookier than ever as the vampire roommates readjust to life together and reacclimate to their bond with human familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillen).
As seen in the first two episodes of the season so far, the Staten Island abode the vamps call home had gone into disrepair while the remaining tenant Laszlo (Matt Berry) did his best to raise baby Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) right. And Nandor’s (Kayvan Novak) desire to find lasting love pulls Guillermo into a peculiar arrangement with a long-dormant genie.
With all of this craziness already at hand, the sky’s the limit for what the vampires and Guillermo — as long as it’s the night sky — will get up to. Add in Nadja’s (Natasia Demetriou) very real effort to open the best vampire nightclub, and it’s a party we’re glad to be a part of, but there’s plenty more to get excited about this season.
“We have a running list of mythical creatures that we’re hoping to get into the show and… it’s just a matter of trying to work them in there,” executive producer and writer Stefani Robinson muses. “So I think genie, it felt like the perfect time to go ahead and do that.”
When Guillermo and Nandor unwittingly release the genie Djinn (Anoop Desai) from a lamp among some of Nandor’s old artifacts, there are specific rules introduced, like the fact that the genie can grant one person about 50 wishes. “The 50 Wish Rule, I feel like we went back and forth on that,” Robinson admits.
“Our first conversations were how do we do this without it looking like it’s from the animated Aladdin,” showrunner Paul Simms says. “We wanted to subvert every expectation to have him be just a genie who’s more like a businessman.”
“Also [there’s] more story with 50 wishes,” Robinson points out. The expanded wishes, many of which were used to bring Nandor’s past wives back to life in order for him to find his favorite, aren’t entirely gone. “The fun part is in fairy tales, it’s three wishes because you have to choose them very carefully. In our story, it’s 50 wishes and Nandor blows through all of them within about three episodes,” Simms teases. “So he’s really not very careful with it.”
When it comes to introducing more creatures and characters, Simms says, “Episode 4, ‘The Night Market,’ is definitely our biggest, most elaborate episode we’ve done where all the vampires go to the night market, which is where all the supernatural creatures in a city gather in a hidden place to barter and trade with each other.”
Expect impressive sets as Simms further adds, “It’s really an amazing episode and we have the budget figures to prove it. But it’s a really cool episode where you see not just vampires but every kind of supernatural creature you can imagine and some that we’ve never seen before all mingling together.”
And speaking of mingling, what’s going on between fan-favorite duo Nandor and Guillermo? “Well, I make Guillermo my best man before actually finding a bride, because Nandor’s logic is that he makes someone a best man, and then that best man will help him find his bride,” says Novak. It’s an endeavor Guillermo takes on with minimal enthusiasm as he tries to make time for other things in his life.
By the end of Episode 2, “The Lamp,” Nandor’s settled on marrying Marwa (Parisa Fakhri), so expect more from their reconnection after years of separation. As for Nandor’s human familiar, Guillen says, “being away from the group, Guillermo realizes a lot of things about himself and realizes a lot of things that he’s been missing in life in general.”
“They’re both after love,” Guillen shares, adding, “but they still have this mutual love for each other.” While fans have speculated about the nature of their bond over the seasons, Guillen says of Guillermo and Nandor, “I think their love is really great and deep, but it’s not always in a relationship form.”
And outside the boundaries of the vampire world, Simms is teasing more from Guillermo’s life, “speaking of the different kinds of love,” he teases, “we’ve met Guillermo’s mother before but this season we finally meet Guillermo’s whole extended family in one of my favorite episodes.”
What will a de la Cruz family gathering look like? We can’t wait to find out. Stay tuned for all of these surprises and more as What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 unfolds on FX.
What We Do in the Shadows, Season 4, New Episodes, Tuesdays, 10/9c, FX (next day on Hulu)