‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Has 1 Vampire Rule They Couldn’t Fit Into the Show

The FX comedy What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 begins this week. The series has already been renewed for seasons 5 and 6. Maybe one day they’ll be able to get this vampire rule on the show. But so far, in four seasons, they never could. 

'What We Do in the Shadows' Season 4: Nandor (Kayvan Novak) speaks with Nadja's doll
Kayvan Novak | Russ Martin/FX

Executive producers and writers Paul Simms and Stefani Robinson were on a Television Critics Association Zoom panel for What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 on June 6. Here’s the vampire rule they could never fit in the show. What We Do in the Shadows airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX and the next day on Hulu.

‘What We Do in the Shadows’ vampires don’t follow the rice rule

Simms and Robinson established the vampire rules for What We Do in the Shadows in the beginning of the show. Along the way, they came up with one that never made the cut. They keep trying though. 

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“Every single season, it’s even been in scripts, we’ve never gotten there,” Simms said. “There’s part of vampire lore that if you throw a bunch of rice on a floor, vampires have to count each grain before they can do everything else. Sort of like an OCD thing.  We’ve tried every variation of getting it in the script. But it’s such a weird thing that requires so much explanation that we’ve never been able to figure out how to do it.”

Keeping track of the vampire rules

What We Do in the Shadows Season 3 introduced the idea of vampires bringing ancestral dirt on their travels for when they stay in hotels. This turned disastrous when the maids vacuumed under the beds. 

“Thinking of the casino episode last season, building a story around, obviously, the ancestral dirt needed to sleep,” Robinson said. “There have been a couple of episodes in season 1 also dealing with the idea of invitations coming in. So we have approached some stories where we have that head-on. And I think that we’ve multiple times tried to write stories where we then have to think about why our vampires can’t just hypnotize their way out of things.”

Hypnosis poses narrative problems, Simms said. 

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“Once you establish hypnosis, you are, like, ‘They just do whatever they want and then hypnotize everyone to forget it,’” Simms said. “The biggest struggle is looking for limitations to their powers, when it comes to things that involve powers. But when it comes to rules, we spend as much time discussing, I think, vampire rules as we do discussing documentary rules and adhering to those and making sure that everything is shot as a documentary could shoot it.  Even if it would be better if we could push in closer or have multiple angles, we really stick with those two sets.”

‘What We Do in the Shadows’ forgets some vampire rules by season 4

Robinson admits that crafting vampire lore gets complicated. Now that they’re in season 4 of What We Do in the Shadows, sometimes they catch themselves making contradictory mistakes. 

“There’s more than a few episodes where we are at a table read, I feel like, about to shoot, and there’s a couple of ‘God’s in there,” Robinson said. “In dialogue, one of our vampires saying ‘God’ or ‘Jesus,’ which is a big no-no. We’ve had to scratch out and make sure we don’t end up shooting it because we’ve established their mouths burst into flames, I guess.”

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