Stan Alley / New Zealand Documentary Board (seriously!)
On the excellent series very silly but dry as vampire dust What we do in the shadows, a group of vampire roommates are constantly followed by a team of documentaries capturing their mundane everyday (nightly, technically) existence. WWDITS closely follows the established and familiar format of mock documentaries – a hand-held camera, the feeling that the subjects of the series are all too aware of how they are viewed and frequent cuts for ‘one-on-one’ interviews With isolated characters.
Most viewers have internalized the mock documentary’s narrative rhythms so much that they no longer notice them, even on a series featuring characters who regularly morph into bats and drink the blood of the living between their mundane roommate feuds. .
Even so, asking viewers to suspend their disbelief about, say, conflicts between the staff of a paper company in Scranton, for example, remains a much lighter measure than asking them to blithely accept a team. of human cameras would be freely admitted to a secret place of witches. ritual intended to drain the semen of vampires. There is reality TV, and then there is reality TV.
With the CW Wellington Paranormal, the team behind What we do in the shadows the series and the 2014 film on which it is based (composed of Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement) found an ingenious way to erase any possible disconnect between unreal events and the dictates of reality: they simply graft their comedy from Beloved horror elements and deadpan humor set out the structure of this most familiar, stereotypical, and flattering reality show: COPS.
If you’ve seen even one episode of COPS, You know the chorus. Between shaky images from cameras of actual arrests, police officers deliver self-glorifying speeches loaded with the profession’s pseudo-militaristic jargon in front of the camera. They pontificate on public safety, attempt to justify their every action, demonize those they have arrested, and generally strive to impersonate members of an elite brotherhood that single-handedly prevents the republic from sinking. in chaos.
Now imagine all that chest puffing boast, but with demons. And werewolves. And vampires. Etc.
There is fluidity in Wellington ParanormalThe depiction of serious cops blaming the need to protect the public from the scourge of recreational drugs as, behind them, just blurry, a demon-possessed young woman hops to the ceiling.
In the pilot, Officers Minogue (Mike Minogue) and O’Leary (Karen O’Leary) – who played their roles in the 2014 film – are drafted into the Wellington Police Paranormal Division when their trusty Sgt. Makka (Makka Pohatu) leads them into his top-secret office (read: storage cupboard) behind a bookcase at HQ. Makka may be a source of occult knowledge, but Minogue and O’Leary prove to be hopelessly slow to absorb, dealing with each of their hits with the Weird and the Afterlife – from aliens to zombies – with exactly what the same dull lucidity with which they had written a jaywalker.
This vanity – the extraordinary intersecting with the very, very ordinary – drives each episode, but the series’ three tracks find different ways of attacking it. O’Leary plays his character as someone with a creeping awareness of his incompetence on camera, while Minogue’s slightly darker cop is full of glee and a totally undeserved confidence. As supervisor, Makka Pohatu gives off a knowledgeable swagger who has seen it all that masks a helpless cowardice, seen nothing specifically, once he confronts the weird.
As What we do in the shadows, Wellington Paranormal hits and manages to maintain a perfectly consistent, deadpan tone amid all of his silly jokes and goofy burlesque gags. contrary to WWDITS, However, Wellington Paranormal follows a monster structure of the week, which threatens to transform its characteristic tonal coherence into a conscientious similarity.
But given that the series is already in its third season in its native New Zealand, with a fourth now in post-production, there is every reason to hope that this perfect synthesis of horror, comedy and copaganda biting satirist will find a way to keep his premise fresh, in hell or on the high seas.
Although hell, of course, seems the most likely option.