The following accommodates spoilers for What We Do within the Shadows Season 4, Episode 8, “Go Flip Yourself,” which aired Aug. 23, on FX.
What We Do within the Shadows typically scores its greatest laughs when its vampires must navigate trendy society with less-than-stellar outcomes. Nandor’s glee at being invited to “a Superb Owl occasion” is maybe probably the most distinguished instance, nevertheless it’s been a cornerstone of the franchise’s humor because the authentic movie. The protagonists are centuries previous: maintaining tempo with a tradition that adjustments on the velocity of TikTok is just greater than they’re up for.
Season 4 has discovered an excellent working joke to play into that. It considerations the clan’s Staten Island mansion, which went utterly to pot after the top of Season 3 and spent the subsequent seven episodes in an absolute shambles. At the identical time, Laszlo developed a fixation on a fictional house enchancment present referred to as Go Flip Yourself. All of it involves a head in Season 4, Episode 8, “Go Flip Yourself,” which not solely confronts the home drawback ultimately, however does so whereas taking the steam out of Shadows‘ personal mockumentary format.
Season 3, Episode 10, “The Portrait,” discovered Nandor, Nadja and Guillermo touring to far-flung elements of the world for numerous causes whereas Laszlo secretly stayed behind to take care of a reborn toddler Colin Robinson. In the interim, with out Guillermo to see after all the pieces, the home falls aside. That contains an ongoing fuel leak — Laszlo kills and drains anybody from the fuel firm who comes to repair it — in addition to a everlasting lake within the basement, a tree falling by a wall into the lounge, and a plethora of raccoons and skunks who aren’t keen to depart and not using a struggle.
Not coincidentally, Go Flip Yourself turns into an everyday a part of Laszlo’s routine. It’s a riff on the Property Brothers franchise — a real-world sequence of house enchancment exhibits starring twins Jonathan and Drew Scott — which typifies the odd subgenre of actuality tv that Shadows is focusing on. Though an immense success, the Property Brothers exhibits have been embroiled of their share of controversies, together with accusations of scripting their exhibits and performing substandard renovations that by no means make it in entrance of the cameras.
More to the purpose, each their exhibits and the house enchancment subgenre typically make the most of a documentary capturing format: following contractors and renovators by a rundown home as they remodel it into “a dream house.” That dovetails into Shadows‘ mockumentary type, wherein a bunch of filmmakers follows the vampires round and data their lives. “Go Flip Yourself” presents itself as an in-world episode of the home flipping present somewhat than Shadows‘ typical format. That features a fake opening for Go Flip Yourself as an alternative of Shadows‘ regular opening, quick-cut modifying designed to gin up the drama, and Laszlo brazenly selling the present’s energy software sponsors.
Naturally, it additionally sends up the worst elements of the subgenre. The Go Flip Yourself staff arrives to repair the vampires’ mansion, just for Nadja to kill one of many twin stars. The different twin seems to be their previous nemesis Simon the Devious, who created all the present as an elaborate (and in the end profitable) ruse to reclaim Laszlo’s cursed witch-skin hat. The renovations do not really repair something — Go Flip Yourself simply provides two extra rooms as an alternative of really repairing the catastrophic issues affecting the remainder of the home — however the elimination of the cursed hat makes issues barely higher for the vampires. Simon and Go Flip Yourself pay the piper when the curse causes a fuel explosion at their subsequent gig that destroys all the home.
The slow-burn nature of the subplot is spectacular — Season 4 has been constructing it progressively with quite a lot of seemingly throwaway jokes — however so too is the way in which What We Do within the Shadows integrates it with its personal story. The house enchancment present is without doubt one of the few bits of recent tradition that Laszlo appears to get. The present is way extra savvy than its characters, a undeniable fact that “Go Flip Yourself” solely helps affirm.
New episodes of What We Do within the Shadows air Tuesdays on FX.