What We Do In The Shadows: Why The Cast's Lack Of Emmy Nominations Is Not All Bad

Fans of "What We Do in the Shadows" all know that the show is one of the funniest in recent memory. A spin-off of Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement's movie of the same name, this series focuses on dorky, relatively inept vampires trying to take over Staten Island — and though it's scored a few Emmy nods here and there, it's usually shut out of the awards conversation. When the 2023 nominations came out, fans were shocked to see that the series only scored one nomination for writing — but in an interview with Decider, the cast had a solid explanation as to why none of the actors were chosen for a nomination above the rest.

"I think it's a testament to us being a good ensemble, which happened, you know, that was Allison Jones and her team in the casting," Mark Proksch, who plays energy vampire Colin Robinson on the series, told interviewer Meghan O'Keefe. "I think people see us as a whole [unit] a lot of times and that's good. That's probably why we're going into Season 6 instead of a couple of us getting Emmys in Season 2 and people focusing on those people and those people going off and trying to become big stars or what have you. I think it's not a bad thing that we haven't gotten nominated."

The cast of What We Do in the Shadows feel like they all work together

That said, the cast, who have been playing effortlessly off of one another for five seasons now, understand that they work best as a group, and it would be tough to single anybody out. "I don't know maybe I'm being insane or naive, but I think it's so much better for the whole show to be nominated than if like one [person] because that kind of encompasses everyone who works so hard on the show and stuff. And like if I just got nominated, just being like, [in an annoying voice] 'Thank you, it's just me,' I'd feel really embarrassed, I think. So, yeah, that's my very humble opinion," Natasia Demetriou, who plays Nadja on the show, volunteered.

Harvey Guillén, who plays familiar turned baby vampire Guillermo, agreed, saying, "I do think getting the cast nominated would be great as a whole. Like, you know, as an ensemble. It'd just be great. I think because it's such a fun show and because it is about vampires, it's easy to [be] like, 'That show's fantastic. Let's nominate it for everything else but the actual performers because it's such a great show.'" Unfortunately, there's not an ensemble category at the Emmys, but realistically, there probably should be for shows like this — and that's not the only issue the Emmys could fix that would help out hilarious shows like this.

There's a lot of great TV right now - but the comedy category

Kristen Schaal, who has become a bigger and bigger part of the show since first appearing as "The Guide" in Season 1 alongside the vampiric council, made a few good points — especially when it comes to categories at the Emmys. "Like, nobody's mad because there was like a weird show that got nominated," Schall said. "Everyone deserves to be nominated. The TV is awesome right now."

With that said, Schaal did say that she feels like the comedy category at the Emmys has gotten a little muddled... which is a valid complaint these days. "I was gonna say that I do wish there was a category for comedy-comedy. You know, like, I feel like it's getting a little crowded in our little comedy category — with incredible shows. My favorite shows that are just doing something different. The end. Thank you." 

It's easy to see what Schaal means when you consider the high-stress feel of a series like "The Bear" and then remember that that show scored a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series, but "What We Do in the Shadows" didn't. To make it all more frustrating, Season 4 of "What We Do in the Shadows" showed absolutely zero signs of slowing down; its parody of a home improvement show, "Go Flip Yourself," is one of the standout television episodes of 2022 all on its own.

The What We Do in the Shadows cast has a particularly silly explanation for their lack of Emmy nominations

This is the cast of "What We Do in the Shadows," though, so they had to make a joke out of it — and Kayvan Novak, who plays Nandor, did just that. "I have a different theory," Novak said. "I think people watch the show and think, 'They're having too much fun on that show. It's actually incredibly consistently hilarious. You know, the amount of plates that these writers and production teams spin for us actors. They make it look easy. And I think people want to give awards to things that seem like they were a struggle or they were a pain or they were difficult or they really suffered making that."

"And actually we all suffer making this and it's time to get a f**King award!" Novak joked, before going in on another show that, while funny at times, doesn't exactly feel like a gut-busting comedy: "What the f**k? And now Barry's gonna f**king win everything because you know, it's the last season and, [in an insipid voice] 'Oh, Bill Hader! Oh, he's-he's-he's doing something. Come on! So underrated.' He's been making shows for 10 years in f**king Hollywood, man! This is it for us!"

"What We Do in the Shadows" airs on Thursday nights on FXX and can be seen the following day on Hulu.