Note: This is the second part of the two-part article, if you haven’t read “How to make people cry about your dumb vampiric comedy part 1” you might not get what show and episode I’m talking about.
Foreshadow: Nador the Relentless is relenting. The first time we see that is in episode 2 “The cloak of duplication” and then with episode 3 “Gail” both episodes center around Nandor’s love life, however these feelings are quickly dismissed with a joke. Is not until episode 4 “The Casino” that Nandor gets a monolog after his worldview gets shattered (he was introduced to the big bang theory, the show and the science).
Set expectations and let the audience nurture the gaps: In the cold open before the opening credits, we are told that is Nandor’s ascension day -the day when he became leader of his country. Therefore we expect a happy and fun celebration, as do the other characters.
Music: The opening credits song which is usually in English is exchanged for a version in Farsi, I thought because this was and special day for Nandor but as the show progresses I realize that it has more to do with the fact that Nandor wants to go back to that time that he was human and could still understand Farsi.
Mixing of genre elements: When Nandor first gets to the Wellness Center, the sterile environment of grays -different from the clutter of things in the vampire’s house- and the creepy smiles that are missing the canines as a shaky hand held camera tracks our main protagonist, makes the show veer from it’s dark-absurdist genre to something more akin of a thriller.
Changing the rules of the world: After two seasons WWDITS has established their own vampire rules: they can not eat anything other than human blood, they usually are dressed in old-style clothing, unless they are young and that they cannot become humans. However when we meet Jan (the cult leader) , a 50 year old woman in modern sportswear, swearing that she is human and drinking a glass of water, the rules of the world are turned around.
Though she has to leave Nandor to vomit and the camera catches it, telling us right away that is all lies, still our main character’s world has been deconstructed.
A sequence that transforms: After a brief series of talking heads where the characters show how they’re doing after Nandor left. There’s a sequence of Nandor’s day-to-day at the center, in which we see him ‘being happy’ and getting indoctrinated.
Change in character appearance: Nandor goes from using clothing from the Ottoman Empire and hair that drops past the shoulder, to modern sportswear and a medium-length haircut.
Dialogue that increases tension: In this episode we get to hear an honest discussion about what is going on with Nandor. Through the talking heads Nadja tells us about ‘Vampire depression’ while the show cuts to little snippets of Nandor saying ‘what is the point in life’.
However, the biggest discussion happens after Guillermo “Nandor’s not only bodyguard but also his heartguard” rescues him from the center. Here is that Nador finally talks about how he has been unhappy for ages, and how no one has seen that.
A big change: Unlike Parasite’s however the show isn’t asking you to view the text different, it is still a dark-absurdist comedy, rather is asking us to see the events and characters on a different light: this aren’t just a bunch of weirdos to laugh at because they don’t know how to use the internet, this are a bunch of weirdos to empathize with because we also feel like life has no meaning.
Even though a change in tone is not always the answer, I think that at least for WWDITS it helps deepen the themes of the show and it’s characters. The last two episodes A Farewell and The Portrait are spent on dealing with the theme of grief, leaving home and abandonment, which would have not been as effective if first WWDITS hadn’t changed the way we are supposed to read the characters and events in the eighth episode.
If you’re having struggles with your story, consider changing the tone. What can your readers discover of the characters when you change it from gloomy to funny or vice versa? What new arguments are added to the conversation of your theme?
Ari Ochoa Petzold
is a Mexican-Venezuelan bi genderfluid writer. They like dancing to old music and history. In their free time you can find xem trying to coerce their friends to participate in another of their crazy projects.
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