The TV spin-off of What We Do in the Shadows is finally (almost) here

by Fiona Rae / 08 July, 2018
RelatedArticlesModule - Wellington Paranormal

Having already made Wellington cool again in the brilliant vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi spin off more gold with comedy series Wellington Paranormal (TVNZ 2, Wednesday, July 11, 8.30pm).

The international superstars have produced the series with partner Paul Yates, and Clement has directed four of the six episodes. The series follows a newly formed paranormal police unit as it keeps the capital’s streets safe from demons, vampires, werewolves, ghosts and cloned farmers.

A documentary crew follows officers O’Leary (Karen O’Leary) and Minogue (Mike Minogue) and the head of the unit, Sergeant Maaka (Maaka Pohatu). The two beat cops are the same ones who fell under the spell of Waititi’s Viago in What We Do in the Shadows.

The series will also gueststar Shadows actors Cohen Holloway and Cori Gonzalez-Macuer as well as Dave Fane, Tom Sainsbury and Ana Scotney, who was the terrifying Sepa in The Breaker Upperers.

To add to the excellence, writer-director Jackie van Beek, who was in Shadows and had a smash with The Breaker Upperers, directed the other episodes.

From the first scene, in which a demon-possessed teenager projectile-vomits gallons of green, sulphuric liquid on Courtenay Place, Wellington is also a character.

“There was a very tense situation at the Bucket Fountain,” Clement drily told news website Stuff in December during filming. “I can tell you it involved a possible gateway from Hell. “There was a party in Khandallah that got a bit out of hand, too, with some undead members of the Wellington public, and we had an incident with some zombies that got pretty tense. A couple of crew members were turned into zombies – I think. It’s hard to tell sometimes.”

Wellington Paranormal.

Wellington Paranormal.

Apparently, the paranormal shenanigans extend beyond the city centre. “Some worrying things have also happened in Lower Hutt.”

Yates told Stuff the series was like “Police Ten 7 meets The X-Files”. Officer Minogue comments in the first episode that he and O’Leary are like Mulder and Scully.

“She’s like Scully, because she’s analytical, she’s got the brains,” he says, “and I’m a man with brown hair.” Having failed to clock that O’Leary is gay, Minogue also claims there is underlying sexual tension between them. Minogue is, let’s say, the less bright of the two. Nevertheless, he’s here to serve and protect. “Any time there’s gates to Hell, give us a call.”

Video: TVNZ

This article was first published in the July 7, 2018 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

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