When the worlds of vampire reality TV and human home remodelling merge in What We Do in the Shadows season 4 episode 8, “Go Flip Yourself,” it returns to the show’s basic mockumentary idea. Since Laszlo (Matt Berry) is a long-time fan of the namesake fixer-upper programme and a big admirer of flipping programmes, this match has been long in the making. Additionally, he has shown himself to be a general contractor snob, and not necessarily in a nice, vampire manner.
The vampires’ “Mixed Up Mansion” on Staten Island promises to be their “toughest yet,” as Toby (Jason Sklar) and Bran Daltry (Randy Sklar) have seen some of the “worst of the worst” in terms of house repairs. This isn’t simply a gimmick to promote Laszlo Cravensworth, the “Superfan!” Before he even knows who is in the home, he has watched every episode, made detailed notes, and is prepared to accept the failure.
The Daltry Brothers mock the forced but stale camaraderie of on-air real estate flipping teams, most of them glorified realtors unworthy of the Glengarry Glen Ross leads, while Tina Morasco’s narration of the “Go Flip Yourself” programme masterfully parodies the overly enthusiastic tone of those shows.
The brothers are already down one knucklehead and deserving of it when they approach the homeowners’ premises during the “Ambush Time” portion of the “Go Flip Yourself” unique opening sequence. Several episodes have been used to build up to this payout. Laszlo regularly gorges himself on people who attempt to check his fuses. He often issues an annoyed warning before attacking.
To the joy of the spectators, who transform from voyeurs to witnesses after the event and are glad to cooperate, the twins are divided as soon as they are shown to the homes, and the vampires make no great effort to cover it up. The episode’s greatest casual remark may be found in this section. The scene transitions into creative cartoonery as Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) says, “A girl’s got to feed.”
The backgrounds clearly show Toby being fed, being appreciative of the kill, being disposed of, and being buried. On What We Do in the Shadows, this is a reoccurring visual joke that always succeeds. In this particular instance, it is funnier because Nadja attends the events with an open mind, mugs for the camera, and engages in all the activities that a recent killer probably shouldn’t be engaging in with the recently deceased.
Nadja forgoes her super-voice superpower in “Go Flip Yourself” in favour of a more potent combo. Late in the programme, Desdemona the Shrieker brings the place to its knees, and the vampire hypnosis segment of the evening may be classified as a So-Funny-I-Forgot-to-Laugh classic. Excused as a spiritual mass meditation, the cumulative hypnotic effects must also erase the memories of editors, producers, standards and practises auditors, executives, and their girlfriends who take notes in addition to the direct witnesses.
Even while the list itself is a funny humour, Demetriou’s voice that emerges as she faces the camera is bafflingly hilarious. Viewers will giggle once again at the utter lack of identification when they recall what they believe they heard being stated. Even though it’s only a noise, it serves as a vehicle for humour.
This episode, Laszlo’s “nephew” Colin (Mark Proksch) repeatedly wastes energy, but his entrance turns touching when the small creature that crawled out of Colin Robinson’s abdomen flees the room in horror as his uncle shoots him in the ass with what we can only assume are actual darts. Taking into account the family dynamic, it is a time of connection. Colin helps out during the demolition by using a sledgehammer to release all the pent-up resentment that Laszlo expels manually.
The two performances seamlessly meld together because What We Do in the Shadows is as receptive to the pounding rhythms as Laszlo is to the guest host. Even the ever-annoying and false touch of reenacting a last phrase of terrible news with a fresh twist on it cutting into the next section is captured in the show-within-a-show. The performance encounters difficulty when Nadja detests everything and chooses cheese-scented throw pillows over a room with hat racks, and success when Nandor (Kayvan Novak) becomes fixated on a sign that reads, “Home is where the wine is.”
As the running comedy fumbles through the episode, leaving many punchlines in its wake, the joke about Nandor’s still-new wife Marwa (Parisa Fakhri) desiring precisely what her husband wants—a present from the departing Djinn—finds its footing. Marwa demonstrates that she is pretty skilled at taking Nandor’s humour away, and his slow burn throughout their scenes is just as masterfully crafted as his Man Cave. While at first delighted by the same flavours, it gradually becomes stale. But not before Marwa discovers how to use these shared passions as a weapon for a hilarious and inspiring conclusion.
As the primary comic antagonist of the episode, Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) shines. His machiavellian abilities allow him to make a few tiny changes to his standard of life, but they are worthless against the ecstatic “Superfan!” Before the first estimate is given, Laszlo is prepared to invest his whole life savings in the project because he is so mesmerised by the glamour of the Hollywood house renovation that he reinvents himself in flannel and uses soundbites to advertise the sponsors of the programme. Berry plays it with complete glee, interspersed with mounting annoyances with how messy and dangerously his house is now in.
We now come to the spoiler. Nick Kroll’s (Simon the Devious) setup is artfully ludicrous. He is a vampire, and only an immortal being could invest the time necessary to build a company, produce a programme, market it, get positive reviews, and attract the target audience that the showrunner is looking for. This is why the premise works so well. On Curb Your Enthusiasm, it surpasses Larry David’s spite-coffee shop. When we find out that Toby was put through school, schooled, and cultivated for celebrity, it shifts into the types of obsessively compulsively debauched scheming Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) brings to Better Call Saul. Only a vampire can push it to its most meaningless conclusion since it is both brilliant and hopeless.
The fact that Simon is similarly dedicated to the same group of vampires, including Count Rapula (Mike Dara) and Vampire Elvis (Shawn Klush), demonstrates that Laszlo should give the ruling Manhattan vampire his respect, if not his witch skin cap. This is not only a priceless, ill-fated, alive, and bleeding hat. Since the Bavarian witch hunter he was draining asked him to accept it as a payment, Laszlo has adored this hat. This ridiculous ownership game ought to have lost all appeal, yet it continues to be a misery. It is also oddly soothing to hear Simon the Devious claim that Laszlo’s love for his programme, even “Ramshackle Ranch,” means the world to him, and that the Staten Island vampire doesn’t give a damn.
A well written humorous episode, “Go Flip Yourself” completely embraces the ridiculousness of any action that may be taken. The episode not only exposes flaws in DIY show infrastructure, but it also completely destroys the premise of What We Do in the Shadows’ own mock-doc-horror-schlock subgenre. All reality television is frightening, and if the city planners don’t scare you, terrible planning will. The episode is filled with heavy-handed one-liners that are plainly prepared but delivered as if they were spontaneous.
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