‘Wellington Paranormal’ Creatively Expands the ‘What We Do In the Shadows’ Universe

Waiting for the new season of “What We Do In The Shadows” to drop? You’re in luck, another spinoff of the hit vampire mockumentary is now available in the US, with episodes airing weekly on The CW and streaming the following day on HBO Max. “Wellington Paranormal” is delightfully silly, paying homage to the film that introduced the world to the not particularly frightening supernatural community that dwells in New Zealand. 

“Wellington Paranormal” originally aired in New Zealand in 2018 following the undeniable success of “What We Do In The Shadows,” focusing on two minor characters from the original film, police officers O’Leary (Karen O’Leary) and Minogue (Mike Minogue). They’re dedicated, hardworking, and most of all, completely unaware of the suspicious behavior that seems to occur whenever they turn their backs. All things paranormal are still at the heart of the series, however, the audience now has a chance to experience this absurdity from the mortal point of view.

The CW

Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s absurd and hilarious take on vampires has expanded to new supernatural phenomena. The series covers everything from demons and aliens to plastic bags that appear to be ghosts. Of course, even the supernatural have morals, a vampire in the show going as far as to say that drinking from living beings is one thing, but stealing blood bags from a hospital is completely monstrous. The show’s humor is exceedingly Kiwi, with increasingly dry and deadpan remarks holding together the absurd chaos unfolding in Wellington and the surrounding area. Waititi and Clement serve as executive producers for the series, with Clement directing four of the six episodes in season 1, giving the show a familiar feeling that will immediately rope lovers of its parent film in. 

Officers O’Leary and Minogue are the newest drafts to the Wellington Police Department’s supernatural unit, created by Sergeant Maaka (Maaka Pohatu), who may be less ignorant to paranormal activity, but is just as unhelpful at putting an end to it. The officers, whose wonderfully dry sensibilities and obliviousness to odd behavior saved the vampires of “What We Do In The Shadows” a lot of legal trouble, are as useless against the paranormal as they were in 2014. From tasering themselves on a regular basis in pursuit of undead entities to justifying the shifty behavior of a group of men actively sacrificing a naked man tied to stake as a crazy night of drinking, these officers answer the question: what if Mulder and Scully were really bad at their job?

The show may not have the budget of its Hulu produced counterpart, but between visual gags and outstanding comedic writing and direction, the show is a gem and is sure to delight comedy lovers, especially fans of Waititi and Clement’s previous work. O’Leary and Minogue will not find the answers to your supernatural questions, but they’ll certainly provide a good laugh along the way.

New episodes of “Wellington Paranormal” air every monday on The CW. Season 1 is available now on HBO Max. 

By Emily Frantz

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