One of the trickiest question facing any TV show is figuring out which fan-favorite elements to bring back into the fold and which ones to remain in single-episode glory.
For “What We Do in the Shadows” — returning to FX early next month for Season 3 — no star burned brighter or as quickly as Jackie Daytona, the toothpick-chewing, definitely human alter ego of Laszlo (Matt Berry), a member of the show’s main coven.
Members of the “What We Do in the Shadows” cast and writing staff took part in a panel on Friday afternoon as part of the Television Critics Association virtual Summer Press Tour, where showrunner Paul Simms revealed that fans shouldn’t expect Jackie’s return in Season 3, but that the door remains open for a potential comeback.
“We talked about it, and we felt like it would be pandering to try to bring him back,” Simms said.
“He’s not back this season. But I’m sure that when the timing is correct, Jackie Daytona might make an appearance again,” writer and executive producer Stefani Robinson said.
One other highlight from Season 2 will be revisited in a “different” way: Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and Laszlo’s short-lived folk career revival inspired the show’s writers to utilize more of Berry’s musical talents.
“If you guys remember from Season 2, the episode where Laszlo and Nadja had their music act. We enjoyed that so much that in Season 3, there’s a lot more of Laszlo and his music, in all different ways, that’s really fun,” Simms said.
Elsewhere in the coven, one of Nandor’s (Kayvan Novak) main Season 3 arcs will be centered around his ever-evolving love life.
“Nandor is looking for love, which has been very fun to play all aspects of what happens when you do look for love,” Novak said. “You’re happy, you’re sad, you’re depressed. You’re horny. You’re horny-depressed. You fall in love, you fall out of love. You rekindle love. Nandor seems to have done it all this season.”
Antics in other areas of Nandor’s life don’t seem like they’ll be in short supply. Much of an upcoming Season 3 episode takes place in (very authentic) snow. One particular sequence featuring Nandor and familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) led the two actors to get a little overeager in their enthusiasm.
“I just remember playing in the snow with Kayvan and everyone was making snowmen. Kayvan got in trouble because he had a brand new coat that was tailor-made,” Guillen said. “We got to go on the swing. There was a bit where he pushed me and I came back into him and he falls in the snow and the wardrobe department was like, ‘No! No!!’ — screaming because it’s a crushed red velvet cape and tailored to Kayvan, brand new. It’s now in the snow, like completely covered and wet.”
As this greater supernatural universe has done throughout its other forms — from the film version of the same name to recently-available-in-the-States “Wellington Paranormal” — Season 3 of “What We Do in the Shadows” is set to introduce a new spin on some recognizable otherworldly creatures.
“There will be more ethnically diverse characters, including new female characters. I feel like we have a lot of really funny episodes coming up. And we have a lot more supernatural characters or spins on supernatural characters that everyone is familiar with,” Robinson said.
For a taste of what these new episodes have to offer (including a return of fan favorite Kristen Schaal), watch the trailer for Season 3 below:
“What We Do in the Shadows” Season 3 premieres September 2 on FX.