The event kicked off with an advanced screening of Season 3's eighth episode, "The Wellness Center," which finds Nandor (Kayvan Novak) going through a sort of midlife crisis after 700 years of immortality. Feeling as though his life no longer has any meaning, the character joins a community of vampires who believe that their charismatic leader — an '80s-inspired fitness instructor, played by guest star Cree Summer — can turn them back into humans.
"If anyone here watches the show, you'll remember the casino episode and [Nandor] realizing from the Big Bang theory that he's not the center of the universe and neither is our world. It's really put him off-tilt," explained showrunner, writer, and executive producer Paul Simms once the screening was over.
Yana Gorskaya, the director of Episode 8, revealed that it was costume designer Laura Montgomery who first suggested the retro aesthetic for the titular (and cult-like) wellness center.
"[She] showed us these incredible costumes for the background dancers that were based on this '80s vibe," said Gorskaya, who also serves as editor and co-executive producer for the hit series. "We all went, 'That's a really interesting idea, that they're sort of stuck in this era. That completely informed all of the production design."
"This episode was really a good example of what a director brings to it," Simms continued. "Because in the script we wrote, it was that he goes to a place where there's a bunch of vampires who are pretending to live as humans. And that was about as much as we said in the script. We were like, 'Is this a YMCA?' Do they live in the countryside?' When Yana and Laura started talking, it became this more '80s/Jane Fonda/aerobicise vibe. And then it just went further and further."
Written by Stefani Robinson, the next episode of What We Do in the Shadows premieres on FX this coming Thursday (Oct. 14) at 10 p.m. ET. It will be available to stream on FX on Hulu the following day. Only three more episodes remain and they are among Simms' favorite in the current season.
"They're all headed in a direction that tells a story that is shocking and fun," he said.
The show was renewed over the summer for a fourth season, which is currently in production. Simms couldn't talk too much about Season 4, but did tease "the most ambitious episode we've done as far as seeing the other creatures of the supernatural world. You'll have to wait a little for that, but it's gonna be amazing."
Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of New York Comic Con 2021