Every few months, Netflix sends Twitter into ALL CAPS tweeting rage by cancelling one of their originals. One Day at a Time. Sense 8. Everything Sucks. Daredevil. You know the drill:
First, Netflix makes the announcement.
Then, Twitter goes all Fire & Fury.
Then, Netflix has to make a statement explaining that the show wasn’t producing enough revenue or viewership to be maintained.
Finally, Twitter dials it back.
Well, that last one was a prank. You and I both know that Twitter then suddenly believes they can reverse Netflix’s decision with a hashtag, and continue full-speed ahead with full-Sparticus energy.
Now, I don’t blame Netflix for their business decisions. I’m sure they’re doing what they can to remain at the top of the streaming food chain while baby streaming services continue to pop out of the corporate womb every other week.
But, there is one cancelled Netflix original that Twitter largely overlooked: American Vandal.
Twitter should have spiralled into typing madness! It should have been: “Hey @Netflix, where will I get my dick jokes now?” and “@Netflix, Sam and Peter are destined to win an Emmy—you’re just going to snub them like that?” and “@Netflix, go F*$% yourself!” The rest of the internet may be over it—or maybe they were never bothered in the first place—but I’m still grieving. This, as the internet loves to say, is my supervillain origin story.
Let’s reflect on what made this Netflix original so great:
The rotating cast. It keeps us interested! While I would have loved to see Jimmy Tatro make dick jokes season after season as Dylan Maxwell, I would have missed out on Melvin Gregg as DeMarcus Tillman. And I couldn’t live with myself if that happened. The writers are so talented at character writing, so the rotating cast definitely lends itself to that strength.
Mockumentary. You know the genre. It brought us The Office, Modern Family, and Arrested Development. But Tony Yacendenda perfected and pioneered the crime mockumentary. Mainly, it’s the graphic design. The handjob graphic from season one? Genius.
Incredible writing. At surface level, American Vandal is of the stupid humor category. At its core, it is a commentary on identity, media, and modern youth.
The mystery. I won’t spoil it, but I did NOT see that coming at the end of season 1. The show does everything a mystery should—every time you think you have it figured out, there’s another twist.
The humor. This seems obvious. It’s penis jokes, poop jokes, stoners and theater kids. But the laughs arise so organically from situational comedy and character writing that you never feel like it’s below you.
Here’s the thing, I know American Vandal isn’t coming back. Nothing I do or say behind an egg avatar will rescue this show from the grave. But at least I can still rewatch and rewatch and rewatch.