If you haven’t heard of American Vandal, then you’re probably one of a rare breed. After all, American Vandal was Netflix’s most binged show of 2017, beating out big hitters like 13 Reasons Why and Riverdale. At its heart, American Vandal is a “mockumentary,” that is a fictional story told in a documentary format. Season One was followed high school documentarians Peter and Sam as they try to prove that delinquent Dylan Maxwell was unfairly expelled.
The supposed reason Dylan was expelled? Well, that’s where things get ridiculous. He’s accused of spray painting dicks on school faculty cars. Throughout eight thirty minute episodes, Peter and Sam investigate every lead and every suspect (including each other and Dylan himself) to find the truth.
And if you thought they couldn’t top that premise in season two, then you would be wrong.
In season two, Peter and Sam are invited to a different school to investigate the “turdburgler”—yes, you read that right—and his heinous poop related crimes. Just as in season one, the school thinks they have found their victim, but Peter and Sam aren’t so sure.
Now, to enjoy this show, you have to be willing to sit through hours and hours of genitalia and poop jokes. Season two can get especially brutal with graphic videos of said poop related crimes.
However, what makes this show so special is that the writers didn’t want to actually mock documentaries. They love them! So they took a silly topic, but they treat it with total seriousness, with a totally unique and accurate take on high school drama and how to read into high school culture. They use specific details as how many “y’s” someone uses in a “Hey” text, or whether someone had the glitch on their iPhone (you know, that one). It’s crazy, but as someone who just came out of high school, all of their insane theories make sense.
Not only that, but this show has perfected the art of taking a character that we are hardwired to distrust or dislike or worse and absolutely humanize them. Dylan Maxwell was the star of season one, understandably, but I wasn’t expecting it in season two. Their supposedly wrongly accused victim is certainly a type of person we all know and are annoyed by, but you come to understand him. However, I would say it was loved-by-all star of the basketball team, who I was all ready to write off as nothing more than that guy, who really tugged at the heart strings by the end.
Overall, American Vandal challengers the viewer to question what they actually, truly know about the people around them.
So yes, it’s kind of ridiculous, but with the heart and twists in every episode, not to mention the cliffhangers, you will be racing to click next episode because you can’t even wait ten seconds.