American Vandal is a mockumentary television series that was made exclusively for Netflix. The show was designed to be a satire of true crime documentaries such as Making a Murderer which was also a Netflix Original. The story of American Vandal focuses on the aftermath of a high-school prank where faculty cars were vandalised with male genitalia being spray-painted on them (a great premise for a show).
Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro) is accused of committing the crime due to his reputation of being a troublesome student that does not respect authority. After an investigation, he is subsequently expelled. Yet, another investigation into the incident is launched by Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez), a fellow student, who tries to find out whether Dylan was truly behind the crime.
My Knowledge and Expectation of American Vandal
American Vandal was a show that I had no idea was even coming to Netflix prior to its release. Then, suddenly, it was the only thing that anyone was talking about. It got universal acclaim from everyone who saw it and I could not get away from the hype. Naturally, when something gets as much praise as American Vandal did, I have to check it out. Besides, 2017 has been a pretty good year for Netflix Originals. Indeed, 13 Reasons Why, GLOW and Season 5 of House of Cards were great and I was hoping American Vandal would be the same.
My Thoughts on American Vandal
I was worried that the hype for American Vandal would lead me to be underwhelmed if I did not think the show was as brilliant as everyone else made it to be. This was far from the case. This first season of American Vandal was an absolute blast. I should be honest and say that the first episode did not blow me away but it definitely hits its stride in the second episode and it does not let up from there.
Throughout this whole first season of American Vandal, there were times when it was excruciatingly funny. Certain moments in this television show that stand out in terms of comedy include the mystery surrounding the “hey with two ys’ text, a discussion about Christopher Nolan’s Inception and the case against Peter Maldonado (obsession with dicks theory). There were plenty of others though, including this:
Certainly, with American Vandal being a mockumentary, the comedy had to deliver and it does through very clever writing. Moreover, in addition to how the great script makes for some great comedy, the drama in American Vandal is very good too. Let me get this clear, the story is absolutely ridiculous but it is so engaging and gripping. I was so invested into finding out the truth about who draw the dicks and, at the same time, I found it insane that I cared so much considering the absurd premise!
The Characters of American Vandal
In terms of the characters, I would have to say that Mr. Kraz (Ryan O’ Flanagan) was one of the funniest, especially when we got some more insight into him when his Twitter profile was showcased. I also thought that Jimmy Tatro did a great job in the lead role of Dylan Maxwell. I felt that the arc that Dylan went through was a great way to showcase how shitty high-school can be. In fact, I would argue that American Vandal is, in its own way, a commentary on the high-school experience.
As I said, Jimmy Tatro was great and I was extremely surprised to find out that he does not have a large filmography given how good his performance was. Still, I expect that American Vandal will be a great help to his career as an actor and, with a second season on the way, I look forward to hopefully seeing more of him in this great television show.