Thursday, September 21, 2017

American Vandal Season 1 Netflix Series Review

American Vandal (2017-)
Season 1 - 8 episodes (2017)
Watch American Vandal Season 1 on Netflix

Created by: Tony Yacenda, Dan Perrault
Starring:  Tyler Alvarez, Jimmy Tatro, Griffin Gluck, Calum Worthy, G. Hannelius
Rated: TV-MA

This half-hour true-crime satire explores the aftermath of a costly high school prank that left twenty-seven faculty cars vandalized with phallic images. An aspiring sophomore documentarian investigates the controversial and potentially unjust expulsion of troubled senior (and known dick-drawer) Dylan Maxwell. Similar to its iconic true-crime predecessors, this addictive series will leave one question on everyone's minds until the very end, who drew the dicks?

It's a satire that doesn't go for the cheap jokes. The premise is absurd and the comedy comes from how serious the event is taken as it exploits the usual true crime tropes. It's one thing to make fun of these shows, but another thing to do that and make something equally enthralling.
This could just as easily be a true crime fictional series first and a comedy second.
It's a rather grounded show in that you will know people just like these characters from students to teachers.
Watch it.

This was created by Tony Yacenda (Pillow Talking) & Dan Perrault (Honest Trailers), with Dan Lagana (Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous) as show runner.
Dylan the dick drawer.
Jimmy Tatro, who plays Dylan, is a Youtube personality with over two million subscribers to his channel LifeAccordingToJimmy.
The crime: vandalism to the dick degree.
These true crime shows often manipulate the story for a certain outcome or to evoke a certain emotion. American Vandal has free reign to craft the story full of twists however it wants, which is a jab itself at these true story series.  Youtube and social media plays a big part and that's portrayed rather well. It's an easy thing for the movie to screw that up and it happens often. It helps that one of the creators and the star has a Youtube channel.
Peter uncovering the truth.
This takes an absurd premise and runs with it, combining poor teenage decisions with what makes these types of shows so compelling. This doesn't take the easy way out of making the show outlandish for easy jokes. The ridiculous subject is treated seriously as Peter Maldonado slowly investigates the dead ends before uncovering the truth. In the last couple of episodes Peter gets criticized for how he treated subjects and bystanders in his quest for the truth. Part of his quest seems like ego and he drags people through the mud in the quest for answers. He's not some kind of hero, even admitting to investigating people that are unlikely to be the culprit because social media demanded answers. That's a fair criticism of many of these true crime shows. It's not a joke, and it just might be the biggest point this show makes.
Eye witness Alex Trimboli
Did Christa's failure to make the football team push her to revenge?
Peter tracks students that may have a vendetta from eye witness Alex Trimboli who's integrity is questionable to class president Christa. Peter's search leads him to investigate faculty as well. Part of what makes this compelling is the characters. We went to school with kids and teachers just like this.

These jokes could have been incorporated into a parody that goes for over the top. It's easy to see this as some kind of SNL skit, but the approach this show takes keeps you watching. This is a carefully crafted crime that take you along a carefully planned ride. It doesn't just make fun of the genre, it captures why these documentary series capture our fascination. This is a slice of life. Is the humor juvenile? Yes, frequently, but the conceit is that a high schooler perpetrated the crime and made this series so you can't knock that. It's the authentic aspect of this series that keeps you watching.

That's what makes this so engaging, from half concocted plans to just how dumb they can be and their petty issues. There are feuds, lies, and plenty of stupidity. It definitely caters to teen potty humor which can be divisive. There are a lot of dick jokes and images and it is silly just how seriously this case is taken. Peter creates diagrams and reenactment, even analysing the content of dick drawings, discovering it's all about the ball hairs.
This show creates a world and builds characters. This ridiculous premise is fully developed. While comedic moments arise, I never thought Dylan acted out of character for a typical teen. He's comical, because I went to school with a kid like that. He didn't do something stupid for a cheap laugh. It was earned. This show wants to earn it's laughs and it does.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Blogger Widget