I’m a big documentary nerd and also a huge fan of satire, so when I learned of the new show combining the two on Netflix called American Vandal, I sprang to action and prepared myself for another binge. Here’s what I thought…
This series is an eight episode comedy done in a documentary style about a California high school where 27 faculty cars are vandalized one day with crude, graffiti dicks on them. Immediately, the school misfit is blamed and two nerdy AV club students set to the task of uncovering the truth.
The writing is clever and the dialogue, for the most part, feels natural and unscripted. The plot is a somewhat typical whodunnit, but the setting is fresh enough to give it a new feel without coming across as contrived. There are twists and red herrings to lead you astray and while some points feel manufactured, the characters make up for the mechanical misgivings.
Although not as strong as, lets say, This is Spinal Tap, American Vandal hits a happy spot in the mockumentary genre. With its offbeat story and even clever episode titles, it’s a good balance of funny and engaging.