American Vandal is one of the newest shows for Netflix’s original programming, and it stays true to its parody like nature of another Netflix original, “Making a Murderer”. Instead of talking about murder, it focuses on a another crime, vandalism. Someone has vandalized the teachers cars, and the most obvious suspect is the stereotypical troublemaker who swears he didn’t do it. Dylan, the prime suspect, is always doing something stupid, most often involved with his Youtube show and his best friends, and is barely understandable due to his consistently inebriated state. Paul and Sam, fellow classmates of Dylan, are the ones behind American Vandal, filming a documentary to prove Dylan’s innocence.
They go through the motions of what many crime television shows and documentaries go through. Sorting through evidence that could both condemn and liberate Dylan. Comprising a list of the most likely suspects, checking their alibi’s and potential motives for the crime. Interviewing teachers about possible connections to the case, and eventually finding evidence that raises more questions with very few answers, and naturally getting detention along the way for digging in areas that ought not to be dug in.
The episodes consistently leave viewers with some type of cliffhanger, which many would view to be either stupid, or oddly compelling. Those are the two adjectives that become synonymous with the show, stupid yet compelling. As the episodes continue, viewers surprisingly find themselves making their own assumptions, finding their own connections through the pieces of evidence that the documentarians have collected, and are all surprised when the actual culprit has seemingly been caught. To many viewers annoyance, the ending will leave a bitter and dissatisfied tastes in their mouths about how the show will end.
It’s full of stupid gags, compelling motives, and it is truly a show that is an acquired taste that will only get better, and less confusing, the more someone watches it.