Written by Rohan Angus – Student Pages Entertainment Journalist
Although ‘American Vandal’ hasn’t exactly caught the attention of the film community, it does seem like a fitting ‘Part 2’, if you will, due to its surprisingly appreciable take on the crime genre.
Upon hearing the plot, I gathered many individuals would turn their nose up-on the 9-part series as it doesn’t exactly illustrate a time-worthy watch; yet, after glancing through a promo I was brought to the realisation that this was not going to be what everyone would expect. It was then I realised that I had to, just had to, know who drew the dicks. That’s right, if you hadn’t read my description, a once-quiet student seeks justice for the idiotic class-clown Dylan Maxwell (rising comedy star Jimmy Tatro), as he is framed for the vandalism of twenty-seven faculty cars of which were given a fresh-look involving spray-paint and the male genitalia. Just shy of 10 chapters, we are taken through an unforgettable case to rip-open the school justice system, as well as reveal the true culprit behind this senseless act.
‘American Vandal’ will feel humourlessly more important to the viewer than it probably should. The writers are of course aware of how extensively stupid the concept it is, but the genuine intelligence is wildly apparent in the editing and writing that has each episode strung together as elegant as a ‘Who did it?’ feature could be. The series is shot in a style which reflects your typical true-crime sagas that have flooded their way onto Netflix such as the audience-shocking ‘Making A Murderer’; full of witness interviews, court-tapes, and of the course the standard wall-spread of read string and suspect pictures which you’d expect to be in every investigator’s home. This technique is precisely what made the series so addictive as its premium quality and professionalism matched that of the genre – the only difference is that ‘American Vandal’ knew its plot was albeit silly.
I shan’t spoil the key details from the series as they are rewarding enough when you sit through each episode. One of the newest ‘Netflix Original Series’ editions is filled with enjoyable characters which may not be portrayed by jaw-dropping performances, but are certainly carried out well enough to match the very credible writing and directing which effectively turned an underwhelming crime into a story which honestly, as exaggerated as it sounds, captivated me enough to sprint through the series over a two-day period. Though I may have portrayed the series as perfect and flawless, ‘American Vandal’ did at times feel like it was being dragged out – not every episode was as compelling as the last, meaning that it perhaps could’ve been shortened to a 5 or 6-part story. Nevertheless, a very respectable 8 is granted for the show that everyone should be talking about!
Follow Rohan at @rs_reviews