Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Now on Netflix: American Vandal (2017)

American Vandal (2017) - Created by Dan Perrault, Tony Yacenda; Starring Tyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck, Jimmy Tatro, Lou Wilson, Jessica Juarez, Joe Farrell.

By Kenny Howell

Creators Dan Perrault and Tony Yacenda take the serious tone of crime documentaries and spray paint a bunch of dicks on it in this occasionally very funny show from Netflix.

American Vandal is set in Hanover High School, a place recently rocked by a scandal that involves spray painted penises on every car of the faculty members at the school. The fall guy is Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro), a kid whose reputation doomed him more than actual evidence. He has riled up teachers for years by doing incredibly stupid stuff like whale noises during class or sharpening his pencil down to the eraser while they are trying to teach.

But students and wannabe filmmakers Peter and Sam (Tyler Alvarez and Griffin Gluck) think that Dylan might not be guilty. They set out to examine the case from every angle with the seriousness and slickness of something like Making of a Murderer, but with lots and lots of dick jokes.

American Vandal is stupid fun, and if there is a fault is that stupid fun only lasts for so long. The season runs eight episodes, and it probably would have been better at six. There are a lot of side streets it goes down following leads that really have nothing to do with the outcome of the show that seem wasted when it is all done. That it is genuinely funny helps you forget some of those things. Chief among those funny things is Tatro as Dylan, one of the better meatheads in recent memory. He is so dumb but kind of in a big puppy dog sort of way. Even when he is being so annoying to teachers, you can't help but still like him. He establishes the tone, and everyone goes along nicely in this fun little series.

The first season of American Vandal is now on Netflix.

Rating: ***

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