When I first saw the trailer for American Vandal I thought it was a joke. It would be impossible for an entire series to revolve around one question and it was even more absure that the question was “who drew the dicks?”.
I put off watching it for a while because I thought it was so ludicrous, but last week I was ill and I’d finished the new season of Rick and Morty so I figured I would give it a chance.
To my surprise, the first episode had me laughing out loud and this continued throughout the series. Yes, it was purile and stupid, but the serious tone of the documentary juxtaposed the childishness brilliantly.
American Vandal is a whodunnit in the style of Making A Murderer but instead of gruesome killing, we’re asking who spray painted a bunch of dicks on teachers cars. We have our suspect, but is he just an easy target?
I wasn’t all that invested first of all, mainly due to my lack of belief in the show. This quickly changed and by the third or fourth episode I was questioning everything and everyone. I was trying to solve this along with the documentary makers and I had compeltely and utterly suspended my disbelief. As stupid as it was, I wanted to know who drew the dicks.
What really helps American Vandal is its quality. It could have been truly awful, but with an excellent script, great performances and its style, both homage and excellent parody, it stands out as a strong piece of work. It’s clearly aimed at so-called ‘millenials’ and utilises a host of social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat to help the documentary makers solve the crime. If anything, it acted as an allegory for the modern age, where though we hate the idea of being watched by ‘Big Brother’, we’re constantly showing ourselves off to the world.
American Vandal is a piece that will be underrated for its content, but it really should be celebrated. It’s a well-made, exceptionally funny comedy that is held together by a fantastic cast. The creators give just enough away per episode to keep viewers gripped and coming back for more and at the end of it I was gripped by only one question. Who drew the dicks?