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TV Series Review: American Vandal (2017)

TV ShowAmerican Vandal
GenreMockumentary, Satire, Teen, Comedy-Drama
LanguagesEnglish
TNS Score91.6
Run-Time30-40 mins
No. of Episodes16
No. of Seasons2
Original NetworkNetflix
Streaming AtNetflix
CastTyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck, Jimmy Tatro, Genevieve Hannelius
CreatorsDan PerraultTony Yacenda

Plot

With the heightened popularity of the True-Crime genre, this series emerges as a mockumentary. It satirizes the entire genre and narrativizes absurdly humorous cases of vandalism. In the first season, we have Peter Maldonado, who’s an aspiring investigative documentarian.

We see him, along with his friend, Sam, investigating a case of vandalism at his school wherein the High-School bully, Dylan, is accused of spray painting obscene images on teacher’s vehicles. We’re taken on this journey of intriguing, exciting and absurd crime, how it was committed and who could’ve done it if not Dylan.

Writing

It’s been written well. It’s almost like watching a high-school drama but with a whole new perspective. Though it’s called a mockumentary, the narrative and its absurdly realistic story don’t let the audience think that it’s a work of fiction. Instead, it seems as real as any other documentary. Every episode ends with opening a new door of possibility and keeps us hooked all the while.

One of the best episodes is when we’re told Alex Trimboli’s side of the story, who was also allegedly the only witness of the event. While Peter and his friends investigated Trimboli’s character and how he lies all the time, it was hard to believe that he was saying the truth. We have a juxtaposing contrast between Trimboli and Dylan; both have a bad reputation for different things, but who is trusted?

Direction

The series has been directed brilliantly well. Its brilliance lies in the fact that the mockumentary genre is taken so seriously that it feels like watching a real documentary itself. We have overlaps of shots and cinematography on screen, and all this is presented in a smooth flow.

The complex narratives are brought on screen in a smooth texture. We can see its brilliance all through the series. The whole series and its layout have been narrativized and directed well.

Performance

The two main characters of Sam Ecklund and Peter, played by Griffin Gluck and Tyler Alvarez, have been brilliantly performed. Jimmy Tatro has done a great job in characterizing Dylan Maxwell.

One of the characters majorly worth mentioning is that of Alex Trimboli, played by Calum Worthy. All the other actors have done great work in making the series a success.

Conclusion

It’s creative, intriguing, absurd, suspenseful and everything else that keeps you hooked till the end. The genre of true crime inspires the narrative, but the way it’s built is just too good. It’s seriously not to be taken seriously! Confusing right? Watch the show, and you’ll be amazed at how seriously you take it, only to realize that it’s not to be taken seriously. Didn’t get it? Watch the show to know what we mean!

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