Capitalizing on the popularity of recent true crime series like Making a Murderer, Netflix has just unveiled a new true crime parody series entitled American Vandal, an 8-part mockumentary that “explores the aftermath of a costly high school prank that left twenty-seven faculty cars vandalized with phallic images.”
American Vandal follows Dylan Maxwell, a troubled high school senior (and known dick-drawer) who got expelled after he allegedly spray-painted graffiti penises on cars in the teacher’s parking lot. While Maxwell has a long and well-documented reputation for drawing crude cartoon dicks, an aspiring sophomore documentarian, Peter Maldanaldo, believes that Maxwell was too meat-headed to not have gotten caught red-handed. Maldanaldo suspects a cover-up to get the annoying vandal kicked out of school for good and explores whether Maxwell is truly innocent or merely playing the victim.
Here’s the trailer for Netflix’s American Vandals
The series seems like it could be seriously funny, especially considering its co-creators, Tony Yacenda (a comedic writer and director who directed the video for the stoner sex rap parody “Pillow Talking”) and Dan Perrault (a producer and writer best known for his work on the blisteringly critical Honest Trailers web series).
The series is also being co-produced for Netflix by Funny or Die, the comedy video website that has helped popularize Gay of Thrones, gay hairstylist Jonathan Van Ness’ recaps of HBO’s violent fantasy series Game of Thrones; gay comedian Bryan Safi’s series Throwing Shade; and a pro-marriage equality sketch entitled “Gay Women Will Marry Your Boyfriends” (below).
While American Vandal makes much ado about a adolescent crime, its trailer hints at larger social issues of justice, trial by social media and due-process denied. That is, it could end up hitting on political topics much more serious than its pretext suggests.