Netflix’ American Vandal (Season 2): Review
Netflix’ American Vandal (Season 2)
A Binge Worthy Smart Satirical Sequel
Episode Count: 8
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Mystery, Drama
Release Date: 14 September 2018
Starring: Tyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck
Produced by: 3 Arts Entertainment, CBS Studios, Woodhead Entertainment, Funny or Die
American Vandal (Season 1) was one of biggest sleeper hits of Netflix in 2017. Nobody would have imagined that a comedy crime satire which was centered around the question “who drew the dicks?” would go on and become one of the best original shows coming out of Netflix factory. Season one, a case about exonerating penis drawing Dylan Maxwell, gained massive popularity through excellent word of mouth.
When the trailer of Season two was released, there was an inevitable question that can it reach to the heights of the previous season?
The second season is set at St. Bernadine, a Catholic High school. Kevin McClain, played by Travis Tope, has been expelled from the school. He is awaiting his trial for creating the lunch room’s “The Brownout”, a diarrhea disaster induced by a laxative mixed lemonade. Kevin is now house arrested. His friend, Chloe, played by Taylor Dearden, seeks out the help of Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) and Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluck), both were riding the popularity of their first case. Both arrive at Bellevue, WA for investigating the central question of the season: What is the real identity of the Turd Burglar?
The shows’ creators have upped their game for crude humor, particular in this case, fecal humor. Season smartly establishes the continuation from season one. Peter and Sam have been popular and now doing financial well, thanks to the Netflix’ fictional money. Genius writing. The production value is better; they were able to use drones; the animated graphics are back (Who can forget the deck hand-job animation?). Pre and Post Netflix documentary changes is another example of clever writing of the show. Two sets of directors, real and fictional, have cleverly captured the characters and their traits. There are lots of found footages, Instagram, Snapchat stuff; it shows the influence of social media on the current generation of the high school kids. The look of the show is grounded in reality; the feel is the same as the season one. There is less shaky cam, a welcome improvement over the last season. The “serial” vandal term is used as the crime has also upped its nature. The Brownout is horrific and funny at the same time; it would become the living nightmare for the students of St. Bernadine.
While being funny, the second season throws some lights on the life of the average school student. The teenagers want to be part of the community; they want to offer an alternate polished version of themselves on social media. The second season has a darker tone than the first one. The first season was merely a reflection on the life of Dylan Maxwell, while the second season addresses the fact that online persona is just a mask of the Snapchat or filter of the Instagram. It was interesting to see the connection between iOS 11 infamous autocorrect bug and 4Chan references in the show. There aren’t many loopholes in the narrative. Quite impressive.
It is difficult for a second season to surprise as it did with the first, the quality of the show does not dip as much as the sequels tend to do. It is a deserving second outing, that does not shy away from addressing the harsh reality of the life of a teenager. It is a start to finish a binge-worthy show.
PS: Don’t watch while you eat.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5