Hilarious Netflix Mockumentary Sends Up True Crime Genre

By April Ryder | Published

american vandal

If you have yet to explore the hilarious Netflix mockumentary American Vandal, the opportunity is still there. The series was first released on the streamer in 2017 and was created by Dan Perrault and Tony Yacenda. The series is a parody show of true crime documentaries such as the famed Making a Murderer and Serial

American Vandal Season 1

The first season of American Vandal introduced Peter Maldonado and his friend Sam Ecklund, a pair of high school students investigating a crime on school property. During school one day, 27 gentialia are spray-painted on cars belonging to the faculty of Hanover High School, and the boys aim to find out who did it. 

Dylan Maxwell, a senior at the fictional high school was the first to be accused of the crime. The school even expelled him, but a deep dive into the phallic vandalization points in a different direction. 

American Vandal Season 2

american vandal

The second season of American Vandal sees Peter and Sam return to investigate a whole new crime at a different high school. This time, it’s a Catholic private school. The students recently suffered a great betrayal when someone spiked the cafeteria’s lemonade with maltitol (a powerful laxative), causing a lot busy restrooms. 

Season 2 asked the primary question, “What if the motive is just, ‘P**p is funny’?”

A Short, Hilarious Life

Unfortunately, it only ran for two seasons before Netflix gave it the axe, but it wasn’t canceled for lack of interest from viewers. The streamer was making moves to let go of any shows it didn’t outright own when American Vandal was canceled, and the mockumentary technically belonged to CBS Studios. 

American Vandal’s Origins

American Vandal first emerged after Perrault and Yacenda pitched the idea to Netflix of an elaborate mockumentary revolving around a less-than-nefarious crime and a few graffiti genitalia. With a strong conviction that the show would turn out to be more than just a long string of jokes, the two got the go-ahead on their new series. 

A Critical Triumph

american vandal

American Vandal was met with positively raving reviews upon its release. Critics most notably praised the subtle (and not so subtle) humor, the engrossing plot, and the accurate representation of what it’s like to be in high school. Rotten Tomatoes gives the show a 98 percent positive rating, and the series won a Peabody Award in 2018. 

American Vandal Season 3?

Yacenda and Perrault have alluded to already being prepared to craft a third season of American Vandal whenever necessary, but there is no word yet on any streamers planning to pick the show up for a revamp. Maybe the continued conversation surrounding the show will bring more movement towards revival. 

For now, fans will have to be sufficed to watch and rewatch the 16 episodes of seasons one and two of American Vandal now streaming on Netflix for those with a subscription to the channel.