The new Netflix true-crime series you should binge on today
This is the perfect series for people who love crime documentaries... and for people who are sick of them.
Netflix really have a good thing going with crime documentaries, making each and every one of them absolute must-sees.
From way-back-when with Making A Murderer, to more recent fare like The Confession Tapes and The Keepers, pretty much every one of them had people hooked for entire weekends, and then coming into work/college/wherever on the Monday with their own theories on what had happened.
So with that in mind, Netflix's new series American Vandal, which was launched on Friday, takes that formula and turns it on it's head.
It satirises the entire genre of true-crime documentaries, by focusing on the "real story" of a high school prank that left twenty-seven cars vandalised with pictures of penises drawn all over them.
When the school's class clown Dylan Maxwell is accused of the crime and later expelled, an investigation into the "horrific crime" is launched by new student Peter Maldonado, to uncover if Dylan was the one truly behind the crime.
While American Vandal is effectively taking the piss out of other documentaries, the reviews have been surprising in revealing just how much intellectual and emotional depth is actually on show:
"Few shows I've seen catch high school society, with its self-contained seriousness, as well as American Vandal does, as well as the mix of innocence and experience, confusion and certitude that mark that age. It’s as engrossing as the series it set out to satirize and moving in ways you would not expect." - Los Angeles Times
"Sophomoric at times, but painstakingly constructed throughout, it’s a thrilling mystery that feels true - from start to finish - to the real-life stories that inspired it." - IndieWire
"[T]hey manage to make a high-school dramedy work around the “documentary” itself. All in all, it’s an impressive tightrope walk." - Entertainment Weekly
"In its assemblage of footage from Snapchat feeds and other social media sources, as well as its collection of solid teenage performances, American Vandal gets at something true about our obsession with whodunits and how every generation finds a new way to commit very old crimes." - Vox.com
"[It's] a show that wildly and consistently exceeded my expectations, in large part because it evolves and becomes a much better and different show over its eight-episode run." - The Hollywood Reporter
"Everyone involved with this show really commits to the format. That’s what makes American Vandal more compelling than I would have suspected[.]" - New York Times Magazine
All 8 episodes of the series are available to watch on Netflix right now.