Thoughts: American Vandal, Or: High School Drama


The new Netflix "documentary," American Vandal, gives its own take on the sudden rise in docu-series with a high school twist. However, It's more high school drama than an actual documentary.

First off, this is a comedy. This is not to be taken seriously, but rather as a tongue in cheek take on the rise in Netflix original documentary series. Then again, describing American Vandal as a comedy is putting it loosely as a majority of the jokes are aimed at high school social life and current media trends. The premise is around drawing dicks on teachers' cars and finding out who did it, while trying to exonerate one particular student who is accused of the incident. The series goes through a lot of high school drama from people hooking up, to teachers favoring certain students, and even the usual misdirection to keep high school secrets. But there is more to this show than just a high school drama.

American Vandal is about these documentary series and putting blame where evidence leads without knowing the whole truth. It is also about what happens when exposing truth and how it can ruin lives or force people to judge without due process. This is an interesting look as how we are able to see exactly what the narrator wants us to see while at the same time, define the narrative through certain set pieces. The over arching theme of American Vandal isn't just high school drama, but how quickly we can judge a person based on what we think they are, rather than who they are and what they want to become. 

If you're in high school or like these documentary series type shows, then American Vandal is worth checking out. Just take it with a grain of salt as this is a scripted documentary and none of this actually happened. It's a show that gets very meta at the end as it looks back upon itself to determine if these type of shows have meaning after they're completed. Documentary series effect a lot of people's lives and the narrator has become judge, jury and executioner on how we look at people.

- Mike