Stoner’s guilt seems a fallacy
The mystery of who drew bright orange penises on 27 teachers’ cars is at the heart of Increasingly portable video equipment and the rise of the overly serious true crime show combine with subtly clever results in the new eight-part Netflix mockumentary American Vandal. At once a dissection of the social pecking order at a contemporary American high school and a studiously constructed imitation of a Jinxlike series, the more serious American Vandal is, the funnier it becomes.
On Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at about 2pm, somebody spray paints 27 bright orange penises on 27 teachers’ cars in the faculty parking lot of Hanover High School in Oceanside, California. Whoever did it is in and out like a ghost, pausing only to disable the security camera trained on the lot and slash a tyre on one of the teachers’ cars.
Suspicion falls on senior class-clown stoner Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro), who has a history of scrawling the same image in classrooms. He has no alibi and was known to feud with the only American Vandal educator whose tyre was slashed. After an inquiry by the school board, he is expelled.
Meanwhile, Dylan’s fellow audio visual club members, Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) and Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluck) are troubled by a number of inconsistencies in the school board’s case. The penises in Dylan’s classroom pranks are markedly different from those on the cars, plus they figure he’s too stupid to erase the footage (Dylan agrees with this). “Who drew the dicks?” becomes the rallying cry at Hanover High.
From the ominous music to the close-up of spinning audio cassette tapes to the hushed seriousness of the interviews, Funny or Die cohorts Tony Yacenda and Dan Perrault have created a pitch-perfect spoof of the oft-times exasperating genre. That the series doesn’t end where you might guess is only icing on the cake. streaming on Netflix.