Is American Vandal Based on a True Story?

Is American Vandal Based on a True Story?

In recent times, Netflix has made its place in the world of content creation by churning out quality series, movies as well as true-crime documentaries at the speed of light. These originals created from their native studio have been the subject of much adulation and have been the subject of several award nominations. The simple yet detailed storytelling, great scripting, and a talented cast and crew have moved many Netflix shows and movies to the favorite’s lists of critics.

It has also found its expertise in producing true-crime documentaries. Well-crafted, intriguing and often featuring several important individuals who were affected by the actual events, these have become a bingeing staple for every Netflix-viewing household. The simplicity of the storytelling and the ability of the series to capture and hold the audience’s attention make them some of the most viewed programs on the streaming platform.

From the initial treatment of the trailer, which is very cinéma verité, American Vandal seems like a serious series telling the story of a criminal offender. However, taking a detour from the usual subjects of most films of this genre – murderer features and heists – American Vandal is a story that specifically talks about a teenager who wreaks havoc in his school by drawing graffiti of penises everywhere. From this moment onwards, there is no doubt that the series is, in fact, a parody of the many that crowds Netflix’s offerings.

So, what makes American Vandal a must-watch? Here are 9 reasons why you have to binge on this series over the weekend!

1.   The Bomb Trailer: What makes us watch a series? Its trailer, you guessed it right! The American Vandal trailer is an absolute nail-biter. Complete with the thrill and suspense of a true-crime docuseries trailer, an ominous soundtrack and a voiceover that takes you back to a Making a Murderer episode, this trailer is 50% of the reason why you have to add this to your list of things to watch.

2.   It's Inspired: This mockumentary takes direct inspiration from Netflix’s very own super hit true crime dramas like Making a Murderer and The Keepers. The series is committed to maintaining the illusion that the premises, the people and the story are painstakingly real, and every detail is crafted to the tee to keep it that way. The influence of actual docuseries is obvious and makes this a cinematic genius, even if in a very funny way.

3.   Its satire (almost) at its best: However, the trailer does give out in several places that this series is nothing more than a 4-hour long joke. In parts, it gives out a very strong Funny or Die vibe which is not surprising given that they are one of the producers of this show. But it is commendable that the producers, as well as the writers of this show could make it into an 8-episode long prank, beautifully crafted to keep the audience engaged and clicking on the ‘Next Episode’ button.

4.   A treat for American Pie fans: This prolonged joke that the series tries to play on the audience has a strong nostalgic feeling that makes you think of the American Pie series. Lewd, disgusting and often random, this series plays on the juvenile humor often characteristic of this slapstick comedy movie series. If you are looking for some mindless laughter for about 4 hours, this is what you must watch.

5.   The creators of the show got their break while ridiculing Michael Jordan: Dan Perrault and Tony Yacenda, co-creators of American Vandal, first came into the public eye with their 5-min parody of ESPN’s 30 under 30 which covered the crucial basketball game in Space Jam from 1996. They had actual NBA analysts comparing Michael Jordan’s climactic performance with that of Bugs Bunny! That sure drew some laughs and lay down the foundation for these two creators to make more parodies in the future.

6.   TV turned them down before Netflix: The creators had their footage under their belt. What they lacked was a network that agreed to air their bold satirical parody on air. The subject of the series being spray-painted penises was barely helping their case. Several networks liked the idea but were extremely apprehensive about airing a series whose focal point was primarily phallic shapes painted by a school student. Netflix had no such reservations and was all ready to give them a place on their platform.

7.  It was not all scripted: While the entire series is scripted and actors are essentially delivering lines from a set script in a way that it sounds spontaneous, there were parts of this series that was impromptu. The interrogation scenes featuring filmmaker, Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez), the director made him do actual free-flow interviews and reference his in-character notes. This added an authentic layer of realism, giving the audience the feel of a true case with actual people.

8.   It was the most binged show of 2017: Wondering how you never jumped on the American Vandal bandwagon when in 2017, Netflix called it the most-watched show on the platform? Yes, it beat the likes of Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why and an actual true-crime docuseries, The Keepers, to make it to the top of Netflix’s most-binged programs list.

9.   It might spoil true crime dramas for you: The parallels drawn are so strong on this series, that it might make it difficult for you to watch another true-crime drama without thinking about big, red penises were drawn across teachers' cars and laxatives mixed in lemonades. It is such a great parody of some of the best crime documentaries available on Netflix that it might end up making you laugh at every other one that you watch after this.

If you are still looking for a series to binge this weekend, there are two seasons of this brilliant mockumentary series with hilarious crimes, great acting, and some good scriptwriting. If you are not convinced yet, you have to check out the trailers! This show won a Peabody Awards which honors excellence in TV and other mass media, so you have to agree that it’s not just us who are hyping up this show for you. So, leave your thinking hats behind and start watching this incredible series.

Author: Sohini Basu

Also Read Upcoming Movies Of Deepika Padukone.


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