7) AMERICAN VANDAL
Someone has spray painted dicks on 27 of the teacher’s cars and Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro) is the prime suspect. After all, he loves drawing dicks. But did he really do it? High school student and wannabe filmmaker Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alverez) to discover the truth in this dead-on send-up to true crime documentary shows like Making a Murderer.
From the fake opening credits (“Executive Producer: Mr. Baxter”), the series has you laughing your ass off while keeping you hooked into the mystery. Through it’s melodramatic music and tricky editing, the series perfectly captures the narrative tricks crime documentaries use to sensationalize the real-life story. The fact that the show takes this small crime so serious leads to many hilarious moments. You’ve seen many of these shows use CGI models to reenact a crime scene, but how many do you see a CGI model give another a blow job.
That’s not even getting into the storyline, which incorporates every story element you see here. A sympathetic suspect you wish were innocent? Check. A suspected conspiracy led by authority figures out to make the suspect look guilty? Check. A sudden appearance of evidence changing the outcome? Check. You name it, they got it. Seeing these elements applied to a high school setting makes these plot elements look so ridiculous. The fact that Peter takes them so seriously makes these scenes all the more hilarious when a revelation involves pubic hairs.
And yet, you are still able to take the case seriously, wanting Dylan to be proven innocent. Each revelation keeps you more hooked into the story, anxious to see more. It helps that this series has so many great characters, from the “too-cool-for-school” teacher Mr. Kraz (Ryan O’Flanagan) to school dweeb Alex Trimboli (Calum Worthy). But it’s the leads who shine the most. Alvarez plays it so serious you can’t help but be pulled in. Griffin Gluck serves as the perfect straight man in his performance of Peter’s friend/partner Sam. Once you get over his baritone voice, Tatro brings a goofball charm to Dylan.