American Vandal returns

Dynamic new show appears for second season on Netflix


American Vandal logo for season two.

Michael Barbuti, Author

On September 15, 2017, Netflix’s controversial original series, American Vandal, made its premiere. The show is designed to be a fictional investigative documentary filmed by two high school students, Sam Ecklund and Peter Maldonado, played by Griffin Gluck and Tyler Alvarez respectively. In season one, the two boys film themselves while they investigate a comically vulgar vandalism crime that occurred at their high school. The show goes very in depth, complete with interviews, video recording of their thought process, and visual animations. The design of the show creates a guessing game for the viewer, drawing them in and getting them engaged in the investigation.

Season two of American Vandal is also focused on a series of vulgar, yet hysterical, crimes at a high school. This season, though, Sam and Peter travel to a high school far away from their own, St. Bernardine High School in Bellevue, Washington. This time around the boys are filming this new documentary as their senior project, now with the help of a film crew from Netflix, breaking the fourth wall.

The crimes committed on season two are much more serious and disgusting than what occurred in season one. The crimes are perpetrated over a period of several months at St. Bernardine, all of them using the same substance to create mayhem: poop.

Tony Yacenda and Dan Perrault are the co-creators and executive producers of the series. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Yacenda said they wanted to create “the dark, horrific version of [their] show.” Perrault and Yacenda decided that dark, horrific version was “poop covering the walls of a Catholic school.” The choice was very controversial, but it had the desired shock value for viewers.

Yacenda and Perrault chose a prestigious Catholic high school as the setting for season two with a desired effect in mind. Other than it being a Catholic school, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Perrault said, “I’d like to widen that to it being a private school and how money works, and how certain people may be protected above others.” There is a clear message about class differences and the privileges that come with money throughout season two.

Senior Calvin Min is a very big fan of American Vandal. After binge-watching season two in one night the day after it was released, Min says, “Season two was my favorite season because it adds in the concept of comedy and societal issues.” Min really enjoys how detailed the show is and how in depth it goes into the made-up investigation.

American Vandal has captured the hearts and minds of many fans in just two seasons. After an exciting season two, many fans hope Netflix will continue the show for a third season next year.