The “True Crime” documentary genre has seen a huge uptick in recent years and for good cause. True crime stories are pretty interesting, especially when they delve into the motives and reasoning behind the suspects. More recently, though, the “you got the wrong guy” docs have been rampant. From Serial to Netflix’s own Making A Murderer, people go crazy over crime stories where the wrong person may have been charged. Now, Netflix has backed a satire of this genre and just released the first trailer.
American Vandal is an 8 part, half hour true-crime satire centered around a graffiti controversy at a high school. Jimmy Tatro stars as an immature senior that loves drawing dicks. He becomes the target of suspicion when dicks show up spray painted on cars all over the parking lot. Claiming innocence, another student begins their search for the truth, true-crime documentary style.
The trailer, with Tatro’s extreme bro voice laid over, is one of the funniest I’ve seen in a long time. To say I am all in on this is an understatement. As someone who disliked Making A Murderer and couldn’t get into Serial, and sees the self-righteousness in other docs, I am unbelievably excited to see how they make fun of them. With a style that represents the genre but really reminds me of Murderer and Catfish, I have faith they can stretch a dick joke long enough by ripping on each style.
The talent behind it is Tony Yacenda and Dan Perrault. I don’t recognize Pacenda’s credits, but Perrault is behind Honest Trailers, a long running and consistently good Youtube series put out by ScreenJunkies. While that’s solid, it’s really the showrunner that excites me. Dan Lagana was one of the minds behind Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous, the short-lived but splendid Bo Burnham MTV series from 2013. Lagana may not have been the main brain behind Zach Stone (it has Burnham’s mind written all over it), he still helped run it so I’ll take it.
American Vandal drops September 15th for full binging on Netflix.