- The second season of “American Vandal” became available on Netflix Friday.
- This time, the fictional documentary centers on a vandal called The Turd Burglar.
- The season leans into its poop jokes and cultural commentary, and is even better than the first season.
Halfway through watching season two of Netflix’s “American Vandal,” I paused the show and screamed in delight at the well-executed poop humor — to no one except my dog.
All eight episodes of the second season of the critically acclaimed Netflix satire are available Friday. Season two currently has a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.
“American Vandal” season one was my favorite television show of 2017. It touched on the worst parts of our culture’s obsession with true crime, and made bold, obvious jabs at Netflix’s own original documentary show, “Making a Murderer.”
The fittingly poop-themed season two, which follows The Turd Burglar, a vandal who has successfully played out four poop crimes including poisoning students with laxatives in the cafeteria — is even better than the first.
Without an obligation to directly satirize a specific show like the first season did, “American Vandal” gets the chance to expand what this show is capable of exploring. By changing its setting from a public high school in Southern California to a private Catholic school in the Pacific Northwest, “American Vandal” has the chance to ambitiously tackle corrupt school systems, false confessions, and catfishing. Since season one already covered it, there’s less analysis and comedy related to the way teens use social media.
It’s still a riot, and is a strong case for why poop jokes are funny, and always will be. The poop humor in season two of “American Vandal” is the best poop humor since Maya Rudolph in 2011’s “Bridesmaids.” You know the scene.
Like season one, there’s once again a student who might have been falsely accused because of his reputation. You’ll fall in love with the brilliant Travis Tope, who plays Kevin McClain, a lonely, quirky student obsessed with tea who gives a false confession after hours of interrogation.
I won’t go into much more detail about the season’s plot, because spoiling it would be rude. But the characters are once again, so specific. Everyone will know someone, from the teens to the teachers to the parents. This is especially true for those who, like me, went to a Catholic school that cares about its basketball program more than education (which is something I wish season two spent a little more time diving deeper into).
It’s fitting that Netflix’s great satire series returned for season two only weeks after its misfire, “Insatiable,” which tried to do what “American Vandal” does for true crime but for body image. While watching season two of “American Vandal,” I kept thinking about why this satire works and “Insatiable” didn’t. And it’s because “American Vandal” doesn’t look for the laughs: It prioritizes its message and story, and the comedic elements come naturally.
“American Vandal” season two is even better than the first, and establishes this show as one of the best comedies on television right now. And despite its absurd poop humor, it is a sharp commentary on today’s culture, gives young people a voice, and shows they’re more than just Instagram-obsessed people who think Facebook is lame.
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