REVIEW: American Vandal Season 2
American Vandal S2 was a very good follow up: different enough to stand on its own legs but consistent where things counted. This time around we follow the story of a poop obsessed mastermind and their relationship to local oddball Kevin McClain (expertly brought to life by Travis Trope, I mean, the guy’s a savant).
Kevin has confessed to being the “Turd Burglar” and making his entire school dookie their jeans during an event called “the Brownout”. But according to Kevin’s friend Chloe, someone else is behind the vandalism. As terror fills the hallways of a private high school in Bellevue, Washington, our documentarians from season 1 search for the truth.
I couldn't help but fall in love all over again with this show’s brilliant interpretation of high school. American Vandal finally understands what so many people fail to when it comes to paying respect to the John Hughes aesthetic. It has honest characters, relishes in its own absurdity, and the larger narrative treats you like a real human with, ya know, thoughts. It's a teen story that's not trying to appease anyone's nostalgia, or lean into trope, and I find that incredibly refreshing. It’s messaging about living in our distinctly curated modern era always rings true and I really hope it gets a third season.
But if we're comparing S1 to S2 there seemed to be a teensy drop in quality this time around. No doubt driven from the leads Peter and Sam taking on more passive roles in the series. Where in season 1 the stakes are able to get personal fairly quick, the story of the "Turd Burglar" is treated much more like a professional documentary: choosing to observe conflict rather than getting involved with it.
This makes sense given the backstory of S2, but I was really hoping for some of the ol’ fashioned best friend moments S1 had, or at least a bit of continuation regarding Hanover High. While moving away from these more intimate settings and character dynamics isn't necessarily a bad choice, I really missed their presence, and hope they make a return.
Shocking in the best of ways and heartfelt all the same, go give American Vandal S2 a watch.