That big Netflix money has been put to good use.
In season two of “American Vandal,” the two teen documentarians say they’ve been given more resources to do their brand of television and a choice of subjects. Their option: a parochial school where a mysterious person has tainted the school lemonade with laxatives.
The result: a storm of seismic proportions.
The two (Tyler Alvarez and Griffin Gluck) set up shop in a Bellevue, Washington, student’s posh home and begin the interview process.
Plenty of people could be what they call the “turd burglar.” Kevin (Travis Tope), a strange kid who prefers tea to lemonade, is coerced into confessing. But Peter and Sam aren’t convinced he’s guilty.
They close in on an entitled basketball player (a highly watchable Melvin Gregg as DeMarcus Tillman) but he seems to have too much of a good thing going to stoop so low. His sidekick has issues and there’s a string of teachers who could be implicated. But are they just smokescreens?
In the first season, “Vandal” looked at a mysterious graffiti artist who wanted to settle a few scores. A student was tagged there, too, but the budding “Dateline” filmmakers did their legwork and came away with answers most viewers weren’t expecting.
Season Two has those twists, as well, but it also sends up private schools and the trappings therein. St. Bernardine has reasons to shut down any kind of negative publicity and a desire to see justice flushed down the toilet.
Creators Tony Yacenda and Dan Perrault get plenty of laughs this time around, but it’s often because the actors have crafted such full Christopher Guest-like characters. These suspects have layers and they’re infinitely worth peeling away.
Surprisingly, the two holdovers don’t get a chance to interact much with their subjects. They do a lot with a bulletin board but aren’t players to any degree. That’s fine, but it limits the unvarnished charm they brought to the first season.
In eight episodes, the creators try out every tasteful poop joke and let adults wallow in the waste, too.
There are moments of “Bridesmaids” proportions and a National Lampoon-like view of school, but “American Vandal” is really in its own category.
Able to send up those oh-so-noble documentaries, it manages to comment on a host of topics, not the least of which is bullying.
The Turd Burglar may not be evident to everyone, but if viewers do their homework, they’ll see the tracks that are left.
As parodies go, “American Vandal” is at the head of the class. It earns every dirty laugh.
“American Vandal” premieres Sept. 14 on Netflix.