There are documentary series like Adam Curtis' The Century of the Self, which tries to narrate the history of an idea that came to dominate Western society all through the 20th century, over the course of four hours. And then there's the first season of American Vandal, which takes even a little longer than that, but focuses its entire time on one case of 27 high school teacher's cars getting vandalized with spray paint penises.

The show is a satire of "true crime"-style series. Although you might expect a pretty straightforward parody from the synopsis, it's comedy and drama in equal parts. American Vandal is as much a satire of true crime series as it is an homage. The show's creators really try to make the ridiculous case as captivating and exciting as possible. You will most probably turn on the show for a laugh, and then be caught up in the story and its characters within just a short amount of time.

American Vandal makes excellent use of the idea of showing the case through the students' own lens - quite literally, because the film makers (and fictional creators of the documentary) are high school students themselves. This way, adapting the typical true crime series tone to report on the dick-drawing case becomes more than satire: The students take the case and its consequences seriously, and therefore the often serious tone is justified narratively, and it pulls you in at the same rate as the students themselves become more and more obsessed with exploring the case from every possible angle.

There's also probably hardly a comedy, or even a drama, for the matter, that seems like such a realistic portrayal of a high school in our day, and the microcosm its characters create. This truly feels like real high schoolers portraying things they care about. A ridiculous amount of social media "evidence" is also used in investigating the case, and its involvement feels organic - especially because it's not just the "usual suspects" Facebook and Twitter that are referenced frequently, but an entire palette of platforms: Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, and so on.

All in all, American Vandal is a gripping experience that draws you in with a funny premise, then gets you hooked with great storytelling, and also has a bit of social commentary in petto to top it all off.

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