American Vandal was a show that seemingly came out of nowhere in its first season, immediately captivating its Netflix audience with a single perfectly crafted, mystifying riddle: “Who did the dicks?” A pitch-perfect parody of a format we didn’t know we needed—serialized crime investigations in the style of Making a Murderer and Serial—the show captured a perfect moment of American media satire, and became a smash hit in the process. Much of that success is thanks to its strong array of relatable high school characters, from researchers Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) and Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluck) to the poor schmuck of a burnout Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro) who was accused of vandalism in the first place. And now, the grim specter of vandalism has risen once again, in the trailer for season 2 of American Vandal.
Quite a lot has clearly changed, this time around. The show seems to be sporting a different visual flair entirely, with lots of high-def (but very dark and de-saturated) shots that appear to be dramatic recreations of the same incident. As the trailer informs us, the action this time around appears to be happening at a different school from the one that Peter and Sam attend—a school that is in recovery after a terrifying incident in which the lunchtime lemonade is spiked with powerful laxatives. Thus begins the reign of terror of a vandal—really more of a terrorist, to be honest—named the “Turd Burglar,” whose crimes are all scatological in nature.
Again, this marks a pretty big departure from season 1, which should probably be a little concerning to American Vandal fans. The events of the first season, and its spray-painted dicks, seemed like a believable (if stupid) prank that a foolish class clown might attempt to play on teachers who had gotten in his (or her) way. The events of season 2, on the other hand, are being orchestrated by someone who is being depicted as much more of an attention-seeking criminal mastermind. It’s basically the equivalent of Peter and Sam going up against The Joker or The Riddler, rather than some two-bit thug, and you have to wonder if the spirit of American Vandal will still remain intact.
Still, we’ll likely get to meet a whole new cast of Catholic school kids this time around, while hopefully seeing the return of some of Peter and Sam’s more entertaining classmates, and that should be reason enough to give season 2 a look. Check out the trailer above, and catch American Vandal, season 2, on Sept. 12, 2018 on Netflix.