By Kevin Acevedo
What would you do if one day while you were at lunch eating chicken tenders and drinking the school lemonade, you feel your stomach start to burn and with every passing second it intensifies. Then you start clenching and you see everyone else going to the bathroom. You start running, faster than you have ever run before, but then you just stop and you realize it’s too late. You are crapping your pants. This is the premise for the hit second season of American Vandal.
American Vandal season one was all about phallic art that was spray-painted on every faculty member’s car. All fingers were pointed at Dylan Maxwell, the most infamous phallic artist in the whole school. Only one person believes in Dylan’s innocence; Peter Maldonado the creator of the documentary. As the story goes on, the audience comes to realize Dylan, isn’t the culprit. The true culprit was never caught, but it was strongly hinted that it was actually the most involved and preppy student in the school, Christa Carlyle.
Season two follows a similar formula that season one does in the beginning. A huge outcast is blamed for a costly prank and is convicted with a shoddy witness statement and no real evidence, only speculation. I was glad that they used the same formula in the beginning that they used in the first season because in my opinion it’s one of the things that makes this show great. I realized that that’s where the similarities ended. Unlike season one, season two isn’t focused on phallic art, but instead poop. You may think “poop?”. For me, the story is more complex, even if it revolves around poop being the punchline. The story begins with the students talking about the “brownout.” Many recall that the day of the brownout is the worst day of their lives. A student in their school put laxatives in the school lemonade. Many students like the schools’ lemonade, which led to most of them crapping their pants, uncontrollably. The blame is firmly place on the second season convict, Kevin McClain. Kevin is blamed because his best friend said, “He was acting weird, like he had something to hide”. That was all it took for Kevin to be convicted. He was sentenced to three months of house arrest. Peter Maldonado eventually leaves his school to help Kevin. This is where I felt that the story had more layers than it just being about poop.
In the final episodes, Peter and the viewers, come to realize there is more than one culprit. Most of the culprits, were being catfished and blackmailed into doing the pranks. The catfish turned out to be one of Kevin’s old friend, and a former student of St. Bernardine. He hated the school for what it had done to him the year prior to when the show starts. He was expelled from the school for using the school computers to post some tweets, While they were not a good enough reason to expel someone, they were a bit repulsive and not school appropriate. He hated the school for the unfairness they showed him so he decided to mess with the students of the school and blackmail a few of them to pull of the pranks. While I feel what they did to him was overkill, the way he took it was not healthy. His belief was that everyone in that school was fake and all wore masks to hide their real selves. In a way, he was not wrong; many high schoolers wear masks to hide their real selves, their human selves. Peter eventually found out and called the cops on him. He was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison. This was not the end though, the twist came when Kevin admitted being the one who caused the “brownout.” He wasn’t blackmailed but he was instead used and manipulated into doing the “brownout.” I feel that Kevin was a victim, he never had real friends, and when a catfish, pretended to be a beautiful girl, texted him, related with him, and manipulated him to do what they wanted, it was heartbreaking. This show managed to combine comedy with a true-crime documentary perfectly and is surprisingly insightful of teen culture. For that I give the second season of American Vandal, a nine out of ten.