It was probably impossible for American Vandal, Netflix's high-school-documentary true crime parody to top its first season. A who-drew-all-the-penises mystery is a hard thing to top. And so, at first, it seems like the second season — in which a scatalogical who-dunnit includes the spiking of cafeteria lemonade with a powerful laxative — feels like it suffers from diminished returns. But the secret strength of the show, the insight into the triumphs and insecurities of high schoolers in the age of Snapchat and Instagram, is stronger than ever. Flush down the poop jokes, scrub away the penis drawings, and American Vandal's surprisingly deep and nuanced characters remain. (DANIEL WALTERS)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
Some noteworthy new music arrives online and in stores Sept. 21. To wit:
Metric, Art of Doubt. A new album release is a nice way to cap off a summer opening for Smashing Pumpkins.
Prince, Piano & a Microphone: 1983. The posthumous excavation of Prince's famous vault has begun.
Slash, Living The Dream. Spokane's own Myles Kennedy provides some vocals.
Suede, The Blue Hour. Hail the return of some of Brit-pop's underappreciated best.
Supersuckers, Suck It. Suck from the teat of explosive guitar rawwwwwck? OK! (DAN NAILEN)
A new art installation on display at the Spokane County Library District's North Spokane branch (44 E. Hawthorne Rd.) is a collaborative masterpiece to behold. Gifts of the River was created by quilters at Spokane sewing shop Sew Uniquely You and depicts a detailed, six-panel landscape of the Little Spokane River with Mount Spokane in the background. The photo-realistic textile art is made even more stunning with hand-dyed fabrics, done to accurately mimic the soft yet rich colors of the trees, sky, water and hills at sunrise. The piece is on display through the end of September. (CHEY SCOTT)
WILD WILD CASE
If you were hooked by the Emmy-winning Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country, you're already familiar with Philip Niren Toelkes. He's the attorney who defended self-imposed mystic Osho, whose followers were involved in a mass poisoning and an assassination attempt in central Oregon in the 1980s. Toelkes still considers himself a member of the late Osho's controversial Rajneesh movement, and he'll be at the University of Idaho on Sept. 26 discussing his role in the bizarre legal turmoil. It's free and starts at 6:30 pm in the Administration Building Auditorium. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)
HOLE LOTTA FUN
The premise of new indie-game darling Donut County is kinda weird — you play as an actual hole in the ground that swallows up everything in its path, growing larger the more you consume. This unusual mechanic totally makes sense once you get your hands on the game, and may also bring to question the symbolism of it all. (Gentrification? Cultural ignorance?) The story-driven, physics-based puzzle game is short and sweet — most will finish in a few hours, probably wanting more. All said, Donut County's whimsical, pastel-toned geometric art, quirky anthropomorphic animals (including some asshole racoons) and plenty of silliness make it an instant classic. It's available for iOS, Mac, PS4 and PC. (CHEY SCOTT)