Final Word from Wednesday, February 28, 2018

"American Vandal" is a clever eight-part TV series that makes fun of true-crime documentaries by pursuing the high-school student who spray-painted 27 red dicks (the word used repeatedly) on cars in the school parking lot. Czechs are living through their own mockudrama in the aftermath of a much more serious crime in Slovakia, the murder of a journalist and his fiancée. Commentators are pointing fingers at Miloš Zeman for having called for the elimination of journalists. "Every tragic event is the culmination of a chain of direct and indirect circumstances," wrote Robert Malecký of Hlídací in E15. "Every attack on a journalist is an attack on freedom, and murder is the ghastly extreme." Right, it's a slippery slope from making a tasteless joke in Prague to hiring a hitman who commits two contract killings in eastern Slovakia. Part of the tragicomedy of "American Vandal" is seeing how foolish all the ones doing the finger-pointing look once the real culprit is caught. [Czech Republic mockumentary Ján Kuciak]

Glossary of difficult words

hitman - a person who is paid to kill someone, esp. for a criminal or political organization;

true-crime documentary - a non-fiction film genre in which the author examines an actual crime and details the actions of real people;

mockudrama - a parody on a docudrama, which is a dramatized television film based on real events;

ghastly - causing great horror or fear;

slippery slope - a course of action likely to lead to something bad or disastrous.

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