American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson
So, hands up if your parents
still think that O.J. was set up?
Ironically enough, it’s probably likely that the prosecution and police tried to manoeuvre things. I think it is commonly known that they planted evidence and desperately tried to make certain things stick.
That being said, the biggest mistake they made was putting Mark Fuhrman on the stand. I’ve seen a lot of commenters complaining about the jury deliberating for four hours (let’s be honest, after spending nine months locked away in various hotels, can anyone blame them?) If I was a jury member, my mind would have been made up after Furhman pleads the fifth.
Hell, after the glove incident, my mind would have been made up. Not necessarily because I think O.J. is innocent but because all they needed to counteract that was basic science. The glove shrunk, it was covered blood, the material was stiff – basic science should have told them to keep the glove far, far away from evidence. Stevie Wonder could tell you that it wasn’t going to ‘fit’, posturing or no from O.J. And well, brother Johnnie ran with it and if it doesn’t fit, y’all gotta acquit.
Anyway, onto the TV show itself. It was good. Really, really good and not as theatrical as it could have been. The only person whose acting was unconvincing was Jordana Brewster, mostly because her face wasn’t moving when she was trying to emote.
I guess I will kinda review by character because the plot was a given so I can’t decimate it or anything.
‘The Dream Team’
Robert Shapiro: Once I got over John Travolta’s face, I had to admit that he was pretty good in the role. His outrage at Johnnie’s protection in the finale was completely hilarious but also well-acted at the same time.
Robert Kardashian: Ross from Friends did a good job all around, really. I mean all he had to do was look stunned, and then hopeful, and then shellshocked when the DNA confirmed that O.J. was at least involved somehow. But he did it well.
Johnnie Cochran: I wavered between finding him annoying and kind of inspiring at the same time. No doubt, he used the case as a platform but he seemed to be genuinely driven by an unfair racial divide and the Rodney King fall out. Courtney B. Vance was really quite good.
The rest of ’em: Fun fact – I only watched this show because of Rob Morrow. Literally, had I not marathoned Numb3rs, I would have watched this series in a day and then moved on to Love and Hip Hop. Anyway, he was good as Barry Scheck. I loved the messy hair. WAS THAT A WIG? Nathan Lane’s character – Bailey? He was pretty good. The banter with Shapiro was hilarious but also highlighted the tension within the team. His hair was definitely a wig. Or toupee. Whatever.
Gil Garcetti – I think the actor is Bruce Greenwood. All I could think of when he showed up was that 90s movie where he plays the psycho, abusive ex-husband? DOUBLE JEOPARDY! He’s also Batman, so. He’s cool. Anyway, he was good even with the limited role he had.
Christopher Darden: Sterling K. Brown pretty much knocked it out of the park. He was really, really good. If I cared about the Emmys, I’d want him to get one. In terms of the character, he was pretty much used by the prosecution. I don’t think the black community ever forgave him for that. *dead*
Marcia Clark: Uhhhh. Well, Sarah Paulson was great. The hair got better. In terms of the character, well…she wasn’t very likable. Of course, you hear her motivation at the end and they make it obvious from the start the domestic abuse angle was pretty important to her but ultimately it was a bit of a ham-fisted motive that almost veered away from the murders themselves. Ron Goldman was almost a non-entity in her closing arguments.
O.J. Simpson: I am grateful for one thing regarding this show – I got some clarification about his book, which has to be the most bizarre thing I’ve ever read. Anyway, yes, he wrote it for the money but I now see that despite being well-spoken and articulate, he just wasn’t all that smart. He was obsessed with being a celebrity, obsessed with reclaiming his glory. Even so, what on earth possessed him to greenlight a book wherein he places himself at the scene of the murder? And this a book where he (or his ghost-writer) pretty much accuses Nicole of everything, she was angry, she made him hit her etc. Literally, I was reading it and thinking ‘okay, so this explains his mind frame, oh, I didn’t know that!’ and then he breezed through a domestic abuse incident like the wind ripping through a broken umbrella and I knew that the rest of the book would be a hoot. God only knows who Charlie (the random character in his book who ‘killed’ Ron and Nicole) is. By that point, I was shaking my head like a polaroid picture. Methinks the brain ‘juice’ was a little too loose. I still think he was too stupid – hell, look at what he went to prison for! – to have committed the murders himself, but he was definitely involved somehow.
ANYWAY, in terms of the show. Cuba Gooding Jr is one of those people that I can’t take seriously. I think I saw him in a bad movie when I was younger and so he just has that role in my mind now. He just seems like the kind of person who would sell a used car to three different people and then pretend to have no recollection of it the next day. That’s weirdly specific but I’m weird like that. I think it’s that weird, sneaky smirk of his. He always looks like he’s up to some dodgy shit. Despite that, past the first episode, I thought he was pretty good. If the first two episodes were shot first, then I can excuse a lot of the (in some places) hilarious acting from him. I was cracking up during the Bronco scenes and I felt bad. To be honest with you, the fact that A.C. Rowlins had an identical Bronco just made it even funnier. I’m terrible.
LOL, some of the jury members were too much. But all in all the show provided a lot of good insight and from what I’ve heard, most of it was accurate.
Overall, the show gets a 9/10, with one point deducted because of the random O.J. shower scene during the finale (I didn’t need to see CGJ’s butt, not when I struggle to take him seriously as it is) and all of the annoying Kardashian children scenes (yeah, we get it, O.J. is the reason why he have to endure them – we don’t need a reminder!). The race aspect was pretty much spot on and shows us why he most likely got acquitted and why people reacted the way they did. Oh and in a shocking turn that should surprise no one, people are still dismayed at the way ‘racist black people’ reacted when the verdict was read out.
Oh and in a shocking turn that should surprise no one, certain people are still dismayed at the way ‘racist black people’ reacted when the verdict was read out. I rolled my eyes and back clicked my way to safety. If you don’t get it now, you never will, so just keep it moving and find something more recent to be outraged about.
Random note: Do the American Crime producers not care about the similarity of the show names? Isn’t it also an anthology series? And now NBC are making one…with Dick Wolf at the helm, because Chicago Bakery hasn’t been greenlit yet. /s