Tuesday, April 5, 2016

TV Show Review: American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson

I was hooked from the first episode of this new anthology series on FX. American Crime Story kicks off with one of the most controversial cases in American with The People v. OJ Simpson. The story was already compelling but the presentation was engaging and the production very high quality. The acting was ranged from excellent to pretty good, and the story telling never ceased to be entertaining. 

Cuba Gooding Jr. played the title character OJ Simpson ranging from emotionally stricken to glorified and ecstatic over his verdict. Gooding took on the role that could only be performed by a veteran actor and continues the growing trend of movie actors moving to high production television. I will be curious to see how the critics review him later in the year and with awards in the hindsight.

John Travolta, another film actor moving to film, plays Simpson's lawyer Robert Shapiro. He embodied the shady Hollywood lawyer that would do anything to get a victory in a near impossible case. Travolta had some shaky parts but I thought he was a positive addition to the film.

David Schwimmer returns to television from Friends with the role of Robert Kardashian. There were plenty of references to the reality television daughters and just another plot point that showed the significance of this case in popular culture.

Sarah Paulson was brilliant as the prosecuting attorney Marcia Clark. I think this role should give her even more mainstream credibility and possibly land her an well-deserved acting award. Paulson has always been enjoyable in American Horror Story and I hope she continues with both series. 

Sterling K. Brown gave another of the most outstanding performances of the season as another prosecuting attorney Christopher Darden. Brown showed raw emotion and embodied the turmoil of the case. I was so glad to be introduced to this amazing actor and I hope he continues to get promising roles.

Another shocker of a performance was the replication of the great speeches and convincing defense of Johnnie Cochran by Courtney B. Vance. He excelled in every part showing the back and forth of the defense and delivery the closing statements with gusto and dramatic panache. I hope Vance continues to find good roles as an actor as well.

Despite already knowing what was going to happen, learning new aspects of the case made watching the show a unique experience and the creators did a great job making the tense moments enjoyable to watch. I was only a young school kid when the case was going on and this made me realize how much history can be forgotten so quickly yet how little things have changed in two decades.

On a side note, that new FX show ATLANTA looks like it will be really funny. I have enjoyed a lot of FX shows and will continue to watch this channel!

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