[tv review 1]
The 1995 case of The People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson was one of the most heavily scrutinized and publicized trials in history… Because of this popularity, roughly 9/10 people know what the ultimate result of it was and just how insane the whole ordeal was. For the sake of this review, I am assuming whoever reads it does not know the verdict so I won’t spoil it. Whether you are familiar with the case or not, I am here to tell you: American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson is simply a spectacular piece of television. Creators Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski have managed to take this case that has been dissected ad nauseam and create an air of pure suspense that took me aback.
In a nicely wrapped ten-episode package, ACS depicts the insanity and sheer incredible nature of the OJ Simpson case in an intriguingly thrilling way. I have known of the OJ ordeal for years and my eyes were glued on the screen for throughout the series.
The show is shot in a sephia-type tone that manages to evoke a somewhat old timey sense of mystery, to what is a wildly well-known situation. I am genuinely serious when I say there are moments where I knew what the outcome was… It has been known for years… And yet I still thought to myself, “BUT WHAT IF I’M THINKING WRONG AND IT GOES THE OTHER WAY?!” This is a testament to the writers and director of the episode because it is no easy feat being tasked with creating something that so many viewers already have the real-life spoilers for.
Speaking of giving props to people… Guys, the cast of this show was nearly perfect.
Every single character was portrayed so fantastically by its respective actor, it is kind of scary. A main character weak link I personally found was David Schwimmer as the famed Robert Kardashian. Not to diminish what he did because he wasn’t terrible, but his portrayal just wasn’t up to par with his surroundings. There was really only one specific memorable scene with Kardashian, in which he speaks to his ex-wife Kris, and really every other scene he’s in he has a glazed look on his face or he’s saying “juice.” Cuba Gooding Jr. was also good as the titular Simpson, nothing really wowed me but it didn’t deter from his performance. He was brilliantly average. Many people say as an actual portrayal of OJ Simpson, his voice needed to be much lower and stature much larger. The secondary characters were by far some of my favourites.
The brief moments we saw of Kris Jenner and Faye Resnick, both portrayed frigging spectacularly by Selma Blair and Connie Britton, added to what is already a great season.
Two main reasons I loved American Crime Story:
Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran and Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark
She had me wrapped around her finger as tightly as she would cling onto that cigarette.
He had so many shades of grey I thought he was an EL James sequel.
I won’t blab about them. They both gave the performances of a lifetime.
You will do yourself a favour in witnessing such spectacular portrayals.
The showrunners did a terrific job in manufacturing 1990’s Los Angeles and everything looked beautiful. There were instances wherein footage was meant to seem like it was archival (but it wasn’t!! *gasp*) that were woven throughout the episodes pretty much seamlessly. Small nitpick, I do wish they utilized more real life archival footage because it would’ve been able to add to the overall feeling of the show and made it somewhat more impactful. I will say this, I love how true-to-life they stayed to the actual event.
This is arguably one of the more truer depictions of a historical event in a television series medium. I would venture to say many of the courtroom scenes stuck to what was actually said verbatim.
If you’re looking for a suspenseful courtroom drama with disgustingly brilliant performances and have a day to binge on a season of such television, do yourself a favour and watch American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson. Even if you are entirely aware of everything about the case, you will still find yourself feeling that knot in your stomach during various tension-filled discussions.
As I usually do now, I would give my rating out of five Matt Damon heads.
Due to the nature of the review being a television one, I will officially use the Matt Damon head of his character of Owen, as seen in the Will & Grace episode “A Chorus Line.”
The first season of American Crime Story receives 4/5 TV Matt Damon heads.