TV: Don’t Miss O.J.

The People v. O.J. Simpson American Crime Story (FX)

This 10 part-mini series premiered Feb. 2nd on FX and is riveting. Most of us remember the O.J. Simpson arrest and trial in detail and have strong opinions on whether he is innocent or guilty. The series is based on a book that, in several critics and participant’s views, plays a bit fast and loose with the facts. That aside, the first episode of this reeled me in and won’t let me go. Episode 1 sets the stage showing the brutal aftermath of the murder up to the point where O.J. leaves in the Bronco. The acting is unbelievably good (with the exception of John Travolta) and the performances of Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown and Cuba Gooding Jr. are outstanding from the get go. I can’t wait to see the rest of the cast as they are introduced onto the screen.

Whether you believe O.J. is guilty or innocent, it is hard to argue that race did not play a big part in this trial. I am really interested in seeing how this plays out over the next 9 episodes.  Beginning with the Rodney King beating and culminating with O.J.’s acquittal, this story has so much relevance for what is happening today in the interactions between the police and African Americans across the country.  Being able to revisit this story with the backdrop of current events makes for particularly poignant viewing.

I only have two regrets/issues about this series thus far:

  • I feel deeply for the families of those involved along with the prosecution team that these events are being played out again. I can’t imagine the wounds this presentation will reopen. Listening to Ron Goldman’s sister this morning as the press revisits his death is heartbreaking as are the pictures in the news of Sidney Simpson. It is also tough to listen to Marsha Clark as she is forced to relive this.
  • FX didn’t waste a moment in showing/mentioning the Kardashian children. Give me strength. “Kimmy “ shouting to “Khloe” at the funeral and O.J. in “Kimmy’s” blue bedroom are not integral parts of the story. The Kardashian children were never mentioned at the time so can we just keep it that way?

I hope the next 9 episodes remain great. Can’t wait for episode 2!

Updates:  Mercy Street on PBS has not gotten better. If it weren’t going to end soon anyway, I’d bag it. I continue to really like London Spy and even though the critics are not kind to Colony, I am enjoying it – maybe I just like looking at Josh Holloway or I just have a tough time giving up on Carlton Cuse shows.

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