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TV Review: American Crime Story

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I am a person that prides herself on being punctual, leaning toward early in life. I am almost embarrassingly early to things, which means often times sitting in a parking lot or driveway, driving aimlessly while time passes, and setting my clocks 10-minutes fast to ensure I have that buffer.

So, I hate that I’m coming to you a little late on this, but take heart that it’s not TOO late. I just have to urge you to tune into FX’s newest drama (technically a true crime anthology series), “American Crime Story”. It is the latest development on the resume of Ryan Murphy, and mirrors the set-up of his popular “American Horror Story”, with each season focusing on a different time, cast, and characters.

The first season, a 10-episode mini-series, is “The People vs. O.J. Simpson”. You may have heard about this series in the works for some time as it has a star-studded cast recreating the INSANITY of the 1994 murder or Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ronald Goldman, and the subsequent trial which accelerated our nation’s obsession with 24-hour news and true crime coverage. I was in high school at the time, and remember all of this very well. I remember where I was when the verdict came down – we even listened to it on the radio in my health class, at the time!

And, yet, even after years and years, countless hours and articles on the case, I still found my heart racing, breathless, and completely enthralled when the first episode premiered on February 2nd. It was like I’d never heard of the case, and was just waiting to hear what was next.

I’m coming off of the “Making a Murderer” binge, as is most of America. So perhaps my interest is peaked, watching two crime stories about men that most certainly committed their crimes, but had mockeries made of their trials. But, I think it’s more that this case is so embedded in my mind as a time in history that I truly remember and obsessed over. OJ Simpson, for me, has always been the acquitted murderer; he was never “The Juice” to me. Maybe, at best, he was the guy in the “Naked Gun” movies. But for me, this was my first real exposure to him.

When I say the cast is star-studded, it really is astonishing. John Travolta, Cuba Gooding, Jr., David Schwimmer, Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, Selma Blair, Connie Britton, Nathan Lane are a few of the headliners. It’s interesting that many of the cast members had a heyday in the 90s; the movie is ripe with 90s pop culture references (which I appreciate). And, of course, heavy on Kardashian references.

Several articles have pointed out that the Kardashian children were also growing up during this time, seeing the nature of cameras and American’s obsession with real life unfolding on their TV screens. That experience absolutely embedded in their impressionable teenage minds what was to come. The effect of this trial on that family is long-lasting and fascinating, if you’re ever looking for a research project. But, I digress.

If you like true crime, great ensemble casts, drama, or just looking to be entertained as only Ryan Murphy can do, tune in to FX or Hulu, Tuesdays at 10/9:00 CST to catch this very well-done miniseries. While much of the more personal notes are fictionalized, you’ll recall the trial portions and recall small details you most certainly missed or forgot. And who doesn’t love a Kardashian?

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