April 21, 2021

FX’s American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson

I never imagined that I would willingly sit down and watch a rehash of the O.J. Simpson trial, but Tuesday rolls around and I find myself making sure that I record the weekly FX show, American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson. What brings me back each time? The acting.

The most well-known actors bring their “A” games; Cuba Gooding Jr. as the bewildered O. J. Simpson, David Schwimmer as O. J.’s devoted friend, Robert Kardashian and Courtney B. Vance turning in a stellar portrait of Johnny Cochran. Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark and Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden are spot-on. John Travolta, one of the show’s producers, has been maligned for his eyebrows, but the guy looks like and acts like Robert Shapiro. Kudos!

The episodes are sprinkled with cameo roles of note: Nathan Lane as F. Lee Bailey, Selma Blair as Kris Jenner, Connie Britton as Kaye Resnick and Cheryl Ladd as Linell Shapiro, the defense attorney’s wife. And might I add that television is providing people of color with much meatier roles than the movies.

Who could have predicted that O.J.’s white Bronco joy ride and the ensuing media circus would have a second-go-round on the boob tube twenty year later? The murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman get lost in the shuffle a second time. Still, I’m impelled to watch this re-enactment of what has been termed the trial of the century. I wonder if O.J. gets cable in his prison cell?

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