‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’ is Quality Entertainment

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Image via nytimes.com

By Jordan Reynolds, Staff Writer

‘The People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson’ was the most publicized trial in the history of American media. When the verdict was announced, an estimated 100 million people stopped whatever they were doing to hear the result.

While it’s safe to say that most people already know how the decision played out, “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” aims to both enlighten the younger generations who weren’t around for the trial, and to provide new information to those who followed the case originally.

Beginning with real footage of the trial and moving onto the dramatization of the events that happened in June of 1994, the show rehashes the racial tensions within the Los Angeles Police Department and the rest of the city, in addition to Simpson’s court process.

The actors of the series look stunningly similar to their real-life counterparts.  Sarah Paulson portrays county prosecutor Marcia Clark, whose trademark perm is emulated by the actress.  Paulson is flawless in showing Clark’s frustration and anger with the miscarriage of justice unfolding before her eyes.  David Schwimmer, perhaps best known for his role in television sitcom Friends, plays Rob Kardashian, and child versions of Khloe, Kourtney, and Kim all make a small appearance during Nicole Brown Simpson’s funeral. All of the actors took great pains in studying the mannerisms and history of their characters.

The underlying issue of race relations with the L.A.P.D. was introduced within the pilot episode, and is sure to be explored throughout the 10-episode miniseries.  The L.A.P.D. was reeling from the controversial incident in which taxi driver Rodney King was brutally beaten by several police officers following a high-speed car chase, having happened three years prior to Simpson’s case.  The fact that O.J. Simpson was an African-American man charged with double homocide, who previously had quite a cordial relationship with the police department, is hinted at playing an interesting role in the trial.

Spoilers are difficult terrain when the subject matter takes place twenty years ago, but it’s certain that the creators of American Crime Story (Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski) have a lot more up their sleeve than simply what was presented to the public all those years ago.

The preview of what the miniseries has coming up, which aired after the episode, showed some infamous parts of the trial that was televised from 1994 to 1995.  All in all, the pilot episode was, plain and simple, quality entertainment, just as the trial was two decades ago- but it’s important not to forget the loss of two lives and their families rehashing this terrible era of their lives.  

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on FX.

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