What a captivating debut.
I don’t know much about the OJ Simpson case, and although this brand new anthology series from Ryan Murphy (creator of American Horror Story) probably won’t be the most factual production, I’m certainly intrigued to learn more. As a first impression, it feels like the show will be tackling the sensitive subject manner with a whole lot of respect and nuance; let’s see if it can keep it up.
American Crime Story works primarily because of its stellar performances. While I was never really a fan, Cuba Gooding, Jr. is top-notch in the title role. His Simpson is unhinged, and always on the verge of imploding. He makes the character absorbing from beginning to end. The MVP however is American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson, who brings to life a vivid character in the form of lead prosecutor Marcia Clark. In only a handful of scenes, you completely buy her unwavering resolve to bring Simpson to justice. She’s just phenomenal.
I know there’s been a lot of talk about John Travolta’s “terrible” performance, but I totally bought him as OJ’s lawyer Robert Shapiro. He imbues the character with an intricate mix of tics and mannerisms that I found quite realistic. The question mark for me is David Schwimmer; it’s just hard to accept Ross Gellar in a serious role, particularly when he’s got a dumbfounded look on his face at all times.
I was also enthralled by the tiny glimpses of the rest of the Kardashian clan. It’s no secret that this toxic family has completely derailed our youth’s current mindset, so American Crime Story might actually end up being more timely than ever.
A powerfully-resonant debut. I’m very intrigued.