Thursday, April 07, 2016

The People Vs. OJ Simpson

The ratings are in, and the FX Series "Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson" did very well.

I admit it. I watched every single episode. I loved all the twists and turns, many of which I had forgotten (despite the fact that I covered this trial every single day for our radio show).

I thought it was incredibly well done (other than John Travolta's really really really weird portrayal of Robert Shapiro). My favorite part of the show was the way it focused on the behind-the-scenes stuff involving the attorneys. I thought it really humanized Marcia Clark and Chris Darden.

The subject of race was also handled deftly, I thought. There really were racists cops in the LAPD, and that Fuhrman tape proved it. When OJ was declared "not guilty", the people weren't cheering that OJ was free...they were cheering that a black man had exposed the brutality and racism of the LAPD. It felt like vindication.

OJ found out how the rest of society felt about the trial in the closing scene when he attended a party at his estate, only to discover that none of his friends were there. His friends, nearly all of whom were white, had watched the trial differently. They had no interest in celebrating a verdict that had let a guilty man free. It was a really compelling way to end the series.

Good job, FX.