Well, technically, the verdict was in over 20 years ago but The People v. OJ Simpson on FX surely delivered a well-put-together roller coaster ride of a mini series that made the verdict feel fresh.
During this review, I will do my best to not spoil too much of the show for those who haven’t seen it (although, you could probably find out what happened just by typing OJ’s name into Wikipedia), while still offering my insights to the show for those who have watched it.
Let me begin by complimenting the person in charge of casting. The actors are such good representatives of those they portray.
And it’s not like we have a cast of nobodies either. We have actors such as John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr. and David Schwimmer who play Robert Shapiro, OJ Simpson and Robert Kardashian, respectively. The rest of the cast is just great, with Sarah Paulson playing Marcia Clark and Courtney B. Vance portraying the iconic defense attorney Johnnie Cochran.
Each actor does a fantastic job at getting into the role. The biggest difference, however, is Cuba Gooding Jr.’s voice is higher in contrast to Simpson’s deep voice.
As far as the story, which is based on the real-life events and the book The Run of His Life, it gives you a good feel of what the original case was like. OJ Simpson’s trial aired on daytime television and thousands tuned in for the dramatic “Trial of the Century.” The story covers from the night of the murder all the way until days after the jury announced the verdict.
The program does that justice and hits you with all of the curves from the case from F. Lee Bailey asking Mark Fuhrman if he had ever said the N-word to the four-hour collaboration by the jury.
Some may say they don’t want to watch the show because they lived through the case. However, the show still grabs you and does not let go until the end. It’s hard to explain but it is such a compelling representation of the landmark case.
What intrigued me the most was how much the show gave us a look into the personal lives of each of the role players in this iconic story. You see Clark’s motivation in wanting to protect domestic violence victims and you see Cochran’s motivation for playing the race card.
Yes, the show is dramatized, adding certain elements to beef up the story. However, that does not deter away from the story and what this show is really about, which it shows in the last shot of the finale: the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
Throughout this show, you will see the case from so many angles such as the jury’s, Judge Lance Ito’s and many more. It’s this component that makes The People v. OJ Simpson so intriguing and why I would look forward to the show each week.
I mean, most people just saw what was portrayed on TV with the trial. You didn’t see what really made these people tick. If anything, the series gave me a better understanding of the many factors that went into this case.
With these many angles, the show never takes a set stand on whether or not OJ actually did it, although it does pull you back and forth in regards to if he did it or not. Rather, it establishes each character, developing them throughout the entire run of the series. In particular, I found myself starting the series not liking Clark but by the end, she was such a strong woman who had, by no fault of her own, let down Nicole’s and Ron’s families.
The finale will hit you hard. The announcement of the verdict comes early in the episode but the rest of the elongated episode will wrap up each character’s story nicely, just for some, not satisfyingly.
All in all, The People v. OJ Simpson gives the audience a solid look into the racial tension of Los Angeles and how so many outside components affected the verdict. The
I highly recommend this show to all TV fans. There’s never a dull moment when it comes to this show, even if you’ve lived through the actual case. I’m hoping for more crime stories produced by American Crime Story in the future.