Perhaps one of the most high profile court cases of the latter part of the 20th century, The O.J Simpson trial for the murder of Nicole Brown & Ron Goldman was a case fraught with scandal, intrigue and all the twists and turns of a Hollywood movie, handled like a media circus and with a dubiously questionable outcome, it was only a matter of time before this extraordinary story made its way to the screen.
Showrunner Ryan Murphy, more known to the public as the creator of the popular TV series American Horror Story takes that shows format of having a singular focus to each season, this inaugural season being the Simpson trial. On paper it may sound a little dubious as to just how well this would work, would it be handled with the requisite amount of care, humility and respect being focused on such a high profile case? I can thankfully say that answer is a resounding yes.
A formidable cast ranging from Cuba Gooding Jr playing Simpson, Sarah Paulson as lead prosecutor Marcia Clark, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian and Courtney B. Vance as defence lawyer Johnnie Cochran are all supurb, not only in their impeccable performances but also in their startling likenesses to their real world counterparts. Fantastic support is also offered by the likes of Nathan Lane, Bruce Greenwood and Kenneth Choi. The only slightly dodgy performance belongs to John Travolta and his bizarre, almost pantomime Robert Shapiro.
As opposed to his other show American Horror Story in which a great degree of creative freedom is allowed and positively encouraged, a greater degree of care and respect had to be applied to tell this true story that carries with it a weight to this day some two decades or so after the verdict, it was a tremendous risk that ultimately pays off due to exceptional writing and performances from the cast, in particular Paulson & Vance who’s rivalry throughout the show is incredibly believable and wonderfully realised.
The first season of American Crime Story of me was a resounding success. Captivatingly addictive, even though the outcome is etched in history, the show hold the attention of its viewer right up to the verdict and beyond. With the news that a further 3 seasons of American Crime Story have been green-lit, if they are handled as well as The People Vs O.J Simpson, I for one can’t wait to see what comes next.
American Crime Story: The People Vs O.J Simpson is currently available to view on Netflix.