Have you been watching The People v OJ Simpson – American Crime Story? We have been watching via iPlayer (as we tend to go to bed early most school nights.) They have been planning this series for a while, I recall seeing sneak photographs of David Schwimmer, playing the late Robert Kardashian. The trial fascinated me first time around, as it was the first time I began to understand news. Just as rolling news networks began to broadcast. I can remember vividly in 1995 being at the home of a family friend in Slough, as usual early afternoon programming was interrupted to bring the breaking news that Simpson had been cleared of the double murder charges. As an adult, twenty one years later, my perspective is very different. I recall discussing the case with a friend studying Law at University and their opinion was the prosecution had missed a trick by not investigating the hypothesis that the killer was in fact OJ’s son. Perhaps explaining the reason why the gloves did not fit.
[Image courtesy of Red Carpet Report]
The first few episodes have been eye opening on multiple levels. The bitterness between Robert and Kris, how “Juice” was due to hand himself in to the LAPD, but instead went AWOL in a Ford Bronco. Obviously at the time I was under the impression that the former NFL athlete was driving the vehicle, but would discover from this drama that it was in fact his cousin, with Simpson a passenger holding a gun to his head. You could indeed not make this stuff up. Ryan Murphy of Glee fame, is probably lapping up every second, as the truth of turns out to be better than fiction. Could there be a better story than the trial of the century? A black man in the dock for the double murder of his white wife and white boyfriend? Part of me does feel rather uneasy, that we are exploiting the grief of two families, to create entertainment. Even with the passage of time, twenty years would still not be enough time to heal the wounds, even if OJ does find himself incarcerated for another serious violent crime.
The cast is from the A-List, with multiple award winning actors in all the key roles. Everybody is perfectly cast, even Travolta as lead attorney Robert Shapiro. I am aware of the backlash he has received from his performance, but overall I feel he has played the role well, considering his fall from grace, from lead defence counsel to wallowing on the bench. Of course, there can be no spoilers, we know the verdict the jury came to in 1995, but I enjoy the dramatic set pieces and am learning a great deal I missed when in my teens. I just have to keep bugging Michelle to identify each of the Kardashian siblings – is that Kourtney or Khloe!?