[TV] The People Vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (2016)

Do you remember where you were the night of June 17, 1994? I remember: I had completed my first year of University, and was home in Sudbury for a visit. My family and I were all hanging out in the rec room of my Mom’s house, trying to stay cool.

Following June 12, 1994, news of Nicole Brown Simpson’s murder was fresh, and we became glued to CNN as speculation ofย  O.J. Simpson being a suspect transfixed the world. For me, I didn’t know much about O.J. other than from the Naked Gun films (which was one of my favourite movie franchises at the time). So when we were flipping through the channels around 9 P.M. June 17, and saw the live feed of O.J.’s white Bronco navigating the Los Angeles freeways, we made some popcorn and watched the story unfold before our eyes…which was pretty much what my husband and I did this past weekend when we watched the first two episodes of the People Vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, airing Tuesday nights at 10 P.M.on FX Canada. True Crime buffs need to get on cuing up their PVRs for this one, if they haven’t already. The show is pretty damn good.

The show begins the night of June 12, 1994, when Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were found murdered on Brown Simpson’s Brentwood, California estate by a neighbour walking his dog. At the same time, O.J. Simpson is “running late” to catch his limo to LAX where he is due in Chicago. The story runs down the sequence of events as they unfolded in real life: contacting O.J about his ex-wife being murdered., his interrogation, and his wild ride down the LA freeway with his best bud Al Cowlings. All the players of the case are included, such as Kato Kaelin, Johnny Cochran and Robert Shapiro, as well as those on the periphery – Marcia Clark, Lead Prosecutor, and Mark Fuhrman, the infamous lead LAPD detective.

The cast of the People Vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story sort of caught me by surprise: Cuba Gooding, Jr as O.J.? Really? Yes, and it worked! Gooding played a whiny angry O.J. to a T. Then, there is John Travolta as a gaunt-faced Robert Shapiro. This was a little hard to take at first, only because – well, look at him! He looked like he spent too long baking in the tanning bed. That aside, Travolta plays a decent Shapiro. Of course, there can’t be O.J. without a Kardashian – Robert Kardashian to be exact – O.J.’s confidant, played by David Schwimmer. And, yes, we had a couple of guffaw moments watching as Ross counsels O.J. on how not to look as guilty as sin. About my only real complaint about this show is how it paraded every Kardashian family member in the first two episodes. Khloe, Kim, Kourtney, Kris…were all represented here (I swear, Grandma Kardashian was cast but ended up on the cutting-room floor somehow).

Now, I know sometimes T.V. adaptations of real crime stories can get packaged up on the “Sunday Night Movie” Cheez Cart, and true, I did PVR this show initially for the hell of it. But, I couldn’t pull myself away from this story. Be sure to check it out!

People Vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
FX
2016

Advertisements

108 comments

  1. I have not been watching this, but I HAVE been reading Kato’s weekly critiques!

    I’ve heard that it’s not very accurate in the details and they throw Kardashian Kids in the mix when they weren’t actually in the scenes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, the Kardashian kids were in the first and second episodes. In terms of accuracy, it’s hard to say since we see a lot of OJ, and some of the main players are no longer living to argue (Kardashian, Cochran). You do have a sense of an exaggeration in the works, but that is what makes this so awful…and so good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I may have to catch it. Kato was very critical, by the way, of the wig on the actor who portrays him. “My hair was never that blonde and I wasn’t even there that day!” Actually you’d probably love his articles, they’re funny too just because Kato still seems to think he’s so important!

        Liked by 1 person

            1. BWAHAHAHAHAH! Even if it’s not accurate, who cares, that’s a hilarious image. Kato baked and mowing on hamburgers. I guarantee he’s done both those things! I remember his testimony so clearly, he always seemed ditzy on the stand.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Great! I’ll probably get around to watching it by summer. The wife has Survivor…Amazing Race…Big Brother Canada…hockey… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

              All I have is Better Call Saul and American Dad which I can’t even watch on TV, only stream on PC because we don’t get that channel.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. As for pvr watching. I was always about 6 months behind, always trying to catch up. I absolutely hated when you would pvr a sports telecast and it would cut out the last few minutes if it went into overtime and went past the scheduled ending time. Or if taping a network show, and there was a delay in the start time, usually if a news broadcast, or sporting event made it start late.
              AAAAAAAAAARGH.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting. Well, I wasn’t glued to a TV at the time (though I was aware of what happened). The way it blew up was repulsive to me. Just have a trial, and move on. I would be exceedingly unlikely to ever watch this, but thanks for letting us know it’s out there.

    Like

  3. Kinda with Aaron on this one! It just consumed everyone myself included when it was done so was I ….still recal that white Ford bronco! We just finished playing volleyball and the whole,bar was glued around a few TV sets watching the Bronco with 75 cop cars trailing it ..going the speed limit no less..hahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read somewhere that a big US company claimed it lost billions of dollars in productivity during the OJ trial because workers were watching this rather than working. I also read Pizza Hut claiming they did as much business the day of the chase as they did on the Super Bowl. I am no different. We had all of the tv sets in the store glued to the OJ trial. To me the trial is only beaten by the tv coverage during 9/11. It was one of those things you always remember where you were. I still remember the gasps that were let out by the people watching when they read the verdict, not just in the courtroom, but in my workplace. We all knew he was guilty, how could he not be.

    The police and prosecutors in 1994 had a bad year. They screwed up by not convicting OJ and not even charging Courtney Love with Kurt’s murder. Yeah, I went there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They actually had the Pizza Hut thing on this show. My husband turned to me and said, “How much did Pizza Hut pay for that?” When you think about it, it made sense. The chase happened around the supper hour in LA.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can see it. This was before the internet went mainstream and most homes watched tv regularly. Also watching the news on tv was a daily practice in most homes. The Super Bowl is a planned event so people can plan what they are eating, and the OJ chase was a huge, unexpected thing that glued people to the tv, and they did not make dinner, so I can see takeout food making huge dollars. Also, smart for Pizza Hut to get themselves some free advertising.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The only real reason OJ’s event stuck with me was because my step-dad is a big sports fanatic, but also loved the Toronto Sun. When he’d drive me home from London to Sudz, we’d have 6 hours to kill, so I’d read him all the crime reporting from the Sun – you know Christie Blatchford on Bernardo / Homolka, Dahmer…that week was OJ, so we read up on the case. It was super juicy! My parents are news junkies, so there you are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I lived in St. Catherines & Fort Erie during the early 90’s. Pretty scary times. I also went to a seminar that had one of the police officers that was involved in the Bernardo/Homolka conviction. he was speaking about not leading a witness. The first officer that questioned the witness that saw Bernardo’s car messed up. The woman said she saw a 2 door sporty car leave with Kristen French. The officer said “You mean like a Camaro.” She said Yeah, LIKE a Camaro.”
        The police put out bulletins looking for a Camaro. The officer led the investigation in the wrong direction because Bernardo did not own a Camaro.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A couple of our closest friends live in St. Kits, one of them is from Thorold. I remember once they took us around for a tour of the area. We stopped at the beach where Leslie Mahaffy was found encased in concrete (Port Dalhousie?). It was chilling. They said those were some scary times growing up around the area!

          Liked by 1 person

            1. As for the OJ trial. I remember those days vividly, and not one person I talked to back then thought he was innocent. We all believed his money (being able to hire the best lawyers), and his former football glory days are what swayed the jury. Also, during those times in LA, the Rodney King riots were still fresh in people’s minds, and perhaps another riot may have happened if OJ was convicted.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Indeed! The OJ trial continued to polarize the black community and perpetuate their hatred for the police. Wow, the early 90s! Remember those riots! That was some scary shit too!

              Like

          1. It’s funny, but I guess I don’t dislike a body of music, art or acting just because someone is not a nice person. Mel Gibson and Phil Anselmo seem like a racists, but I won’t toss my cd’s or movies with them. I loved Bill Cosby growing up, and have a bunch of his old comedy records. I won’t throw them in the garbage just because he is a bad person. I definitely will not proclaim in public that I love Bill Cosby, but I don’t think enjoying his old records is the same as condoning what he did.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I think there are layers to it, for me anyway. Bill Cosby is a repulsive human being. Anything he is in now, I don’t see him in the same light at all. Raped! He raped all those women! That has an effect on me like you wouldn’t believe. I know Huxtable with a hogie isn’t like Cosby in real life, but I just have a hard time moving past that to watch a Cosby show. I will probably get over it like I am over it with OJ…and I’m probably over OJ because since the trial he has been getting his JUST DESSERTS. The 33.1 mil civil action to the Goldman and Brown families, and the fact he is now in jail for ever and ever amen…

              Like

            2. The Cosby thing, I have a different perspective on slightly, because I’ve read rumours about him for a long time…just like Bob Barker there were always rumours. I was well prepared for Cosby to be an asshole even though I didn’t want it to be true. I still like Fat Albert, but there was a Family Guy episode on recently featuring, “The Cosby Show, Knowing What We Know Now”. And it was like, yeah, I’ll never get that out of my mind. He’s a disgusting human being. Yes he made people laugh…but the hurt he caused cannot be measured!

              And people like Kanye who profess he is innocent? He is on tape admitting things!

              Liked by 1 person

            3. I’ll have to read this, not that I need more convincing.

              Yes you will always have conspiracy theorists with any trial situation. It’s too bad. I suppose it’s human nature. We have a hard time changing our belief systems. We prefer to look at the world and apply our belief system to the patterns and events we see.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. I’ll tell you what I think. I’m a conspiracy buff. I love reading that stuff. Most of it is total hogwash and I’ve read everything I can get my hands on. But there are two cornerstones of conspiracy that I believe one day will be proven true. One: aliens did crash in Roswell in 1947, and two, JFK was killed in a conspiracy. I hope I live long enough! These theories both depend on other supporting theories to prop them up, so it’s a fragile but vast pyramid. Knock one of the supporting theories down doesn’t necessarily mean the pyramid falls…I really loved Jesse Ventura’s book. He met Castro and asked him point blank if he knew who killed JFK. LOL! (Castro says it wasn’t him.)

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Ok conspiracy buff, tell me, have you heard the one about the former Canadian Director of Defense say that North American leaders are in contact with five different species of alien right now? I just heard this one – haven’t read anything about it. Also heard that we are living among shape-shifting aliens right now. I don’t believe this at all. It was just some looney shit I heard.

              Like

            6. Heck yeah. Paul Hellyer. I don’t buy that shape shifting alien stuff. Then you get really deep into the whacky shit. Obama and the Queen and Bush and all these people are actually reptilian aliens in disguise…the Illuminati…nonsense and hogwash all of it.

              I’m more interested in the documented stuff. Like for example my favourite Roswell author is a Canadian nuclear physicist named Stanton T. Friedman. He has spent time in many archives in several countries looking at original documents. He’s compared the typeface on them to the typewriters used in those offices at those times…he’s compared dates on documents to known events from newspapers etc. If somebody was in Chicago that day in a newspaper from the era, but a document says they were in Roswell, then the document is a fake because the newspaper is proof from the era. So he’s debunked a LOT of stuff. The alien autopsy video he’s debunked, he’s debunked a guy named Robert Lazar who claims to have worked at Roswell on a captured UFO. But there are papers he can’t debunk and that has him convinced that something did crash in 1947.

              My favourite saying of his is this. “Most UFO sightings are most certainly fake. We’re not interesting in those. We’re interesting in the teeny tiny percentage that are unexplainable.”

              Liked by 1 person

            7. The other one I was thinking of was Psi Factor. I haven’t watched either of these, btw.
              Have you read Communion by Whitley Strieber? A guy’s “real life” account of an alien abduction? I read it a long time ago.

              Liked by 1 person

            8. YES I have it here. I read it about 7 years ago when I was most interested in this stuff. It gave me nightmares. It reminded me of sleep paralysis. Which I’m pretty sure that’s why his experiences were, but I don’t know for sure. I have his first two books about the alien stuff, but Communion is the only one worth reading. I want to see the movie!! I also want to see the Betty and Barney Hill movie with James Earl Jones. Have you seen Fire in the Sky? I like that one a lot. Robert Patrick is so good.

              Like

            9. The cover of Communion SCARED.THE.SHIT.OUTTA.ME as a young kid. And the name, “communion” reminded me of church right away (what the Baptist church calls taking the eucharist – bread and wine). So when I saw that name with that alien face, it freaked me right the fuck out!
              And no, I haven’t seen Fire in the Sky. Looks scary!

              Like

            10. It was a bit, but the scary stuff is mostly concentrated at the end, it was more about the investigation of Travis Walton’s disappearance. It’s not accurate to his actual account but who cares, it was cool.

              Yeah the cover for Communion IS scary. Gave me the creeps when I saw it on the store shelves. I couldn’t get the title, didn’t make sense to me.

              It’s fascinating stuff. I don’t know what to make of everything! Part of the fun of conspiracy theories is the misdirection. Some people think guys like Strieber and Friedman are government plants, put out there to hide the “true” nature of aliens — often more hostile to us in those theories. Again that leads down the rabbit hole of the shape shifting theories and other nonsense.

              Liked by 1 person

            11. Recommended: Speilberg’s 10 episode miniseries, Taken. It used the gimmick of starting in the 1940’s (you’re familiar with “foo fighters”?) and going generation by generation to the present day. Great soundtracks to the episodes. Dakota Fanning was in it. She makes a really good alien human hybrid child lemme tell ya.

              Liked by 1 person

            12. Not a bad recommendation! Have you reviewed this on your blog? Or even talked about your love for Conspiracy Theories? Would make for a good subject! You’d prolly have Phillip Helbig commenting lol

              Liked by 1 person

            13. OH and even though you didn’t ask, here is my most loathed, most hated, most despised conspiracy theory. The birth certificate. You know the one I mean. That one really bugs me because so many people believe it yet it’s based on absolutely nothing.

              Liked by 1 person

            14. Sorry, I changed my mind. One other one pisses me off just as much. It’s been debunked so many times it’s ridiculous. An oldie but goodie that goes back to the cold war, 1969…

              and has been debunked as recently as here:

              Liked by 1 person

  5. I read a Chuck Klosterman essay about OJ a few weeks ago, apparently OJ wrote a book ‘If I did it’ where he hypothetically describes how he would have committed the murders? Simply bizarre.
    But the Klosterman piece was a good read – as was your post Sarca!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Geoff there’s more to that story. The Goldman family won their lawsuit and OJ owes them boatloads of money, so they took complete control of the book. They changed the cover so the word “if” is in little tiny letters, and the words “I DID IT” are huge. They added the subtitle, “confessions of the killer”.

      I think OJ hoped to make a little money by writing that book and it really blew up in his face! The Goldmans get the money (what little came in since nobody wanted to buy that book)!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I read it – found it at a Value Village.
        The story with the book – an injunction was placed on the book because OJ wanted to use the money toward legal fees. Now all money goes to the Goldman Family. OJ has to pay them 33.1 million in restitution. He has lost everything. His Rockingham mansion was sold and torn down, even.

        Like

  6. It was such a circus and so ubiquitous that I can’t go back. It is more than the story for me, it makes me relive my life from that era by watching it again. Something that right now— I cannot do. It’s like we all went through it together. A strange feeling —too close? Is that what this is?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s