If you are my age, you at least know in broad strokes about the media circus the O.J. Simpson trial turned out to be. After all, it was the ‘trial of the century’ that captivated an entire nation. In June of 1994, big time football star O.J. Simpson was charged with the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. For months, the entire country was glued to the screen. It started with the infamous Bronco chase that saw a rise in sales at Domino’s Pizza that rivaled Super Bowl Sunday and then kept the audience fascinated for months as both sides presented their side of the story during the trial.
“American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” starts with the discovery of the bodies of Nicole and Ronald, with O.J. Simpson (a for once not overacting Cuba Gooding Jr.) being named the prime suspect soon after. At first his defense is handled by Robert Shapiro (John Travolta, looking surprisingly much like Arnold Schwarzenegger) and long-time family friend Robert Kardashian (David Schwimmer). But soon after others like Johnnie Cochrane (Courtney B. Vance) are brought in. Together they have to square off against the tough prosecution, which consists of Marcia Clark (Sarah Paulson) and Christopher Darden (Sterling K. Brown). As evidence is presented over the subsequent months, the trial begins to take its toll on all those involved, something we get to witness first hand throughout the series’ ten episodes.
The best thing about this show is that in spite of already knowing the story’s outcome, you are still captivated by what is happening on the screen. Not only because the entire cast (with an extra shout out to Travolta’s eyebrows), but also because this case came with so many twists and turns and a completely unpredictable conclusion that screenwriters probably couldn’t even dream this stuff up.