Hold on to your hats, everyone, The People vs. O.J. Simpson is going to be a wild ride, if the premiere is any indication. And that’s definitely saying something since we all know how the story ends.
But the show has a lot on its side that makes the tragic tale feel new again and, somehow, just as terrifyingly enlightening.
1. The performances
Casting is spot-on for this one, folks. Cuba Gooding Jr. is brilliant as O.J., but he shines with the help and support of maybe TV’s best ensemble of actors ever. You’ve got John Travolta, Selma Blair, Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, David Schwimmer, Connie Britton and Bruce Greenwood, just to name a few.
2. The race relevance
The show immediately opens with the issue of race, putting it at the forefront of our minds and continuing it throughout the premiere. The significance is absolutely not lost, and definitely, something audiences of today can relate to, given the current prominence of race discussions.
3. A behind-the-scenes look
Sure, if you were old enough, you watched the Simpson trial play out in all its horrifying glory, but getting inside the characters and their thoughts throughout the case is a whole new level of fascinating. This story focuses particularly on the attorneys’ tales.
4. Mostly fact… but a little fiction
The series clearly aims to be factual and informative, but we have to remember it’s one interpretation. Nicole Brown Simpson’s family says they were not contacted to consult on the miniseries. And the show took some liberties, such as depicting Simpson contemplating suicide in a young Kim Kardashian’s bedroom. According to Vanity Fair, that one is only probably true.
5. The truth is in the details
Admittedly, I had to rewind a few times because the details the show unveils in just the premiere alone are intense and enthralling and definitely worth a repeat.
6. Ryan Murphy’s storytelling at its best
Murphy directed the premiere, and though he doesn’t have any writing credits on this one, his tone is felt throughout. The eerie way everything was shot definitely harkens to Murphy’s American Horror Story time, and yet it works so well in the crime setting as well. Gorgeous and haunting.
7. Addicting all over again
The premiere was reminiscent of the podcast Serial, where devouring every second isn’t enough. The show will also have you incessantly Googling about the O.J. case at the end.