The Series Premiere Of ‘The People V. O.J. Simpson’ Was Riveting, Must-Watch Television

Editor-at-Large
02.03.16 21 Comments
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story Episodic Images 1

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Let’s be honest here: Months ago, back when you first heard that Ryan Murphy would be producing a limited series for FX about the O.J. Simpson trial, you were skeptical, right? I know I was. I had these images of a campy true crime mess flashing through my head, kind of like Serial meets American Horror Story, but about the most famous murder trial of the past 100 or so years. Starring John Travolta. Heck, I was having quite a bit of fun with the whole thing.

But then something strange happened: FX released the screeners for The People v. O.J. Simpson, and the reviews were almost unanimously positive. Including mine. This was Mr. Robot all over again. (I still have no idea how a hacker show on USA starring Christian Slater as a character named Mr. Robot ended up being that good.) The season premiere was last night, so hopefully all of you watched and can back me up. This is a really good show. Like, really good. I’m not sure I saw that coming.

Let’s discuss.

1) The first episode took us from the discovery of the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman all the way up to O.J. hopping in Al Cowlings’ now-famous white Bronco and hitting the freeway. There was a lot going on in there — a lot of information to pass on, a lot of introductions to the main players, a lot of foundation to be put down — and the fact that they got to as much as they did without it feeling busy or overstuffed is a minor miracle. Part of its success was the added runtime that brought the commercial-free version of the episode to close to a full hour, and the fact that they could cut a few tiny corners because so many of the real-life events are already burned into the brains of most of the audience. But a bigger part was the crisp, fast-moving writing. First episodes are notoriously hard. Pulling this off the way they did deserved recognition. So, this is me doing that.

Related: The O.J. Simpson Trial: Where Are They Now?

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