TV Recap: American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, ‘The Dream Team’

Written by Tommy Tracy

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My Lord! Not only did The Walking Dead recently air one of the best episodes in its run (and arguably one of the greatest television episodes ever) but The People v. O.J. Simpson may have done the exact same thing this week. A LOT happened this week and it was brilliant, focusing on the prosecution and their attempt to put Simpson away for life. A variety of arguments were seen and, much like another prolific murder show, Making a Murderer, it hooked its audience in and then cut them off at episode’s end, making us salivate for more.

Photo Credit: Byron Cohen/FX
Photo Credit: Byron Cohen/FX

This episode focuses on a variety of different topics but the most noticeable is the prosecution, led by lead prosecutor Marcia Clark, who, like many, believe Simpson to be guilty and think it will be easy to prove. Unfortunately for her, she loses a lead witness and it plays out perfectly. The brilliance of this show is it isn’t trying to retry Simpson. What it is showing are both sides of the argument, the prosecution and defense, putting together their cases to achieve what they believe is the correct outcome. Is Simpson guilty or has he just been prosecuted because of his race? This, amongst many other questions, will need to be answered by both parties and it has been a thrill to watch, especially in this episode.

It may be a small detail but the recreation of the infamous Simpson Time magazine cover (where his face was darkened) is fantastic, showing that race may have in fact been a key point in this case. This plus Clark’s assurance that this man is guilty are the highlights of the episode. It’s scary how sure the prosecution was and to see the guilty turn into a doubt was enthralling.

The performances have highly improved, with Paulson’s Clark truly shining here. She’s vindictive but not in a negative way. She wants this man to pay for what she believes he has done and will do so by any means necessary. Gooding is, of course, solid as Simpson here and I fall more in love with Travolta’s insane portrayal of Robert Shapiro every week. Schwimmer is still hamming it up but then it hit me; he’s just playing a more serious Ross Gellar. Can’t fault the guy on that.

What more can I say other than GREAT episode this week? It was fun to watch and truly does make you think. I blame this show and Making a Murderer for making me believe I have a law degree (I don’t) and coming up with my own conclusions on the matter.

Final Grade: 9/10