Review: The People v. O.J. Simpson

Gabriela Szczepanska explains why you should binge-watch The People vs O.J. Simpson.

Gabriela Szczepanska
20th November 2017
Image: Eric Powell (Vimeo)

TV shows really fall under two categories: the ones in the first category, you can enjoy without paying much attention, they’re usually amusing and are a great accompaniment to you scrolling for the 78th time through Facebook; and the second category contains those shows that completely suck you in, blow your mind, and leave you laying on your bed, wrapped in a blanket like a burrito starring blankly at the credits of the last episode. The People v. O.J. Simpson unquestionably falls under the second category.  

This anthology crime mini-series shows what happened during the trial, what lead to the verdict of the case, and what happened after. Of course some small parts are sensationalised and rearticulated just as most crime story re-enactments are, but that doesn’t affect the main facts of the case. 

The actual story is full of plot twists and uncertainties, and in the end, I wasn’t even sure what to think of the verdict. I stayed up till 3am the evening I finished watching the series for the first time, watching parts of the real case, interviews, reading up about the lawyers.  

The facts of the case stayed in my head for a long time after, but that’s how you know when you’ve watched a truly amazing show. I still haven’t decided how I feel about the verdict or about O.J.’s lawyers but I’m embracing the fact that I can watch it for the third time to make up my mind.

It’s not just the story that makes the show such a hit, but the casting, the soundtracks, the camerawork, the overall creativity (I could go on and on). The soundtracks are so well suited and adapted to the scenes they’re featured in. I particularly fell in love with the old school rap songs they used in the scenes where O.J.’s lawyers are walking into the court chambers (it even made 50 year old raisinlookalike John Travolta look like an absolute badass).  

The casting is perfect, besides actual O.J. who in real life is a huge, broad ex-football player but in the show is played by Cuba Gooding Jr. who looks like a prepubescent 14 year-old compare to real O.J.. I only have one piece of advice for those who haven’t watched this yet; DO NOT start watching it 2 days before an assignment deadline (which obviously you haven’t started yet) because there is no chance you will finish the assignment in time. No. Chance.

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