During my middle school years, I made a tradition of watching E! True Hollywood Story (THS) as I prepared for church service on Sundays. I’d learn of Tim Allen’s brushes with the law in the early 70’s, the Kennedy curse, and Mariska Hargitay’s Old Hollywood connections while primping.
It is on one of those Sunday mornings that I became acquainted with the story of Orenthal James Simpson. Prior to my viewing, I knew the OJ Simpson story as divisive in conversation and a punch-line in films. In the years since, Simpson has maintained a station in the pop culture lexicon due to a felony conviction, a proposed then later sacked confessional book, the rumored paternity of a sister within the Kardashian clan and now an FX series.
In American Crime Story The People v. O.J. Simpson, the actors offer measured performances and the showrunner pursues a thoughtful retelling instead of glamorous camp. What pleases me about historical drama is the use of costume and location as story and this series does both well. Before I implore you to chip away an hour or three of your time this week to watch ACS, here’s the trailer for this enticing series that sold me on a story told a million different ways before.
While, I now look on E! as a cesspool of sorts for reality TV, I miss those Sundays. Those Sundays I distractedly prepared for the day, drawn into the secret and forgotten histories of the series’ subjects. Had those moments never spurned my interest in what’s lauded as the trial of the century, I might be missing out on a well- crafted television event. Trust me, it’s good.