The O.J. Simpson trial for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, his ex-wife, and Ron Goldman will remain infamous for longer than initially thought, given his only slight celebrity status. But it turns out there is more, much more, to the situation than one might assess at first look.

The ten-episode first season to the anthology series American Crime Story begins with the LAPD discovering the bodies of Nicole and Ron. The evidence points to O.J. (Cuba Gooding, Jr.). He lawyers up with the city’s most powerful legal defence team (Courtney B, Vance, John Travolta, Nathan Lane and David Schwimmer [playing what might end up being your favourite Kardashian]), while the DA’s office (Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown, Christian Clemenson and Bruce Greenwood) tries to get control of the case that’s quickly becoming one of the biggest media blunders of the century.

This is long-form dramatic television at its finest. Primarily and most notably the series manages to layer suspense and tension on an outcome that the viewer should already know. The acting is amazing from darn near the entire cast, from the predictable awesomeness of Sarah Paulson to the surprisingly evocative performance from the guy who was once a vampire trying to bite on Jensen Ackles, Sterling K. Brown. While Cuba Gooding, Jr. gave a wonderful performance, he wasn’t the perfect O.J. He just didn’t have the voice or physicality to properly mimic Simpson – which is fine in some contexts, but in a series that clearly went out of their way to cast or at least make-up their actors to look as much like their real-life counterparts to the characters they are portraying, it stands out when an actor looks, moves and sounds nothing like most famous of them all (props to John Travolta for nailing Robert Shapiro’s lack of head movement).

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story really opens up the social-political climate in LA at the time – and it’s hard to see it and not draw comparisons to recent news items. It displays the many different perspectives of the trial, and why it was so important to so many people, so even if you think you know how the trial should have gone, you might get up from your seat thinking something different.

Recommended for: Both people who were glued to CNN in 1995 and those who are young enough to be completely oblivious of the trial.

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