When I started watching The People vs O.J. Simpson I had no idea that it was based on a true event. I decided to watch it just because it was about some courtroom drama, to my surprise it turned out to be a lot more than that. Based on the trial of OJ Simpson an American Football celebrity who was charged with double murder.
The show is set in the 90s so the period setting is on point. The drama, the crazy media, the ongoing racism tension at that point in time, racism played a very important role in that particular case. It was supposed to be The People vs OJ but it became white vs black. Defense and prosecution both played their cards. It was not about justice it was about winning. It was not about the evidence, it was about emotion and who can present a better story for the jury to believe.
The performances in this show are the real treat for the viewers, more than anything it’s the performances that hook you in instantly and make you watch this incredible show in one go. Cuba Gooding Jr. as OJ is amazing. His charisma worked for this role although his physique is not very convincing as OJ the conviction he played this character with is something absolutely worth watching. Starling K. Brown is the only black guy in this show who’s trying to put this black guy(OJ) in jail. He’s amazing with his performance. It’s a very serene character and Starling played it to perfection. John Travolta is in there as well, he’s …. like the smartest guy but at the same time a very jealous person who wants this case to be his only. He’s like Imran Khan of this show who’s an expert at U-Turns but he’s playing this collusive character brilliantly here. It’s the best I’ve seen him actually in a long long time. And then comes the iron lady of the show, Sarah Paulson. Sarah as Marcia Clark is an absolute powerhouse. A strong-willed woman with a very weird looking haircut. People notice her weirdness more than her smartness, But she is the kind of woman who has zero f**ks to give. They developed her character with great detail. There’s a whole episode dedicated to her character called “Marcia Marcia Marcia”.
I was saving the best performance for last and that is of Cortney B. Vance as Jonnie Cochran. He’s great in this show. One of the best TV performances of all time. He’s they guy defending OJ and not just that he’s fighting the society for equal rights of African Americans. He’s agitating the black folks, provoking their emotion for the brotherhood. You can feel the determination in this guy, in his moves, in his eyes. There’s a debate in court between Courtney and Sterling’s characters regarding the word “Niggar”. That scene is amazing, and will definitely give you horripilation.
It is about a true event, so if you know what happened, there’s nothing much of twist and turns. But it is a remarkable recreation of that time period or of that case in particular. It is beautifully shot, wonderfully directed, and astonishingly edited. It is edited so well and paced so well that 10 episodes can be binged easily.