O.J.Simpson’s controversial trial is one of the most covered cases in the media during its time and had an on-going pop culture presence through out. Most people involved in this case have penned some best sellers based on this episode leaving plenty of perspective and gossip out in the open – a primary fodder for this amalgamation. Popular football player O.J. Simpson is the prime accused in a double homicide including his wife Nicole and a 25 yr. old Goldman. He puts together a dream team of the most accomplished lawyers that money can buy who overcomes their infighting and egos to defend their client.
One of my concerns with the show was that it would favor one side, and negatively represent the other side. Since most of the show was from Johnnie Cochran’s side, I had this concern. However, the show didn’t favor one side. It represented both sides equally, and it did not make it appear as if it was trying to favor one side. The show detailed all of the factual events, and it listed everything which really happened. If something would happen to either side which could lessen their chances of winning, all of those instances would be justified considering that those events really happened. It’s great that the show was unbiased, and that it allowed you to decide what side you agreed with. It’s great for a Biography show on a topic like this to have this feature.
As Johnny Cochran, the ever smooth Courtney Vance is phenomenal. He sees from the beginning that the trial is about race, even though Simpson had long ago lost touch with the black community. “I’m here to win,” he announces with a grin. Sterling K. Brown as the thoughtful and sensitive Chris Darden is almost as good. Sarah Paulsen pulls off her role as the uber-confident Marcia Clark convincingly. When things go awry, it’s touching to see her alone at night.
Kenneth Choi looks and sounds so much like Judge Lance Ito that I had the eerie feeling that it was Ito performing himself. In the minus column is Cuba Gooding as O. J. His inability to fill the role wouldn’t be so noticeable if we weren’t already familiar with the original. Simpson had a fluid baritone voice. He was tall, built like a football player, an unpretentious but impressive persona. Gooding has a good physical presence but he’s of normal height and his voice squeaks. John Travolta is amusing as Robert Shapiro, who began as lead lawyer but was sent to the bench and replaced by the somewhat darker and more slithery Johnny Cochran. Travolta plays Shapiro with his chin stuck out and his nose in the air and a superior tone of voice. It’s a parody of a high-end lawyer, but then Shapiro wasn’t too distant from Travolta’s vision.
There was another issue I had with the show. I felt like some parts to certain episodes went on a bit longer than they needed to. Also, some parts lingered on certain aspects a bit too long. There wasn’t too much slow parts for me to describe the show as overly drawn out, but there were enough for me to have a criticism here. Often, when the 2 teams of lawyers would be searching for evidence, they would make those scenes take up a huge portion of that particular episode’s running time. They would also sometimes show a very short segment of the shows running time with the 2 teams of lawyers in court for some of the episodes. I kind of wished that this was reversed because I enjoyed the scenes in court a lot more. Hey, I would’ve even been okay if the time spent in and out of court was half and half. However, this isn’t a real major flaw I had because this criticism only applied for a few episodes as most episodes were actually very engaging.
In conclusion, I really liked this show. Obviously, it’s not perfect since some episodes suffer from being drawn out, but despite that I thought that it was a very well made show. It is unbiased, it represents an accurate portrayal of the events depicted on the show, and the acting is really great.