Wednesday, February 10, 2016

FX Channel : People Versus OJ Simpson

The second episode of FX Channel's People v. OJ Simpson wasn't as good as the first one, my full recap of which can be seen here: Episode One 

I expect there will be better to follow.  In this second episode, the car chase was obligatory but it went on almost as long as the real thing. I watched a few hours of the real thing when I'd returned home from my job that day.  This second episode added some scenes which you couldn't get from watching the real thing.

Throughout the car chase, Simpson is depicted as having a revolver to his head the entire time, crying and whining and say gee whiz oh my how can this be happening to me?  Well, you slaughtered two people, dummy, and you were being treated like a crown prince.  This celebrity treatment is made very clear in the episode and that is good.  My opinion of the suicidal scenes is that they were exaggerated, and I wonder now about Jeffery Toobin's book upon which the series is based.  There is often a chasm between book and film so likely Toobin didn't exaggerate or dramatize as the FX production did.

Here's the thing though.  Simpson might have thought of killing himself (if only) but a better guess is that he had a flair for the dramatic and was already trying to present a defense for himself. He was a very public guy, accustomed to being worshiped, very full of himself (and rightly as a football player) and also very violent and given to self-indulgence. Short way to say that I found the suicide scenes very fake, prolonged, and maudlin.  The love-fest among his family and friends while he's piling down the highway with AC was also gag-producing, though you may forgive close members of his family, who would be certainly bereft.

Anyway, the car chase over, we can get on with the story, an interesting one from both a legal and a social standpoint.  The Johnny Cochran character is well cast and John Travolta does a highly entertaining Robert Shapiro.  Kardashian?  He looks good, real, nice job there and a good mock-up of the Kardashian brand.

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