HOLLYWOOD – American Crime Story: The People v OJ Simpson has been a surprise hit, with John Travolta and Cuba Gooding Jr starring in the true crime drama for FX.
I’ll say it right off the bat, I am enjoying American Crime Story: The People v OJ Simpson, but even its most ardent fans have to admit we are enjoying it sometimes for the wrong reasons. Here are five of them.
1. Everyone says exactly what the writers want the audience to know. Almost as if the writer has prepared a schematic of a screenplay and then forgot to write actual dialogue. So Robert Kardashian will tell his daughter Kim Kardashian that fame is a hollow thing and when he is having doubts about OJ’s innocence will say ‘I’m having doubts about OJ’s innocence’. Johnnie Cochran, a lawyer who only cares about winning, will say ‘I only care about winning’. And so it goes… No ambiguity, no layers, no subtlety.
2. Cuba Gooding Jr’s voice. It starts off whiny and by episode two I can still put up with it. After all, he has either just murdered his wife and the guy she was with or has just found out that his wife has been murdered, so he’s upset, but the whine goes on. And on. I’m not asking for strict verisimilitude, but OJ has a basso profondo and Cuba has a falsetto. Likewise, OJ was a noted football star and Cuba looks like the kid who got his butt smacked with wet towels by the big kids.
3. Marcia Clarke smokes lots of cigarettes and Sarah Paulson acts smoking lots of cigarettes. And it shows.
4. There has not yet been an opportunity for John Travolta to dance. Yes, I know John Travolta is a serious dramatic actor. Yes, I know he wants to get rid of the image of Staruday Night Fever and Grease. And yes I know John Travolta not dancing is huge mistake. Send the lawyers to a disco for crying out loud.
5. The People v OJ Simpson is really predictable. I don’t know what it is about the story line but I keep guessing it at every turn. It started right at the beginning when OJ tried to escape in the Bronco. I just knew he was going to get caught. And I knew that the gloves weren’t going to fit. I also am pretty sure that OJ did it but the defense will get him off. I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps it’s the writing, perhaps the story needed some M. Night Shyamalan love, but this has to be one of the most weirdly predictable whodunnits ever!