Author Topic: The People vs OJ Simpson  (Read 1687 times)

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wilder

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The People vs OJ Simpson
« on: March 09, 2016, 04:57:31 PM »
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There was a really interesting episode of The Treatment that just aired with the writers of this (podcast download should be up soon). Their discussion made it sound like Zodiac crossed with Behind the Candelabra. I haven't seen the show yet but it sounds super entertaining.

Reelist - weren't you watching this? Care to weigh in?



Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The People vs OJ Simpson
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2016, 05:49:32 PM »
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I've seen the first two and a half episodes, and I have to agree with the consensus — it's pretty fun. Not always gripping in the way it thinks it is. But certainly enjoyable.

It's worth checking out for John Travolta alone. He's giving us this weird alternate version of Robert Shapiro that might actually reveal some essential truth about the man. I'm sure it will become even more fascinating as I continue to watch.

The rest of the casting is completely bonkers.

David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian is perhaps the apex of the show's absurdity. He plays Kardashian as OJ's dopey, gullible sidekick, with a hopeless, unending, and possibly unconditional love for his friend. I'm skeptical that RK ever possessed the amount of boundless humanity that Schwimmer imbues him with. Which is not even to say that it's a good performance. It's just... weird.

Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark doesn't really make sense, either. She appears to be a 27-year-old woman who is divorced with two kids and is also a veteran prosecutor. Paulson is actually 41, but she looks 30 at most, and she has absolutely no gravity. She tries to emote world-weariness and authority, but they are paper-thin impressions.

Cuba Gooding Jr., is, of course, a ridiculous choice for the lead. He has decided to reimagine O.J. Simpson as a whiny, confused buffoon. None of OJ's primary qualities come through. You don't get a sense of how physically threatening and rageful the man was. Cuba Gooding appears to be only a threat to himself.
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©brad

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Re: The People vs OJ Simpson
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2016, 07:54:26 PM »
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I agree with you on everything except Paulson. I think she's the absolute best thing about this ridiculous yet highly entertaining shitshow. Travolta is doing good too. I'll wait until the end but I hope the show has some semblance of a point to make.

It's amazing, this show's popularity confirms our insatiable thirst for true crime dramas will never be quenched. I can't tell you how many people have told me "ugh Serial Season 2 sucks. We want murder."

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The People vs OJ Simpson
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2016, 08:47:43 PM »
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Okay. I might be wrong about her. She's a complete miss for me so far, but I haven't seen the trial start yet.
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Fernando

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Re: The People vs OJ Simpson
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2016, 10:49:42 PM »
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last episode Sarah Paulson knocked it out of the park, wait till you see it JB, I'll be surprised if you don't change your mind.

Travolta is fun to watch, although the last two episodes he hasn't done much.

and it might sound weird for you guys but I knew who OJ was until that trial mess so I have no reference of how he behaved and his mannerisms, still it feels like Cuba is playing an odd version of the man.

polkablues

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Re: The People vs OJ Simpson
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 03:51:31 PM »
+3
This show is finally on Netflix, and I'm snowed in today, so I started watching it. It's very compelling in its archness, and some of the really bonkers casting choices, like Travolta and Schwimmer, really pay off. I am wondering if it will ever stop being distracting that Cuba Gooding is the shortest person in every scene.

It's especially interesting seeing this after having watched the OJ: Made in America documentary, both in terms of comparing the actors' portrayals to the real-life individuals and viewing the story through the lens of the wider cultural context surrounding it. In both the documentary and this show, I find myself thinking that Christopher Darden is far and away the most compelling character. Everything that makes the story so compelling, the confluence of race and politics and justice and celebrity, is distilled through this one person who sits at the crux of all of it. He's also probably the one purely sympathetic figure out of the whole ordeal. And Sterling K. Brown nails the performance. He is an oasis of minimalism in the center of a desert of campiness.
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Fuzzy Dunlop

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Re: The People vs OJ Simpson
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 07:35:42 PM »
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Agreed. Sterling K and Sarah Paulson both knocked it out of the park. Kind of amazing to see them give career-best performances in a show so front-loaded with stunt casting and glorious ham and cheese.

I have a theory about some of the stunt casting on the show, and the progression of the series as a whole...throwing Travolta and Schwimmer, and to an extent, Cuba Gooding into these roles and letting them ham it up to 11 was a clever trick to draw our morbid curiosity before hitting us with the real human shit. For the first few episodes I was just there to enjoy this big gaudy circus, similar to the way I feel like a lot of people regarded the trial as a whole. Then, slowly, these actual people started to emerge, especially Marcia and Chris, revealing the very real tragedy buried under all the noise. I've never quite seen a show pull off that trick before, but I was floored by it. Even in things like episode titles -- "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" is one of the best episodes of TV ever made, but it has the balls to undercut how important it is by making the title a lame Brady Bunch reference. Everything in the show is just insane enough to work.

 

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