The People vs. O.J. Simpson

By Fredrick Singleton


Often times, before a new TV show airs, you’ll see the trailer for that shows advertising the critics reviews. Usually some critic is claiming “The show is a hit” or rating it with “5 stars”, “best TV show in a hundred years” and etc… Most of us tend to ignore these claims or simply don’t take them seriously! I know I don’t, I guess that’s why I’ve become a critic. (lol)


At the time of the real O.J. Trial, I was a real spectator who kept up with all “breaking news”, “New developments” from start to finish. I even read the book. Therefore, I couldn’t imagine why, or even how, FX was planning to rehash this story, and expecting it to be a success.  My thoughts were ‘who wanted to see this again?’

Especially, Those of us (like myself) who were rooting for O.J., who knew the intricate details behind the trial and who understood its outcome. Verses those whom were rooting against him (un-like myself :o].) who definitely don’t want to see a show about a famous Blackman who supposedly murdered not one, but two innocent whites, i.e,”getting away with murder.”  Also, I couldn’t see how this drama could be dramatic, when we already know all the players, the plot and the ending.

That being the case, my curiosity got the best of me, so I had to watch the first episode and from that day forth I’ve been hooked.

Now in all honesty I must admit that I was completely wrong with regard to my thoughts that it would be impossible to get my attention with this show with all the knowledge I possessed with regard to the O.J. trial. In my opinion this was one of the best TV crime mini-series that I’ve ever seen! The acting and directing was beyond superb. I’d expected a great performances from the likes of Travolta and Gooding Jr. (Shapiro and O.J respectively), but the acting of Courtney B Vance, Sarah Paulson, as  (Cochran, Clark respectively) were nothing short of extraordinary!

I was amazed, by how well theses two actors connected with their characters. Their performance were on the level of Jamie Foxx in the movie “Ray”! There chemistry was undeniable, to be honest as a collective, they out performed John and Cuba.

The Director, did an astonishing job. Especially, with regard to highlighting the many nuances at the time of the trial. Such as, the racial sentiments of the groups involved , the personalities of the characters, and even the aura and ethos of Los Angeles. I was extremely impressed with the direction of two specific scenes, to the point that I’m still wondering if what these scenes portrayed really happened at the time of the trial, or did the director take liberty in superimposing a current issue into the story. One of the scenes I’m speaking of, is when Johnnie and F.lee went to N.C., where F.Lee speaks to Johnnie, while he’s standing under the statue of a confederate soldier on the state capitol. The scene reminded me of the recent issue in SC., where governor Nikki Haley had to remove the Confederate Flag and soldier off of the state capitol. The second scene was during closing arguments, where Johnnie gave the jury the black power fist, which was returned to him by one of the jurors! Clearly, there were other scenes that I thought was clever from a directorial perspective, but the two were never mentioned in the media at the time of the trial or in the books I’ve read.  That being said, I was thoroughly entertained by this rendition of the O.J. trial. I’m even disappointed that there wont’ be a second season! Yet when its all said and done if you missed this series I advise you to download it or buy the DVD. Its definitely a classic and worth the time you spend watching it. I give it 5 bars… and a Convict two thumbs up!!


Special note: Jeffery Toobin, CNN’s Chief legal Analyst, must be given credit for writing the book that inspired this hit TV Show!!

Fred Singleton
My name is Fred Singleton, I'm a 44 year native of Washington D.C., I've currently been incarcerated for 20 years, for armored truck robbery and gun offenses. Over the years of my incarceration, I've acquired somewhat of a passion for critiquing movies and television show, you might say I'm what convicts deem "The jails house critic." That being so, one of the editors of Convict Soap Box saw this as an talent and has requested that I write a ratings column for the Entertainment section of CSB. Now when the idea was first presented to me. I wasn't quite sure if this was something I wanted to get involved with., I'm not going to lie, I couldn't see his vision for what it was, but after reading the edited version of my first column. I am now inspired to do this to the best of ability. Finally my passion for cinema now has a purpose. I'm looking forward to providing my perspective about the pro's and cons of what television and the silver screen has to offer. From the latest and greatest television series all the way down to throw back classic's you can download or pick up on DVD.
In closing, I'm glad to be a part of this movement, and I pray the world support's it.