LAPD v. O.J. Simpson


Bryon Cohen/FX

FX's 10-part series The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story avoids the fate of so many cheesy "ripped from the headlines" TV dramas by being both well-crafted and admirably true to the facts.

It's fascinating to watch how the trial's relitigation of Simpson's history of domestic violence changed public opinion about spousal abuse, taking what was previously considered a behind-closed-doors family matter and rendering it socially unacceptable even for popular celebrities.

Most striking is the specter of police brutality and racism hovering over the trial. Prior to joining the prosecution, Christopher Darden is shown working in the D.A.'s Special Investigations Division, desperately trying to hold officers who shot a black woman in the back accountable for their actions.

When defense attorney Johnnie Cochran gets a detective to admit he took evidence to his home in Simi Valley, the jury catches the subtext. Simi was where the officers who infamously beat Rodney King in 1991 were stationed.

Anthony Fisher