American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson debuted last night on FX to good reviews: On the AV Club, Pilot Viruet says she was more than "wary" of the series and is no fan of producer Ryan Murphy, but ended up "completely enthralled by it." Lily Sparks at TV.com calls it "genuinely great." USA Today deems the series "guilty of 'stunning' performances." And though Danielle Henderson at the New York Times notes that the characters "all look like Bizarro World versions of their celebrity selves instead of actors who closely resemble the real people they’re portraying," she ultimately found the premiere suspenseful and deems herself "impressed." More coverage to check out:
- There's a scene in the pilot in which Simpson, played by Cuba Gooding Jr., holds a gun to his head while in the bedroom a young Kim Kardashian stayed in while visiting father Robert Kardashian, played by David Schwimmer. Vanity Fair reports that, yes, this actually happened, and looks back at interviews in which Robert Kardashian and Kris Jenner talked about the incident.
- Slate runs down a bunch of "fact vs. fiction" from the first episode by comparing it to its source material, Jeffrey Toobin's 1996 book,The Run of His Life. It finds, for example, that the "early stages of the police investigation" are executed "with almost perfect precision" ... but there's no apparent evidence that, in real life, Johnnie Cochran couldn't wear a lime green suit because his client Michael Jackson is "afraid of that color."
- Toobin himself spoke to Slate last month, and Marcia Clark (played by Sarah Paulson in the show) talked to New York. (She says it's "extremely painful to live through this again.")
- So, does the show think OJ did it? In his review for the Los Angeles Times, Robert Lloyd notes that Toobin (a former prosecutor) "thinks Simpson is guilty, and though the series doesn't say so explicitly, it feels sympathetic to that reading."
- Gooding Jr. talks to Esquire, and says he invested so deeply in the role, "It took me a month to get out of the mindset of OJ." And, for the record, he doesn't think the show takes a stance on Simpson's guilt.
- Unless it's some sort of joke, Kato Kaelin (played by Billy Magnussen in the series) actually wrote a review in the New York Daily News, and he declares, "Whether it be for comedic relief or getting the most bang out their buck for that god-awful wig ... there's too much Kato Kaelin in this series-even for Kato Kaelin's taste!"
(Click to see how the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman
feel about the series.)