The People vs O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (Ryan Murphy/Fox) – Finale

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“This case and trial is not about the ‘N’ word Nigger, it is about the ‘M’ word Murderer. Nicole Brown Simpson rang the L.A police eight times during their marriage. She divorced him and still chose to hide in a secret place police station photos of her injuries. She also hid her will and threatening messages. She herself knew an explosion was coming” – Christopher Darden (prosecution).

The O.J Simpson trial is undoubtedly the most well known and publicized American court case and trial of the last 30 years. Considering the media frenzy was before the major prevalence of the internet, this speaks volumes to the level of media circus surrounding it. It is now just about far enough in the past to be revisited as intense television crime drama. 

With historical events which are turned into fictional entertainment it’s extremely difficult to maintain suspense narrative wise as we audiences are well aware of the outcome of the story. Especially here with the The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story. What I think his team have done with this final episode is comment on modern western society. Even though television drama that while clothes, hairstyles, music and technology have changed. Politically, morally and socially people have not in 2016. The race issues which surrounded the L.A.P.D and the Los Angeles Black community still exist heavily today and were well addressed throughout this season in regards to this case in 1994. The proof is in the uncomfortable popularity of the series proves that people are obsessed with murder, fame, money and social status. It’s clever portrait of modern western life at it’s worst. Writers continue to have to hammer home to viewers that two people lost their lives through a horrific murder, which became background to the chaos of gossip and media scrum that came in the months after.

“We the jury find the defendant……not guilty”

The last scene sees O.J Simpson leaving court to a huge crowd of cheering African American fans while white locals of L.A look on completely disgusted and disappointed. He returns to his house to a welcome home party where he is deflated and confused about the last year of his life. He looks up at a huge crass new money gold statue he had made of himself as former professional football player and ponders the meaning of his life. He is more famous than ever but more alone than ever. This is a haunting end scene. It’s a triumph first season which explored celebrity obsession and its role in legal justice. Highlighting peoples hunger for fame or recognition from the masses has only got even worse today with the internet, reality TV and social media.

Von Von Lamunu

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