It’s hard to know exactly how to recap this show. We all know the story…and yet I need to tell you guys how my optometrist was best friends with Johnnie Cochran, and he swore to me whilst checking me for glaucoma that Johnnie told him that OJ did it. (This is what happens when you live in Los Angeles. Also my optometrist was a lover of tall tales, so take his testimony as such.) Or how we were pretty sure a family friend might be called to testify for the defense (he’d played golf with OJ the morning of the murder, and claims OJ was complaining the entire time that his hands were killing him, thanks to his arthritis. Er, no pun intended. Our theory was that the defense was going to ask him to testify that OJ’s hands were too pained and weak to stab anyone. This did not happen). The Slow Speed White Bronco Chase went down literally hours after I drove home from UCLA for summer vacation and my entire family watched it on KTLA (along with the rest of the city). I watched the entire grand jury proceedings (or preliminary hearings?) that summer, as I removed the wallpaper from my mother’s bathroom for her. I literally remember, at one point that summer, looking up at the TV — because, in Los Angeles at least, every minute of this was television — and noting to the empty den, “oh, Marcia got a hair cut!” For me, the OJ Simpson trial and 105 degree oppressive San Gabriel Valley heat are the major markers of my college-era summers, and — in short — I have a lot of thoughts about OJ. If you didn’t live in Los Angeles at the time, I cannot over-stress to you how long and wide a shadow this case cast across the city. It was, arguably, the murder of the century, and living through it was deeply compelling, and very sad. I think this show — and I’ve only seen the premiere — is doing a great job telling this very complex story of a terrible murder and a complicated city. Ryan Murphy, sometimes you really get it right.
Much as I did for Mad Men, I’m going to recap these by ranking/tackling an aspect of the show each week. This week, it’s the physical casting of the major players (so far). But please feel free to comment on the show — or the case — as a whole in the comments. (And there are so many more actors to come. NATHAN LANE IS F LEE BAILEY! EVAN HANDLER IS ALAN DERSHOWITZ! I just realized I forgot to get a grab of Theo Huxtable as AC Cowlings, but we’ll see him next week, since he’s in the white Bronco with OJ as this episode closes.)