This show continues to be excellent, although I’d note that this week felt like a bit of an In Between-y episode, where new characters are introduced (Evan Handler as Alan Dershowitz, Nathan Lane [!!!] as F. Lee Bailey), and old ones are moved into place (Johnnie Cochran finally joining OJ’s team in a really effective scene with Courtney B Vance and Cuba Gooding Jr; the endlessly sympathetic Chris Darden coming on board at the district attorney’s office). For me, it was noteworthy on a couple of levels. First, the locations were perfect. I’m interested to hear from those of you who don’t or didn’t live in Los Angeles about whether or not it feels as authentic as it really is. All I know is, I’ve lived here my entire life and I’ve seen two thousand TV episodes set and filmed in Los Angeles, and none of them — none – feel as real as this show does. I’m including literal reality shows filmed here. I don’t know if it’s because this show is aiming for realism, or it’s because this is a very well done version of a moment in time that I personally remember very vividly, but The People vs OJ Simpson presents Los Angeles in a way that is sunny and tree-lined, but not always particularly beautiful, and that feels very real to me. The scene at the very end, where Marcia Clark is smoking and reading the LA Times at dawn…I could practically smell the dew forming on the iron gate leading into her backyard. My grandmother had that exact gate into her own yard; so do my parents. Everyone in Southern California whose home was built before 1960 has that wrought iron gate. And that’s a tiny, tiny detail, but it seems to me that the filmmakers make an effort to go to places that hadn’t been spit-shined, or that feel particularly special. It’s extremely naturalistic, and I think it works. (They also set a scene at my local car wash.) I’m just waiting for famous Los Angeles local news anchor Kent Shocknek to show up. (I’m sort of surprised, in fact, that none of LA’s local news people have made cameos yet. Where’s John Beard? Bring me my Colleen Williams!)
Let’s talk about this week’s episode. As usual, I’m not really going to recap it, but just hit some highlights, get into some talk about the sets and the ties and the true crime gossip and anything else that floats through my brain. Please feel free to talk about anything that occurs to you in the comments, though.