Category Archives: Television
True to the reality it portrays, the series begins and ends in Brentwood. Over the course of a very long 16 months, we’re taken– or rather, retaken– on one sadly unforgettable ride.
The brilliant portrayals of prosecutors Marcia Clark and Chris Darden, by actors Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown respectively, culminate in the glaring illumination of an American legal tragedy and its immediate gut-wrenching aftermath. Thus concludes the insightful yet disturbing 10-episode run of American Crime Story, Season 1: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.
As dramatic imagination and creative effect work in unison to stitch together large swaths of stark actuality, never throughout the entire series comes a dull viewing moment– or I should say almost never, if you count most any scene with Judge Lance Ito, spineless and celebrity stricken as Kenneth Choi accurately plays him to be. Thankfully, comic relief regularly intercedes in the form of a salaciously smug Nathan Lane as legal mastermind F. Lee Bailey, not to mention my unmatched personal favorite: the almost cartoon version of defense attorney Robert Shapiro, perfectly re-created by a fittingly comical John Travolta.
But I digress. Ten weeks of a reproduced “trial of the century” ends with more than 30 minutes to go in the final episode. Anticipating some sort of post-verdict wrap up, we definitely get it, painfully yet completely, leaving us to wonder– all the way from Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran sipping office champagne, to Cuba Gooding Jr.’s O.J. slowly realizing his “party of the century” is proving smaller than he expected– when all this is finally going to end.
Altogether, we’ve been treated to a solid 10 weeks of 21-year-old history revisited, briskly yet as thoroughly as limited television time will allow. In the oh-so long-in-coming end, our minds– those old enough to recall the real deal– are left to once again ponder the unfortunate colossus of trial-based events, discoveries, developments and maneuverings that delivered O.J Simpson home to Brentwood a free man on October 3, 1995.
What began and ended in Brentwood leaves me contemplating that same sense of injustice now as I did that very day. All the while, shifting to terms of present-day production and talent, more than one Emmy nomination is most certainly in order.
Clark Photo Credit: POO/AFP/Getty Images; FX
Shapiro Photo Credit: Lee Celano/WireImage; Ray Mickshaw/FX
Photo Credit: Hal Garb/AFP/Getty Images; FX
So comes a spellbinding walk down memory lane for any American over– let’s say– 50? Seeing as this number sits far in my future, who am I to talk? Naturally, yours truly being old for his age, I remember, appreciate and truly adore nearly all the moments featured in episode one of CNN’s The Seventies, aptly titled “Television Gets Real” — of which the above clip is a part.
What we have before us is one outstanding look back at what once was in the world of broadcasting, and what– sadly and ever the more painfully– now is not. Simply put, they don’t make TV like this anymore. Nevertheless, while loving every minute thus far, I can’t wait for episode two, no matter how unflattering Mr. Nixon will inevitably emerge.
The first time I watched this “behind-the-scenes” montage, late in 1987 I believe, it was a private piece for which you needed a connection to know it existed– which fortunately at the time I happened to have. Now all these years later, available online to the public, it’s just as funny. If you too are a “Knots Landing” fan and have never seen this, you’ll certainly appreciate it!
Needless to say, the passing of Thanksgiving leads us right into Christmastime. This means as trees go up and lights get strung, while parties kick into swing and egg nog flows, so comes the annual playing of my favorite classic Christmas duet performance. Here’s to old-school shtick, Dean-and-Frank style! Enjoy some other versions too, if you’re so inclined. 😉
And so it happened. Minus one more it is for the Ewing family, given the sudden demise of a character whom original-show fans have known since birth. A big surprise to us viewers and a great loss to the cast it is no doubt, but at this point we’re left to ask, will it matter? This is to say, another season remains to be confirmed. Meanwhile, at least storyline plans appear well underway, while everything I’ve had to say before now stands. Nevertheless, should “Dallas” return, and despite the level of unbelievable insanity sure to ensue, I’ll certainly be watching– with even more interest if Patrick Duffy again directs. We know anything could happen after all. Christopher could always show up taking a shower one day, like father like son of course.