The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story: The Run of His Life
February 9, 2016 8:17 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

O.J. Simpson's lawyers must handle an intense situation when he goes missing.
posted by kittens for breakfast (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am really liking this show. I was 19 at the time it happened and wasn't paying a ton of attention to the case outside of the tabloidy stuff that made up the headlines. It's really interesting to me to see it now and see how it squares with how I remember it. Like, the night of the Bronco chase was (I'm pretty sure) a Friday. I had been in a meeting for two hours and afterward went to an Applebees with friends and watched the chase on the TVs there. It seemed to me that the chase had going on that whole time, i.e. over three hours. But wikipedia shows it as having lasted only about an hour and 40 minutes. I also had forgotten how so many people were lined up on the freeways and overpasses shouting words of support as they drove by. (I also kind of loved the inclusion of "Sabotage" in that scene.)

Of real interest to me is how David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian is turning out. In episode one, I kept thinking to myself, "was he really that naive?" I know they were great friends and he didn't know then what we know now, but even so, he still seemed extremely naive. I don't remember paying a ton of attention to Robert Kardashian at the time of the trial, so I don't really have any memories of how he seemed then. This article seems to confirm that that's how he really was though:

The bigger picture on Kardashian, as portrayed by David Schwimmer, is so far on-point: In the show as in the book, he comes across as a hangdog yes-man who worshipped O.J. and clung to their friendship with something approaching desperation. In Sept. 1994, Toobin reports, Kardashian got into a conflict with the executive vice president of Movie Tunes when he signed the guy’s name to a full-page ad in some trade publication blaring the words “JUSTICE FOR THE JUICE.” The executive quit Movie Tunes in protest and later told the Hollywood Reporter, “Robert’s commitment to this case has overwhelmed every other corner of his life.”

I'm very interested to see how David Schwimmer's portrayal of him evolves. In the first episode, it was very hard for me to see him as anyone other than Ross, but I think I might actually end up really liking it.
posted by triggerfinger at 11:02 AM on February 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm watching it tonight; can't wait to see how it plays out.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:21 PM on February 10, 2016

Vanity Fair did an Episode 2 recap and fact check.

I guess the other contents of the Bronco, the passport, fake beard, money etc will come up in the next episode.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:47 PM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

These are some amazing performances so far. I had some doubts about Schwimmer at first, but he's really getting into the role.

As a kid, my parents were Limbaugh watchers (he had a show for a while). I remember the virulent way that Rush reacted to this. I'm interested to see if / how they depict the right wing reaction to all of this.
posted by codacorolla at 8:26 PM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Once again, the show is remarkably accurate. It's based on the Toobin book; they're lifting entire sections from it, right down to how the book characterizes the Garcetti/Shapiro phone call.

OK, I swear to God this happened to me.

I used to live in Lake Forest, and I was a sportswriter for the OC Register. Nicole Brown Simpson is buried in Lake Forest, right down the street from where I was living at the time. I definitely recall the traffic to the cemetery on the day of the funeral and immediately afterward.

On June 17, I had lunch in Lake Forest with a friend of mine. The restaurant had a TV, and we watched Kardashian read the suicide note. Now, I swear I said this:

"You know, she's buried right up the street. Wouldn't it be funny if we saw him right now just driving around the neighborhood?"

And he totally was. We didn't see him. But he was there.

I went to work, arriving at 4 p.m. for the work to put the paper to bed at midnight. I was listening to the radio, which was saying that the arrest warrant was issued immediately after the first blood test results came in. I remember saying, oh, dude, you're fucked. You killed those people. You're fucked.

And I was roughly driving the same route as OJ was. He was identified miles behind me. I got to the office and the chase officially started a few minutes after I sat down. The OC Register building is adjacent to I-5, so when he drove past, everyone ran to the windows. I thought the building was going to tip over.

The bit in the show about it being Arnold Palmer's last US Open? Not only was it that day, along with the NBA Finals, it was also the opening day of the World Cup. This was captured in the excellent 30-for-30 documentary. This was supposed to be a big sports day, and then OJ happened.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:59 PM on February 10, 2016 [12 favorites]

Three more notes on the episode.

* When Kardashian was reading OJ's note, he was doing a lot of editing on the fly. For one thing, OJ omitted two crucial words from the note. It literally reads "everyone understand nothing to do with Nicole's murder." The words "I had/have" were scratched out. And moreover, it's littered with misspelling and grammatical errors. In Kardashian's read, he edits a ton of that, making it sound more cohesive than it is.

* In the show, in the backseat call with Kardashian, OJ mentions several people, such as Skip Taft. This (somewhat imagined) scene names some of the people are taken from the suicide note -- the people OJ is thanking and saying goodbye to. The Toobin book has a breakdown of all these people -- mostly business partners and golf buddies, and a smattering of former teammates. They're mostly middle-aged white guys. The suicide note also mentions Marcus Allen, who had an affair with Nicole. It admonishes Allen to stay with his wife.

* In the show, we see Lange speak to OJ on the phone. That really happened, and the calls lasted for quite a long time during the chase. Lange was trying hard to get OJ to throw the gun away, just keeping him talking. The transcript of it is equal parts hilarious ("Juice! Juice!") and chilling ("Okay, you're going to get home. But your kids need you, okay? They want you, too? All right? Nobody's going to hurt you and you don't want to hurt anybody, right?").
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:53 AM on February 11, 2016 [5 favorites]

Three quick thoughts for now:

1) How I am watching this thing, sitting on the edge if my seat, wondering if OJ makes it out alive?! I'm still not seeing OJ-OJ but good lorf, Cuba Gooding Jr. Is playing the hell out of that football player guy. Hmm, maybe because the story picks up after we would have seen jokey, relaxed OJ, which is how, somehow, I still picture him.

2) I totally forgot about "absolutely, 100% not guilty."

3) Back to what I said last week, I still think that's a pretty good mobilization of people in an era before the Internet when even no one had cell phones. It's almost a certainty that I would have been listen to a tape (!) and not the radio, and I have a this memory of being on sunset around Bundy and wondering what all the activity was about and I think I didn't realize that I'd just missed everything until I got home a short while later and saw it on the news.

This is definitely better with the enhanced commentary track thanks to Cool Papa Bell!
posted by Room 641-A at 11:48 AM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Thanks for making my life special. I hope I helped yours.

It pains me to admit this but this last line touched me. As much as an earlier sentence "At times, I have felt like a battered husband" was enraging.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:17 PM on February 11, 2016

"At times, I have felt like a battered husband"

He's a delusional human being, and the "battered husband" thing was something he talked about frequently. From OJ's interview with the police:

Vannatter: How long were you together?
Simpson: Seventeen years.
Vannatter: Seventeen years. Did you ever hit her, OJ?
Simpson: Ah, one night we had a fight. We had a fight, and she hit me. And they never took my statement, they never wanted to hear my side, and they never wanted to hear the housekeeper's side. Nicole was drunk. She did her thing, she started tearing up my house, you know? I didn't punch her or anything, but I...
Vannatter: ...slapped her a couple of times.
Simpson: No, no, I wrestled her, is what I did. I didn't slap her at all. I mean, Nicole's a strong girl. She's of the most conditioned women. Since that period of time, she's hit me a few times, but I've never touched her after that, and I'm telling you, it's five-six years ago.

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:53 PM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Incredible performance by Cuba Gooding Jr. - holy shit he should be nominated for an Emmy.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:59 PM on February 12, 2016

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