The Kardashians on FX
(Warning: there are some spoilers in this piece, so if you haven’t watched Episode 1 and 2 of The People V. OJ Simpson, I would refrain from reading–but do come back once you’ve watched!)
Another year, another remake of history and in 2016, FX and Ryan Murphy have decided to give us the gift of the Kardashians but in a throwback form, the year is 1994 to be exact. The People vs OJ Simpson is a failed attempt at reenacting and dramatizing the infamous double murder and trial of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. And I’ll tell you why it’s failed: because the first two episodes have already spent a disproportionate amount of time on the Kardashians. Yes, Robert Kardashian was OJ’s trusted and loyal friend, yes Kris Jenner partied all over Los Angeles and Mexico with Nicole and OJ (with a once very male Bruce Jenner). So I get it, they are incidentals and by-products of this historic trial–but should they be main focuses? Should the Kardashian kids be called out by name by Kris Jenner at Nicole Brown Simpson’s funeral or would it be more fitting for Nicole and Ron’s family to have had more camera time? Despite the obvious Kardashian name dropping in episode one it did have some interesting character building. Sarah Paulson plays a shrewd and determined Marcia Clarke and lays the foundation for the heavy and sticky trial to come. Robert Shapiro (played by John Travolta) is greasy and elusive. Johnny Cochran begins building his case for what would ultimately help OJ gain favorablity in the public eye.
That White Bronco Chase
Now onto Episode 2, which decided to dedicate the entire episode to the unforgettable white Bronco chase on the oh so famous LA freeway (less traffic in 1994 I see). This episode seemed to be some kind of buffer episode to give the show more episodes for the scope of the season (and another chance to give the Kardashians’s more coverage, clearly). Remember when Ryan Murphy said that the show was not about the Kardashians? Below he is quoted on EW: “‘In the 10 episodes, there are over 400 scenes that were written,’ executive producer Ryan Murphy said. ‘Of those 400 scenes, only four or five of them involve the Kardashian children. That gives you a grasp on how important we felt they were to the story.'” Well for all intents and purposes the Kardashians have had more screen time in the first two episodes than most characters. In Episode 2, the four kids are watching their dad on TV—without any parents in sight, which felt very contrived–and they are chanting their last name in unison. I’m sure those young children would just be sitting around watching their dad at a press conference! Ha! Knowing what we know about the Kardashian now, I doubt watching the news would be an interest of theirs. Well American Crime Story would have us believe that Rob, Khloé, Kim and Kourtney were ever the clever bunch at that age and were very interested in a press conference! I smell some ratings baiting and a PR move so websites would write about the show with a Kardashian headline (I may or may not be doing that now). Ratings notwithstanding, I’m still wondering how that scene added to the story—four children chanting their last name. In any case, I’m curious to see more of David Schwimmer’s portrayal of Robert Kardashian. Since the patriarch passed in the early aughts we haven’t been privy to any of his personal life on E! so this portrayal of Robert Kardashian is new to the audience, but it does seem somewhat meek and feeble but Robert Kardashian was one of OJ’s followers (and not the kind on Instagram).
What’s to Come on the People Versus OJ Simpson?
The second episode was slow and boring while the first was much more interesting. I do think this series will prove to be a bit more interesting as we continue to watch. We have more characters to be fleshed out: Kris Jenner, Faye Resnick (also seen on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Kato Kaelin and who could forget the stoic Judge Ito and prosecutor Christopher Darden.
I’m in it for the long haul, what about you guys?