I’ve watched my way through all the comedies and light hearted TV series on Netflix, so have moved onto dramas and ‘real life’ stories. I quite like law and medical dramas anyway, but hadn’t come across The People v O.j Simpson until a friend suggested it.
I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to scary things. There’s a running joke with my friends that if it’s an 18 I can’t watch it and I should vett 15s before watching them- I can’t handle scary things at all but I find legal and crime stories interesting! This had a ‘me friendly’ certificate on Netflix so I thought I’d give it a go.
I got seriously hooked. It wasn’t remotely scary, a little bit creepy in some places, but if I could cope I’m sure most people could! I’m not old enough to remember the original trial so I had no idea as to the outcome. Basically, the writers have taken evidence, court room testimonies and statements made by people involved in the trial, and produced a dramatised version. It’s really well done. Not all of it takes place in the court room though, so you actually get to see the defence and the prosecution developing their strategies and how the twist and turns unfold. It took a while to get over the fact that the actor who plays Ross Geller from friends was a major role, but other than that I got completely absorbed. (I half expected him to shout ‘we were on a break’ at some point).
It also made me realise that a lot of being convicted in America isn’t to do with the actual evidence but how you tell your story to the jury. Even things like the jury not liking your lawyer can be enough to convict you. Scary! The show also highlighted how stressful it must have been for the jury living with a gagging order and supervision for the duration of the trial. I can’t believe that DNA evidence wasn’t fully considered as ‘proper’ evidence, considering how much we know about it now and how it’s relied on so heavily!
I thought the choice of music was good- there was the right amount of silence versus sound track, plus added audio such as ticking clocks or heart beats to represent action on the screen. The camera work varied between inside the court room for the dramatised version that we were watching, but also recreating how it was broadcast to the country on the news by the camera angles used e.g. High up shots or off to the side where cameras would be positioned in a real trial.
It was really interesting and it made me want to read more about it. I’ve since added some more legal and crime things to my Netflix list because of it!