Is anyone watching American Crime on Wednesday nights? The show is in it second season and was brilliantly created by John Ridley. Much like American Horror Story, American Crime tells a different story each season with several actors returning each season in new roles. For season two, Timothy Hutton, Regina King, Felicity Huffman, Elvis Nolasco, Richard Cabral, and Lili Taylor are all returning.
In season one the central crime was a murder. The show tells the story from multiple perspectives. The victim, the victim’s family, the accused, the guilty, the family of the accused, the family of the guilty, the families that get drawn into the vortex. In season one, Regina King was brilliant as a member of the Nation of Islam and the sister of a man who was accused of murder. There was also a Hispanic kid who was also arrested and the show reveals the struggles his family went through as a result. There is a lot going on these seasons and if you have not seen season one I highly recommend it. John Ridley delves into controversial topics like race relations, police politics, religion, class disparities, drug addiction and more. It’s a show that makes you think about and reassess your beliefs as you relate to everyone from the criminal to the victim’s family.
In season two, the crime is rape. When I heard that, I did not want to watch. I generally try to avoid those sorts of shows. Once again, John Ridley gives us another other things to think about so that the central crime doesn’t become a trigger. This week’s episode showed a rape kit being taken. It was really a traumatic scene that he directed in a very respectful way. Also this week, we begin to see who was involved in the central event that occurred at a boys basketball team keg party. In every season, you see all the broken parts of everyone from the victims to the accused. And you find yourself feeling compassion for everyone to some degree.
Timothy Hutton and Regina King are amazing. I’ve never been a huge fan of Felicity Huffman but her work in this series is so good, I honestly forget it is her. The all young people cast in this season, particularly the boy who plays Taylor, are exceptional actors.
If you are looking for the antidote to elevate your mind after too much reality TV crap. This show is for you. It is a gritty crime drama and kind of heavy, but very well done and thought provoking. I hope my brief review has done the show justice.
Is anyone watching this with me?