The ten-hour mini-series, The People v. O.J. Simpson starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., Courtney B. Vance, John Travolta, Sarah Paulson, Sterling Brown, and David Schwimmer is now available on DVD. From A.V. Club,
It’s a bold choice to start out a series with the video of the Rodney King beating and the race riots, but it’s a choice that’s necessary for American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson (a title that I definitely will not be typing out in full after this). This first scene in the first episode was put in so viewers can draw parallels from the early ‘90s to our current tumultuous racial climate — especially when it comes to the tensions between police officers and black citizens. It’s a way to draw in the audience, to let us know that this series will be, at times, far more about racial tension than it is about the well-known basics of the O.J. Simpson trial. Because we already know what happened: We know about the barking dog, the white Bronco, and the acquittal. What we don’t know — unless you have heavily researched everything — is what happened outside of the media coverage and speculating articles. What we don’t know, and what remains important, is how race played such a huge role in the “trial of the century” and not just in black and white terms.