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American Crime Story (2016)
So Far, So Good
Granted, we're only 3 episodes in, but I feel the need to write a review on how I feel about the show, rather than wait until the end of the season's run.
"The People vs. O.J. Simpson" is the FX drama that dramatizes the aftermath of Nicole Brown Simpson's and Ron Goldman's murder(s), the trial, and the eventual verdict of O.J. Simpson in 1994. A media frenzy that sent everyone to their televisions at every given moment for an entire year, wondering how a beloved football star and actor could be turned into a criminal. It's as neurotic as it is interesting, and the show is able to capture every ounce of the story's nuance.
People are pretty divided on the case: is O.J. the killer or not? The series is able to take you in - every single episode - thinking you know how you feel about the case, then making you think a different way. With its sleek camera movement, larger than life sets, and an all-star cast, "The People vs. O.J. Simpson" makes you feel as though you are (re)living the nostalgia of the "trial of the century". I can't tell you how much I enjoy getting an inside on what went on behind the cameras, and how each legal team came to their conclusions and trumped each other. It's very intricate and the show handles everyone's jarring emotions with care.
All-star casting keeps this show addictive. David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian and Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark capture audience attention with vastly different personalities. Both want to win, and you can't help but root for them, even though they're on opposing sides. Rob just wants to be reassured that his friend is innocent, and Marcia wants to bring justice to a woman that has no voice to speak with, anymore. They paint the pictures of how the audiences in real life felt back when the case was happening. (And it's funny and ironic to point out that the Kardashian family appear together in a restaurant (in episode 3), and they are just starting to have their names realized.)
To think John Travolta was last seen on primetime as '70s hunk, Vinnie Barbarino, is scary to think about, especially since his portrayal of Robert Shapiro is one that haunts you because of his stagnant emotions and plastic face. But he plays a man ready to win, and that's exactly what Travolta is doing with the audience. Courtney B. Vance is another whose performance for winning truly wins and commands attention every time he is on screen. You want to listen to these men.
And then there's Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson. Is he Simpson? No. Is he trying to be Simpson? Yes. Is he pulling it off? Sure. The problem that I do have (and that a lot have), is not his height, but his charm. Not to think Gooding doesn't have charm, but he doesn't have the charisma that helped Simpson eventually win over (half) the public and win his case. Gooding is doing a phenomenal job with his acting and easily scraping past legal questions with real emotions. It's a good performance, but it isn't what I was hoping out of O.J. Simpson.
All-in-all, so far, it's a great show. Even though we all know the outcome, the show does a great job revealing one thing after another and telling a story that everyone loves to hear. I'm continuing my journey with the series, and I'm excited to see what lies ahead!
The Goldbergs (2013)
One of the Best
I'm a huge fan of "The Goldbergs" and have been an avid viewer since its premiere. Many of the reviews for this listing have Ahmad a mixture of negativity and hostility due to those thinking the show isn't period or it doesn't represent the '80s as well as it should. The '80s were great and, yes, Adam F. Goldberg grew up in them, so I think he has an understanding of the things he remembers (and if he gets things mixed up, or his writers have an anachronism, then so be it - everybody's human).
What I love about this show is, not its period setting, but it's characters. The stories are simple and the dialogue is superb, but what really draws me in as a viewer are the characters the show creates. It's one of those shows that I sit down after a long day of work and watch because it reminds me of how simple life is and it strikes a chord with me - I can laugh and cry and find meaning in every episode. But that's due to how the show treats its characters and how, at the end of the day, your family is always there. Mix that with a killer soundtrack, and you have a great show.
I urge anyone who wants a family comedy that is, not only hysterical, but good in heart, to watch the show. Grandpa's telling their Grandson's how to "properly" treat a woman, a Mom getting a sweater made with her kids on it, the Brother and Sister constant battle for dominance, and a sarcastic father always trying to keep the family together - it's a cliché situation, but it's handled with care. It throws you back to a time when things were simple and it lets you know that family is crazy, but it's always there. I also have never identified with anyone more than I have with Beverly Goldberg, so if anything, watch for her.
Characters are characters, and yes, they are written and over exaggerated. But they're also real people, and by the end of each episode, you go along a personal journey with each one of them to discover just a little bit more of what makes them who they really are. And I love that.
That '70s Show (1998)
I love "That '70s Show"
"That '70s Show" is probably my favorite show of all-time. It is a show that constantly makes me feel good, puts me in a good mood, and is a genuinely funny show with a lot of heart and a lot of laughs. I was pretty young when this show first came out (like...infant young), so I didn't watch it. My shows were "Barney" and the likes of "Teletubbies". And around when I was about 12/13, I claimed I didn't like the show. Truly, I had never watched it, but just seeing the commercials, I just didn't think I would enjoy it. But, I was in the kitchen one day watching part of the episode "Eric's Hot Cousin" with my mom, and we just died laughing. I couldn't tell you how amazing it felt to just gut-bust every single time someone spoke a line in the episode.
"That '70s Show" is a situational comedy that takes place in the late 1970s when gas prices were high (or non-existent) and the transition to the 1980s was inevitable. People were hungry, jobs were destroyed, and people weren't happy. Truly, it didn't seem like such a great place to be. But "That '70s Show", even with all the crap and the distaste that the '70s brought on the world, made everything seem alright, even though, in our minds, we know it wasn't. It made you feel good and just made you laugh; to see all of the gang hanging out in the basement, smoking weed, having a good time without giving a care what was going to happen to them. They were just content with living life.
The show stars Topher Grace as Eric Forman, the main protagonist. He's trying to grow up in the world as a teenager, just starting to like girls, and just starting to be at that age where he's going off and trying to break away from the world his parents deem idealistic. He wants to grow up and start living his own life and break free from the shambles that are weighing him down in his hometown, but his best friends are distracting him, the girl next door that he's in love with is distracting him, and his parents are distracting him.
Rounding off the cast is Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti, the girl next door who has fallen for Eric, and the two end up becoming more than what they used to be; Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde, the fun- loving midnight token of the gang who has a conspiracy theory for every governmentally-funded corporation and claims there's a car that runs on water; Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart, the rich and high-class socialite who believes starts off as a snob, but is eventually shown that looks and money aren't forever (even if she doesn't really care all too much); Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso, the dumb kid of the group who may be smarter than most people give him credit for; Fez, the foreign exchange student who has grown too much with popular culture and believes that he is a "smooth-talking, frisky-ass, son of a bitch"; Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith as Kitty and Red Forman, Eric's verbally-abusive father and doting mother who want the best for Eric, but don't want him wasting his life and not get anywhere or accomplish anything; Don Stark as Bob Pinciotti, Donna's father who believes the whole world is waiting for him to be on stage, though, is oblivious to her daughter's upbringings and believes that she is an angel who is innocent in every way; and Tommy Chong as Leo Chingkwake, the neighborhood hippie who owns the local photo shop and sells the kids their "film".
With an ensemble cast small enough to have each character be given a story, yet large enough to fill voids in a stage, "That '70s Show" is the perfect show for anyone looking for a great time to watch with friends, or if you're feeling in a bad mood. This show has never failed to make me laugh, and I will always love every moment of it. The characters are memorable, the dialogue never gets boring, and even after 8 years of continuous fun, the characters evolve into real people; the kids grow up into mature adults; everyone is just happy with being where they are and being who they're with. It's a great show, and I recommend it to everyone. 10/10