TV review: People v OJ Simpson is proving to be an endurance test

People v OJ Simpson is a brilliant reenactment of the trial that split America.

The People v OJ Simpson - BBC 2 April 4, 9pm.

The People v OJ Simpson seems to have been going almost as long as the actual trial itself.

The BBC epic drama, covering the brutal murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, the beautiful estranged wife of the American footballer and her friend Ronald Lyle Goldman, has been much lauded.

No expense has been spared with a star studded cast and glitzy Dallas or Dynasty style production.

I was hooked after the first episode, still interested after the third but am now staying with it out stubbornness and a refusal to be called a quitter.

Cuba Gooding Jr is a good actor, I'm not denying that, but he is overacting the life out of OJ or Juice as he's referred to throughout.

His comedic portrayal of Simpson makes this more light entertainment and I found myself forgetting - to my shame - that this is a real life story of domestic violence and the murder of a young mother.

He does, however, capture the narcissistic qualities of the disgraced sports star perfectly.

We know how it ends, Simpson was cleared of murder in a case that became more about race relations in America than a trial with overwhelming evidence against the defendant.

But while we await that outcome, we see a jury who have been locked in a hotel with no contact with the outside world for eight months start to mentally unravel and Marcia Clark, the no nonsense female prosecutor, realise that what she thought would be an open and shut case now looking more like a legal disaster.

Robert Kardashian is played brilliantly by David Schwimmer who looks uncannily like the lawyer father of the world's most famous reality show family.

He is loyal to the end and stands by his friend even when all the evidence points to him having murdered his estranged wife and her new boyfriend.

In episode eight we hear of the introduction of the then unknown science of DNA evidence, now recognised and used to solve countless violent crimes, then treated like witchcraft.

Simpson's blood is all over the crime scene, the jury don't seem to care, he's already winning them over with claims of racism.

There are unsavoury scenes with the team of lawyers led by Johnny Cochran celebrating every small victory with champagne and back slapping.

But it is John Travolta's portrayal of smarmy lawyer Robert Shapiro that steals the show. Travolta acts his socks off and I loath his character for being as slippery as an eel which I'm quite sure was the intention.

A supporting actor gong is surely in the pipeline.

The actual trial lasted 16-months it took the producers of the show 10 very long episodes to tell the story.

I'm at eight, it's like endurance training but I refuse to give up. I will see it through and commend the writers for staying as close to the facts as was possible.


Bake off Creme de la Creme, BBC2 April 5, 8pm.

You know the Bake Off that everyone watches in spite of it being nothing more than amateur cooks baking cakes in a tent?

Well there's a steroided version of that with professional cooks, no tent and the most bizarre concoctions that you've ever seen.

I've no explanation as to why I watch so many cooking shows, I just do, I find them relaxing.

I'm trying to wean myself off because watching makes me hungry and then I eat loads. I'm convinced Saturday Kitchen and Masterchef are responsible for at least half a stone of my excess weight.

Anyway, Bake off Creme de la Creme is nothing like any of those, it's a bizarre concept where professional chefs from prestigious restaurants make strange and exotic sounding sweet creations involving a minimum of 145 ingredients or thereabouts.

There is no lovely Mary Berry or blue eyed Paul Hollywood, instead there are three scary judges who would make great prison guards in Guantanamo, such is their temperament.

It's brilliant, watch it, it won't even make you fat because there's a not a chance on this earth you'll be able to replicate anything they produce.


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