American Crime is a drama set in California, exploring the way in which a single crime can affect the lives of many. Touching on racial issues and class politics, this new show promises to be emotionally charged from beginning to end.
This show, just based on the title, was pretty low on my pilot list. It’s not that I don’t love my country… there’s just something about using the word “American” in entertainment that makes me think I don’t want to bother with it. And what this word may mean in that form. After watching this trailer, I’m even less interested. It just. looks. so. sad. I almost don’t even want to watch the first episode.
This show is sad. You’re dealing with murder, and drugs, and things that are even harder to change like social issues. Throughout the episode, there are three families that are really honed in on, and even for them, it’s an emotional roller coaster. In different ways, at different times, I feel sympathy for them, I feel dislike, I feel understanding, I feel betrayal. And they’re all so different: victims, accomplices, addicts. Yet everyone has their own motives, their own prejudices, their own flaws.
The trailer is actually the entirety of the first episode. You wouldn’t think they’d be able to fit all that in there, or that if they could, you’d be able to emotionally take it all, but it really works for them. The one thing that bothered me about this show (other than the characters, and the situations, and the decisions, and the injustices) was a weird stylistic feature they used. There would be some odd shots that wouldn’t match up with the timeline. You’d see one character, hear them talking, but the visuals would jump around: their body would change position, they may not be actually talking in the visuals, despite the audio. It happened twice that I noticed, and was distracting, while seeming to add little to the show. My guess is that it will be some kind of stylistic modus operandi unique to their series.
I approve, but probably not for myself
Still, I find myself wanting to know more. About the people. About the situation. I’m frustrated by some of the scenarios, yet intrigued by the mystery. Personally, I don’t like watching stressful shows like this; stories that emphasize injustices in the world, that life is unfair – reminding me there’s really nothing that I can do about it. So this show is worth watching… but I’m not sure I’ll actually be able to do so, myself.