American Crime Review: A Series With Something to Say

American Crime Season 1

It's long been argued that one of the great things about television is that it's a "cultural forum," or a place where we work through our collective interests, issues, desires, tensions, and whatever else on an episode-by-episode basis. The cultural forum idea was a little more applicable back when there were just a few major networks and little else, meaning that viewers could rightfully assume that lots of other people were also watching their favorite shows. With today's seemingly endless array of programming options, we talk about TV more than ever, but that sense of our collective "working through" of stuff, however constructed, is less prominent.

Whereas the cultural forum idea suggests that TV simply produces its cultural forum-ness, this particular midseason has brought us a couple of series that are explicitly trying to "start a conversation" in a way that involves more than hashtags and live-tweeting. First there was The Slap, which really, really wants its audience to think about the corporal punishment of children and the context in which it might be acceptable (or perhaps slightly more acceptable); unfortunately, it has failed in that mission.

But this week, ABC takes a big swing of its own with American Crime. The 11-episode series, developed for television by Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley, utilizes a familiar set-up—a home invasion involving murder and potential rape—as the entry point to a much more ambitious and wide-ranging exploration of racial issues, from standard ugly racism to racial profiling to inter-race disputes. Much like The Slap, Ridley and ABC certainly want the audience to recognize that there are Important and Uncomfortable Things happening on the screen. After watching the season's first four episodes, I'm not sure American Crime is as powerful and challenging as ABC's promotional department would lead you to believe, but the show manages to examine contemporary racial politics in a way that is indeed interesting enough to convince me it has potential.

American Crime takes the tapestry approach to storytelling; the show introduces the audience to more than a dozen primary characters over the course of its first few episodes, all of whom are associated with the catalyzing crime in one way or another. Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton star as the divorced parents of the murder victim, a U.S. solider who'd returned home and seemingly developed the perfect life for himself and his wife. Huffman's Barb and Hutton's Russ have been estranged for years, and their son's death immediately reopens old wounds, many of which stem from Russ gambling his life away and leaving Barb and their two sons to make due. W. Earl Brown and Penelope Ann Miller play the parents of the deceased's widow, who has potentially been raped and remains in critical condition. Benito Martinez and Johnny Ortiz play a Mexican father-son combo who unintentionally get wrapped up in the case due to the latter's dealings with a gang member (Richard Cabral). And drugged-out, interracial couple Carter (Elvis Nolasco) and Aubry (Caitlin Gerard) play a key role as well. By Episode 3, Regina King and Lili Taylor are also involved in prominent roles.

The point is, it's a big, sprawling cast, and intentionally so. Ridley approaches the crime from multiple angles and levels, but smartly begins the story after it's already happened, forcing us to get to know and even sympathize with the characters before we truly begin to understand the role they may or may not have played in a heinous offense. Few of the central characters are 'likable' in the way that you expect characters to be, especially on broadcast TV, and they're not even unlikable in a 'cool' Walter White sort of way. These are all people who've made mistakes—and who continue to do so once the story gets cooking—but in a very a human way. Huffman probably gets the showiest material given that her character has an ambivalent and sometimes very troublesome outlook on race (once the police tell her that a potential suspect is Mexican, she immediately and continuously assumes that person is "an illegal"), but nearly everybody gets a chance to make an impact in important scenes.

The cast is boosted by American Crime's visual dexterity. Though Ridley is known primarily as a writer, the show's first couple episodes illustrate his talents as a director and showrunner as well. The show is very stylized, but not in the typical sleek ABC fashion. It's bright but not glossy, and there are quick edits that occur mid-scene, but there are also extended, lingering shots on people's wary faces (and their hands; John Ridley really finds meaning in clinched fits). And the score works well, but it's not obviously present in every scene, attempting to manipulate. American Crime is a very quiet show.

What's more, characters often speak over and across one another in a way you rarely see on network television. When the camera lingers on Hutton's face as his character zones out while the police explain the crime, you feel his shock, and when Martinez and Ortiz's characters are yelling at one another in front of a cop in an interrogation room, you understand the emerging confusion and anger. Emotions bubble up and fester on this show, and Ridley (and later directors) do an awesome job of visualizing that.

You're likely to see comparisons between American Crime and Crash because of the former's story and the way it's told, and while I don't think those comparisons are unfair, they also doesn't give American Crime enough credit. Whereas Crash was built almost entirely on constructed coincidences that were so shamelessly supposed to read as significant, American Crime seems to recognize that it needs to draw logical, thoughtful connections between the characters to make their interconnectedness more effective. The murder mystery part of the story dictates that some of those connections are bluntly explained instead of slowly revealed, but the inherent question marks surrounding certain characters' pasts or relationships mean that people are regularly presenting and/or disputing versions of the truth instead of stopping to express awe at the grand plan that the universe must have for them.

Where Crash and American Crime do relate is in their respective attempts to explore race with some purpose, but again, that comparison undersells some of the finesse on display on American Crime. The crime itself is so secondary; you don't see a body, nor is there much of a focus on the procedural practices of a police investigation. Instead, the crime is a jumping-off point for what Ridley hopes to be a larger, more compelling examination of race and prejudice.

The good news is that the early episodes do make an earnest and oftentimes successful effort to embed the racial tension into their storylines. While you can sense Ridley and the show inserting specific, racially charged scenes in order to jolt the audience a bit, the approach is never too explicit for very long. It helps that series premiere introduces the characters as people first, and not pawns in the murder mystery or obvious archetypes who are present to debate only to debate racial politics. But there's also a more casual racism on display, where characters offhandedly reveal their prejudice, or where established institutions express their inherent racism. That's not easy to pull off, but American Crime does it more successfully than not.

Again, unlike The Slap and Crash, American Crime doesn't marvel in its own perceived sense of meaning. As a TV show, it is well-written, it offers really strong characterization, and it achieves surprisingly effective visual storytelling. However, I'm less confident in its ability to start a significant conversation about the tensions on display. While the series isn't subtle in its representation of racial tension, it's also not boisterous about it either. Will that register for viewers? I'm not sure.

ABC has given American Crime a plum timeslot—after Grey's Anatomy and Scandal—but I wonder how it'll play after two hours of fast-paced, soapy goodness. How to Get Away With Murder it is not. Throw in the fact that ABC debuted the much lesser but still sort of similar Secrets and Lies just a few days ago, and I can imagine a world where viewers assume that American Crime is just another murder mystery. It's not, and I hope people will figure that out soon enough. The show isn't quite there yet, but it has a boatload of potential, conversation-starter or not.

American Crime debuts Thursday, March 5 at 10pm on ABC.


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Apr 18, 2017
its always the rich elites getting rich of these shows and i would like to see a show about the americans being murdered by illgeals and raped and how life is for them for they come and bring their mexican flags after their country treats them like shit and cut all the welfare off from these people for they are sucking are system dry
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Mar 21, 2017
i will not watch it for i have watched illegals invade Californian since 1996 and take all the trades jobs and i was a victim and then they say fk you to Americans and they will make sure they never hire an american and you want to know who the racist ones are and this show will louse a lot of viewers for ive been hearing their sad stories andthey have been sucking our system dry of welfare and also work so give me a fken break
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Apr 02, 2015
Well, so far this is the picture we have in Europe. Blacks and white cannot 'get along'. always a black addict girlfriend is white slut. 'because a normal' white one would not bother.
and its always a latino, black, chinese, etc who are the bad guys. [look in prisons].
for me as a black/brown human, its a painful tv show. with all the dishonesty going around. that sad great show, love it, very real!!!!
great acting
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Mar 20, 2015
I have now watched two episodes of this and already know what it is about. How the system is prejudice against everyone that is not white. Now, it looks like they will introduce Muslims into the fray in the next episode along with the B.S. "Hands up Don't Shoot" crap. This will only stir up bad feelings and start more unneeded strife.
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Apr 07, 2015
There's a lot more to this show than "white people are devils". It uses familiar stereotypes in the way that "Crash" used them. There are good people of every ethnicity with bigotted feelings towards those they don't understand, or those who look different. So far the prejudice ones are white , black and hispanic. Its trying to make viewers face and confront their own feelings, not hide the fact that whites played a huge role in the civil rights movement.
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Mar 18, 2015
Lexie, trust me, the loaning of the car, or even not loaning, but not saying "no don't take my car" can get a person chared with the crime...it happened to my neice
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Mar 15, 2015
I'm absolutely loving this! Timothy Hutton is doing an amazing job. His character just tears at my heart.
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Mar 13, 2015
I'm super confused about how the Hispanic kid was charged with facilitating the crime. He allowed someone to borrow the car and that makes him automatically responsible for anything they do? Perhaps I could understand it if the crime involved the car but it didn't. If they had run somebody over or something then maybe, just maybe, they could stretch it to make the kid responsible but all the suspect did was use the car. Someone used the car to drive to a location and then committed a murder a rape. How is the kid responsible? So if my brother tells me he needs to borrow my car to go to work and commits any crime, I'm on the hook since the car was mine? So now people have to be psychic and use their psychic powers to ascertain the borrowers intentions? What if the criminal used an uber to get to a location and committed a crime once there? So now the uber driver is on the hook because he facilitated the crime and didn't uses his psychic powers to know what his customer was going to do once he dropped them off? This makes no sense. Since when does you allowing someone to use your car make you responsible for any and every crime they commit after borrowing it even if the crime they commit doesn't involve the car? I'm confused.
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Mar 20, 2015
The "Hispanic kid" is just being used as a potential fall guy. He thought the guy he rented his car to was in a gang and, told the cops, making him a potential accessory. And, answering questions without a lawyer didn't help. Another "mistake" by him and his father which makes them look stupid. The big bad white cop should not have taken advantage of them.
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Mar 11, 2015
We needed this show because we just haven't had enough discussion about race and black victimhood the past several years from Hollywood. BTW, that was SARCASM. I'm sick to death of getting beaten over the head with it everywhere I turn and I refuse to watch this show.
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Mar 14, 2015
This show doesn't really evolve around "black victimhood " as you put it. It mainly involves a white family the ex wife is a blatant racist and the father doesn't have a backbone to save his life. And the people who the cops think committed the crime are Hispanic its only one black guy in the entire show outside of a cop here and there. So refuse to watch all you want but it has nothing to do with black victimhood and fyi just because you're sick to death of hearing about racism doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Because obviously you seem to be under the deluded illusion that racism is dead and gone and that everyone who's not white is just making things up. Btw that was SARCASM
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Apr 03, 2015
That's not how sarcasm works. You have to say the opposite of what you think. And that was not sarcasm.
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Jul 17, 2015
@nutleygrundt - The Webster defines sarcasm as: "the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny."

So, go debate it with them if you disagree.
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Jul 17, 2015
no that is irony
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Apr 08, 2015
It was my sarcasm and you don't have to agree with it because its my opinion not yours so to each it's own
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Mar 16, 2015
The LA Times wrote that this show was about "bigotry, stereotyping, and racial profiling". Given that we've been beaten over the head with that from every quarter for the last 6 years, I'm sick to death of it. Besides, every other TV crime drama is about the same thing. When was the last time you saw a black "perp" in any of them? All of the murderers and rapists in those shows are white males (occasionally females) who are rich or Christian or conservative or some combination. In Law and Order's "ripped from the headlines" version of the Bill Cosby case all of the women (all white) who accused a black basketball player of rape were proved to be lying. This in a show where the meme is that women never lie about being raped. The real criminal was the evil white bigoted owner of the team who wanted to frame him.
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Mar 18, 2015
Very true I agree
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Mar 15, 2015
Word.
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Mar 11, 2015
Will definitely be keeping this one on the DVR. I like following the crime from perspectives other than law enforcement or doctors. I really liked that the institutional characters were often off camera and just their lines were heard.
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Mar 11, 2015
Yeah, I really liked that choice of cinematography as well!
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Mar 09, 2015
no current direct attachment it started off a bit too slow paced and uninteresting nearly making me give up on watching before sticking it to it just because of curiosity to at least see the way it decided to end going in a slightly interesting direction but not enough to make me feel compelled about the drama, i'm in for episode 2 but beyond that im not at all too sure.
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Mar 08, 2015
I didn't like Felicity Huffman's character or the direction or the plot. I can't think of anything I did like, this show is trying to be great but it's just like every other crime drama. Of course it's gonna be about race and the Justice system, that could be interesting but it seems to be using every possible cliché to tell its story. Good pilots make you care about at least one character, I don't care about any of these people and Huffman's character is reason enough not to tune in again. John Ridley should stick to writing.
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Mar 07, 2015
Because petty drug dealers watch Revenge all day, ABC (or so you'll have us think).
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Mar 07, 2015
Why must Felicity Huffman play such aggravating characters? This is Lynette Scavo all over again!
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Mar 07, 2015
Lynette was an amazing character and Felicity Huffman is an incredible actress
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Mar 07, 2015
I don't deny that Huffman in an incredible actress - I actually teared up a little when her character lost it in the car of this episode, that's how good she was.

I guess all the housewives were self-absorbed, hypocritical and meddling, but Lynette took things to a whole other level. The moment that springs to mind for me is towards the end of the series when she basically watches her ex-husband's new girlfriend choke and doesn't do a single thing about it. It that moment she was willing to let another person die because she didn't like them; it's obvious she's a horrible person.

We could argue that it makes her an interesting character (after all, Walter White did a similar thing, and I thought he was a great character), but for be Lynette's actions became so painful on Desperate Housewives that it started to ruin the series for me.
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Mar 07, 2015
I LOVED Lynette, i found her hilarious and she was my favourite Housewife, maybe it was love for Felicity Huffman that made me love her so much, her cancer storyline was incredible as was her separation storyline...
But then again, i liked Susan and wasn't she universally hated by the DH fans????
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Mar 06, 2015
Wow that was one show straight to the gut. Some moments made me think of Crash, some of Rectify (the tone in some scenes), and the depiction of drug addiction of Requiem for a Dream. I was actually impressed to see something this raw on ABC/network TV as this show promises the total absence of happy endings. I loved in particular
  • Hutton and Huffman who are insanely good in this show
  • The initial slow story telling starting with that horrible call from the police. Pace then increases to get to, in hindsight, a not so unexpected twist that could change everything we've learnt about the murder case
  • After one episode, it is very unclear how things happened on the night of the crime however the story telling does not feel confused thanks to some tight writing and production.
  • Great writing also in fleshing out characters from all walks of life... No obvious good or bad guys, from the junkie trying to protect his lost cause girlfriend, to the father being too strict to his teenage kids for their own good but to no avail...
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Mar 06, 2015
I liked the first ep, I'll def give tune in again :)
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Mar 06, 2015
It caught my attention.
It’s an interesting mix of human relations, family stories and contemporary issues, in an old fashioned story telling. Cast and performances are strong, as strong as their story and convictions; while the characters are compelling in their flaws.
I loved the cinematic camera work and limited use of dramatic-tone-music.
I’m definitely staying for episode 02!
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Mar 06, 2015
total garbage. wasted an hour of my life.
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Mar 06, 2015
Thought it was absolutely brilliant, but way too slow for an American audience (sadly), wouldn't be shocked if it does really badly.

Thought the way they weaved the story was quite different from the norm and worked really well for me.
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Mar 06, 2015
I wasn't terribly impressed. The pilot was interesting enough to watch to the end, and I'll try an episode or two more, but overall it was pretty boring, the writing mediocre, and about all of the characters are one dimensional and annoying.On second thought: maybe I'll forget this show altogether
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Mar 06, 2015
This show was simply boring and had nothing different than any other crime show. Everyone knows has America has racial tensions already. I don't see how making the first episode this boring will keep viewers. Expect a 50-60% drop in ratings for episode 2
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Mar 11, 2015
I predict it will be EXACTLY like any other crime show in which 99% of the criminals are white males and most of the rest white females. By the end of this series, I guarantee you that by the last episode, the perp sitting at the defendant's table will be a rich/Christian/conservative white male.
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Mar 06, 2015
Word for word. Emphasis on boring!
Add to that a dull cast, except for Martinez and Ortiz (those 2 were the only highlight, I'd watch a show with just those two).
Won't be tuning in next time.
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Mar 06, 2015
I notice a few people have already run with the "here we go on the race thing again" and while I'm disturbed by their eagerness to live in a world where its all sugarplum fairies and fluffy unicorns, I do wonder if this show is more likely to enable racism than just report on it.

I don't live in the US but do visit regularly and I have come to be shocked by the fact that in 2015 there are still a substantial number of educated 'normal' people who still proudly hold to racist view points.
I have long wondered about that because as people americans as just the same as people everywhere else in other ways, so I have come to believe that these socially destructive views don't exist because people who live in the US are inherently racist, but that they are nurtured by a culture which continuously reinforces race as an issue.

TV is one of the main culprits. It can be subtle. The classic example being US cop shows where the star of the show is a cop who is fairly far down the command structure of the particular law enforcement unit he/she works for.
If this hero cop is shown to ignore orders because they are 'stupid' or some such on US TV, it is almost inevitable that the hero's immediate superior will be black, hispanic or a woman - ideally when the cop is particularly insubordinate the boss will be all three, a black hispanic woman.

If that happened on one cop show it would be co-incidental, twice would be plagiarism, but that fact that so many TV shows even now in 2015 characterise incompetent bureaucracy or weak leadership as being par for the course for minority supervisors, suggests something much worse, a sort of cultural conditioning is afoot.

Of course when challenged the producers of such shows claim to be doing the opposite of what they are in fact doing, they claim to be 'liberal' by having a multiracial cast even though the majority of unwhite actors in their shows play either incompetent supervisors or criminals.

The same sub text is in evidence in 'american crime'. See how the only minority on the side of good, depicted so far in this show was the prosecuting lawyer.

A lawyer is the non-criminal in cop dramas who TV audiences are encouraged most to hate. On American Crime that gig went to an African American woman, who no doubt will be scripted in such a way as to reinforce among the audience that she is incompetent and a careerist more concerned with political advantage than justice; that is as well as being given the lines about asking the Iraq vet's father whether his son was a drug dealer.
Why didn't one of the white detectives ask this question - that is how it would have happened in the real world?

These attitudes have become so firmly entrenched that it is doubtful that scriptwriters/show runners are even aware they are reinforcing racial division. The characterisations have become US TV clichés.

Although the scriptwriters may be unaware -further up the food chain where the elites who govern what gets made and what doesn't get made sit, have no doubt that those types are well aware that a divided society is a society that is much easier to govern and exploit.


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Mar 06, 2015
Time to step off your soapbox Sir. And what great, flawless country do you represent may I ask? BTW your analysis is off anyway, the Crime procedurals I watched/watch, I can't think of any that fit your Minority, female captain being disrespected/ignored. Please enligthen us with some examples of this. Maybe the problem is the shows you choose to watch
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Mar 06, 2015
I actually AM an American. When I look at any character, no matter the race, religion or sex, I see only the character. I remember when racism was actually an issue. I remember attitudes about people of color, hell, I know someone who would not touch a glass with her hand after giving her Cuban gardener a glass of water, she took it back with a pair of tongs and immediately put it in boiling water. Of course today she would be 114 years old. When I see your perceived racism in a possibly inept character in a position of authority, all I see is a desperate attempt to find racism anywhere! I grew up in a town with a large percentage of black people in it, about 40%. I don't see color, I grew up in a newer age and my children see it less than I do, no doubt because their age and experiences being very different than even mine. I doubt that my grandchildren ever even thought about the color of someone's skin before Ferguson. America has come such a long way, and it seems all this talk of race is doing nothing but bringing it to the forefront again, a HUGE step backwards. Please don't talk to me about poverty either, have you heard the term "white trash"? How about "trailer trash"? Perhaps it is someone's economy rather than their skin color that is the problem?
How about, when you see a character, you look only at the character and not at the color of his/her skin. That would be seeing it from my(an actual American) point of view.
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Mar 06, 2015
lol, people who say they dont see color are some of the biggest liars out there. Not only are you lying to yourself, but you are at the same time denying there are still racial issues in America. Obviously they aren't as severe as several decades ago, but let's not pretend everything is all fine and dandy in America. Sorry that you can't handle shows and news reports that address issues that makes people like you feel guilty for no good reason, but sweeping them under the rug isn't the answer.
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Mar 09, 2015
I never said they were fine and dandy, I said we have come too far to take a step backwards. Why make a problem bigger than it is? I know two people that were good friends with each other until this all came up again. They had been friends for twenty years, and suddenly they were fighting, not because of something they said or did to each other, but because suddenly lines were drawn again. Why is it that you want to draw lines? And calling me a liar shows just how much you want things to be worse. It may make you feel better, you know, calling me a liar because you yourself are unable to keep from noticing a person's color...but don't put your problems on me. I decide on people's intelligence and sense of humor whether or not I like their company...and nothing else.
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Mar 06, 2015
excellent analysis. and i'm happy that it doesn't apply in the criminally underrated Elementary.
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Mar 06, 2015
I guess you have not seen this weeks episode. When the bum asked the women if they had a date with Godzilla, I thought he was saying that without his handbag they would only date losers. I did not notice their ethnicity until Sherlock spoke of racism...if he had not mentioned it, I would have missed it completely!
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Mar 06, 2015
as a matter of fact, i saw the episode just an hour ago, and totally missed that.
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Mar 06, 2015
Probably because JLM mumbled quietly as he always does :) I too love the show, but hope that it stops being so Watson-centric soon :)
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Mar 06, 2015
Thanks for the review - I had it on my list but it sounds too awful to contemplate watching. I don't foresee ever watching Allegiance either but I'll leave my recorder on that until it gets officially canceled...
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Mar 05, 2015
ridley's involvement does make me way more likely to watch but why isn't this a cable show?
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Mar 05, 2015
I have been around since the 60s so I am well aware of racial tension and prejudice that still exists today, I don't need shows that feel the need to bash me over the head with it. To me, when that is the one and only purpose of a show, it continues to add gasoline on an already roaring fire. I don't think it creates an atmosphere of "opening" dialogue between races it just makes the gulf more obvious and creates a volatile enviroment. If I want to watch a show about this topic all I have to do is watch the news. There is enough of this crap in the world already. I want to watch shows that allow me to leave the world behind for a while and just be entertained and not taught a lesson on race relations.
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Mar 06, 2015
Having now watched American Crime, I can tell you that, as much as I do hate being preached to, this show doesn't do that. Sure the racial aspects are a central element of the murder in question so they do get fleshed out quite prominently but the characters are interesting (no obvious good guys or bad guys although obviously the drug dealers & gangs are pretty nasty) and well developed beyond the stereotypes that one might expect. Unlike many police procedurals that concentrate on the 'good' policemen getting the bad guy (in say Bones or Castle), this is more documentary-like and it doesn't shy away from the wreck that a murder causes in a family (which in this case is a quite broken one too) for example.

Now, if you do want entertainment (generally my choice too), I can totally see why you would choose not to watch this show. It is pretty rough and there is no feel good moment to be had. In all honesty I nearly stopped watching half way but I may still watch next week... It was that good.
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Mar 06, 2015
I agree with you except for the one point. I honestly do NOT think it is a "roaring fire". At least not until recently. I am a woman. I am grateful for what women did to give me more options than marrying and raising children. Sure, some men today think that women should clean house, make his dinner, obey him, and raise children. Am I going to go out and protest due to the attitude of a small percentage of men? No, there really is no problem anymore except in small circles. I think racism is the same. Sure, there are some people that are truly racist, however there are less and less with every generation. Bringing it up as if it is a new and growing issue is doing nothing but hurting the healing that has been going on for decades now, and like you said, this is throwing gasoline on not an already roaring fire, but embers...embers that will bring back the problem, not get rid of it.
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Mar 05, 2015
I am going to assume you are white, and if my assumption is wrong, then I am sorry for assuming so. I am also white, and male, and privileged, etc. etc. etc. You hear this all the time today, I'm sure. But here's the thing...these race relations that the show apparently portray (I haven't seen it, I'm going off of what Cory and others have said preemptively) are exactly what so many people of color and other minorities experience on a daily basis, however overtly or subtlely. The point is they do. And for us to watch a show like this is important because when it done as apparently on point as American Crime is supposed to be, we can gain an actual introspective into other worldviews and how people feel others treat them.

Again, I am white and male and so anything I say should be taken with a grain of salt, but this feels like it should be very important for everyone to watch. Just my two cents.
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Mar 06, 2015
The most racist statement I've seen in this forum is "I am white and male and so anything I say should be taken with a grain of salt."
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Mar 07, 2015
Worst of all they have gotten white people themself to say such things. Absurd. Horrifying.
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Mar 06, 2015
Stop apologizing for being a white man dammit. Also, NO, you are not privileged. What privilege would that be you have been given just for being a white man? Affirmative action? Hatecrime laws that protects you?
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Mar 06, 2015
I too am a white male and I wonder where all this discussion of "RACE" really gets us. It seems to me that no one is ready to move on. EVERYTHING is looked at through white and black and if someone white is rude to a black person they are really quick to think it's all about race and they don't hang around long enough to notice that the white asshole is rude to everyone. If we can just take every separate incident for what it is instead of everything being a white or black issue I think it would be a better place to live in.
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Mar 05, 2015
If the only way we have to experience the lives of others is through the dramatized preaching of this show, then we are already screwed. I agree that it's important to understand what others go through and how their circumstances differ from ours. I do NOT agree that a good way to accomplish that is to drink in this show. And I'm never going to go to ABC for education - social, racial, political or otherwise.
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Mar 06, 2015
Did you watch American Crime? Did you really feel it was preachy? For a show on such a polemic issue (see the discussion hereby or the news), I found it was phenomenally non-preachy with its detached, nearly documentary-like portrayal of things. I particularly admired that it didn't try to offer some kind of balance and it did show how awful the gangs or the drug dealers are... and even in the choice of say the family of the Mexican family, it wasn't an idealised one but one with many problems and conflicts.
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Mar 06, 2015
Yes, you and I have the delightful privilege of not making everything a black or white issue if we don't want to....lots of black people don't. The easiest and most respectful thing you can say is "I understand and I will listen to what you have to say." It's really that simple.
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Mar 21, 2017
im a hard working white man and illgeals have more privileges than i do for thier wives and kids get welfare here in cal and also get to keep their pay check and thats the mexican dream and thanks to to the racist white tax payers they get their car payments paid by welfare and this show sucks
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Mar 05, 2015
because if there is one thing the u.s. news handles with sensitivity nuance and understanding it is complicated issues like race relations and not silly things like llamas on the run
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Staff
Mar 05, 2015
Given that people don't pay attention to the news, I'd argue that it's important to embed these conversations into scripted shows in the hopes that people will pick up on it, and maybe consider it. I don't think the show is under any assumption that it's going to CHANGE RACE RELATIONS FOREVER, nor do I suggest that. This show actually tells a story, and doesn't lecture at you. But to avoid important and challenging conversations in scripted programming is a waste of a platform.

Or, rather: don't watch it then? Thousands of other options!
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Mar 05, 2015
It has to be a better format than the real news that has devalued these topics into hashtag journalism and speaking and then declare things as so before actual facts are in. If something like this show can actually move the conversation forward then I am all for it, because the US media certainly has failed in that aspect.
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Mar 05, 2015
I guess I'm more pessimistic than you. The difference between this show and the news (not that I'm holding up the news as a gold standard) is that the news has some responsibility to stay close to facts as they understand them. This show doesn't have that restriction and can cherry pick and create "facts" to match the story they want to tell. It has even more ability to twist the dialogue than the news does.
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Mar 06, 2015
I was speaking specifically of the overall conversation. They can make up all the facts that they want in regards to their specific event in order to promote the conversation as long as it stays grounded in some sort of reality.

And sadly the news no longer self prevents themselves from jumping ahead of the story without all of the facts in the case. The 24 hour news cycle needs to be filled with something so it might as well be conjecture and wild speculation.
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Mar 05, 2015
it has to be better than Secrets & Lies. The commercials for this looked interesting so it has my attention. And glad it doesn't play out like Crash. The movie tried too hard to mean something when it was really just an overrated mess. Also I'm loving this cast as well...
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Mar 05, 2015
This one I might check out... It seems to at least be something aspiring to tell the story somewhat differently?
Secrets and Lies may be very good but it just put me off watching with the by now slightly tired device of child murder and an ambiguous suspect under the microscope... I may watch it depending on reviews in the summer... perhaps...
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Mar 05, 2015
The fact that the show has a central mystery it kind of ignores to center on the aftermath and social problems reminds me of The Leftovers. Since I love that show, maybe I should try this one out.
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Mar 05, 2015
You might want to change "review" to "preview", I got worried and thought I had missed the first episode even though I had scheduled it to record.
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Staff
Mar 05, 2015
It's a Preview Review
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Mar 05, 2015
Same! Definitely looking forward to this, but then my wife and I are crime/cop show junkies, probably helps living in the nice safe, calm, clean Sweden, we can enjoy the misery of fictional people ;)
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Mar 05, 2015
I am too! Love a good crime show.
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Mar 07, 2015
Yeah I liked it a lot, thought it was very different in the way it was crafted and told its story which worked really well, only concern is that the pace will put off the American audience but we're certainly going to keep watching it!
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Mar 06, 2015
That's great glad you liked it, based on your profile picture we're polar opposites in every way so I was curious of your perspective! Are you in the US? (of course feel free not to answer if you prefer I understand!).
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Mar 07, 2015
I am in the US! Born and raised lol

Did you like it? You intend to keep watching?
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Mar 06, 2015
Did you watch it yet? If so what did you think of it? :)
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Mar 06, 2015
I did watch it and I thought it was very good and has great potential. I really look forward to seeing more of this.
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