Today I am back to rank the American Crime Story franchise. Granted, there are only three seasons, but I wanted to share my thoughts and opinions on each one anyway. If you didn’t know, Ryan Murphy is an executive producer of this show. He also created American Horror Story – you can check out my ranking post for that here. This anthology, true-crime television series focuses on a different, high-profile case in American history. They are each presented as a mini-series, independent of one another. I’m a huge fan. Every installment has excellent acting, a gripping storyline and expert filming. I have learned so much about these real-life events from watching. Without further ado, here is my list from best to worst. Slight spoilers ahead!
1.) The Assassination of Gianni Versace
In first place, we have The Assassination of Gianni Versace. The story of how and why Versace was killed, was something I knew nothing about. I had never even heard of the name Andrew Cunanan before this season. As tragic as this event in history was, the details before and after the murder are fascinating. Not only that, this installment was beautifully shot. There are so many vivid colours, outfits, mansions and locations, you cannot help but be drawn in from the opening credits. We learn a lot about Gianni, but the majority of the episodes focus on Andrew’s life. From his childhood, adolescence and adulthood, we receive plenty of insight into how he became the man he did. It’s obvious that Cunanan felt himself to be a very important person from a young age. He envisioned himself wealthy, adored and respected in society. When his ideas of grandeur didn’t match up to reality, Andrew would cheat, lie and manipulate others to get what he wanted. The acting was phenomenal. Edgar Ramirez, Penelope Cruz, Darren Criss and Ricky Martin delivered outstanding performances. I won’t say too much more as I don’t want to spoil it, but if you watch any season from American Crime Story, let it be this one…
In second place, we have the latest season to air this year: Impeachment. It follows the scandalous affair between former American President: Bill Clinton and previous White House intern: Monica Lewinsky. Once again, I went into this installment knowing next to nothing. It was an event in history before my time and I had never cared much for politics anyway. However, this true-crime story really surprised and impressed me. If you didn’t know, during Bill’s term of presidency, he had sexual relations with a young girl named Monica, who was instantly taken with him. She wasn’t able to publicise their relationship, so she confided in her “friend” Linda Tripp, a civil servant working at The Pentagon, where Lewinsky was re-assigned. Unbeknownst to Monica, Linda began recording their phone conversations in order to a.) make a name for herself and b.) take down Clinton. She strongly believed she was doing her country a service, but soon realised that the general population did not agree. One thing about this season is that none of the characters were likable. This made it difficult to root for anybody, but I liked that aspect. It was also highly relatable. Despite being unavailable from the beginning, Bill continued to make Monica believe she was special. She would be head over heels for him, only to be ignored for weeks, sometimes months at a time afterwards. Lewinsky herself did the wrong thing in pursuing a married man. It was difficult to watch her spiraling out of control when he didn’t return her calls or make any contact for extended periods of time. I was so captivated from beginning to end. I may be biased, but I have to mention Sarah Paulson’s incredible acting as Linda Tripp. You wouldn’t even know it was her. Check it out!
3.) The People v. O. J. Simpson
In last place, we have The People v. O. J. Simpson. It’s only third because I didn’t love it as much as the other two, but I still highly recommend it. As you can guess, this follows the trial of O. J. Simpson after he is suspected of murdering his ex-wife and her male friend. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Orenthal James Simpson was found not-guilty. Even though I already knew the result, I still had hope that justice would be served. The best part of this season was the court case. It was fascinating how Johnnie Cochran and his team were able to manipulate a jury into delivering the wrong sentence. Furthermore, Sarah Paulson’s performance as prosecutor: Marcia Clark was superb. Yes, I’m a huge fan of hers. Can you tell? I also want to commend Cuba Gooding Jr. for his role as O. J. He was erratic, aggressive and unpredictable. It was something to behold. I will admit that I was very uncomfortable watching this installment. I went into Versace and Impeachment with very little knowledge of the events. However, I was already familiar with this story and that made it harder to witness. I cannot stand injustice, let alone violence towards women and the amount of sexism Marcia Clark faced. I still highly recommend it but note the aforementioned trigger warnings.
Thank you so much for reading! Did you agree with my ranking? How would you order this series? There are rumours season 4 will focus on Studio 54. I’m very excited to watch that one.
Peace & Love xoxo