Review: American Crime Season 3 Episode 1 “Episode 1”

Nothing is truly viewed in vacuum, and watching this episode of ‘American Crime’ that statement was all the more true, as an individual’s viewing of this show will be seriously influenced by their political views, and more specifically, their view on immigration. That is neither a positive nor a negative, but something that certainly makes this show seem even more timely. Unfortunately, if you take the relevancy of the social commentary out of it, this premiere doesn’t offer up a lot in terms of intriguing characters or compelling narrative. Each of the storylines act as set-up, and the promise that the drama is to come is much-needed, as John Ridley paints what seems to be the Mid-America with depressing, but slightly clichéd strokes. The relationships do not seem all that unique or revealing, nor is there a true hook. However, some of the dialogue is extremely well written, showcasing how crime is simply inherent within parts of society, while also making comparisons between gangs and those that recruit migrants for near slave labour. Parts of the episode’s structure and direction reinforce this, while the cinematography grasps the main characters and keep them in the spotlight. For ‘American Crime’ to be great, it needs to work as show irrelevant of the time it airs in. The best drama is universal to any historical period with engaging characters and enticing narrative. 7.7/10

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