The 10-part FX series American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson tells the fascinating tale of Nicole Brown Simpson’s real-life killing and the ensuing media frenzy around the murder trial of her famous ex-husband, O.J. Simpson. But more than Simpson, the series is about the birth of reality television and the larger-than-life personalities involved in making the O.J. trial one of America’s biggest media circuses. The trial marked the ascent of the Kardashian family — patriarch Robert Kardashian, the father of some of your favorite E! superstars, was a close friend of Simpson’s — to power and fame, after all.
It also features, in its most brilliant bit of casting, Connie Britton as Faye Resnick, Nicole’s friend. Over 10 years later, Resnick would be referred to as “the morally corrupt Faye Resnick” by Camille Grammer on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. We all know that Resnick’s actions amid and following the Simpson trial are what produced this reputation. But what about the other players? Simpson was charged with murder (and found not guilty; he is currently in prison in Nevada on kidnapping and robbery charges). Marcia Clark reportedly called him “evil” and frothed at the mouth to convict him. Then there’s the media, which couldn’t get enough of the salacious murder case.
So each week, let’s figure out everyone’s standings in The People v. O.J. Simpson and find out who’s truly the most morally corrupt of them all.
1. O.J. SIMPSON
The former football superstar is, by necessity, the most morally corrupt this week. I mean, he’s the only one accused of murder.
*He gently kisses the body of his dead wife at an open-casket funeral, which is very sweet in a Desperate Housewives sort of way.
*He tells his girlfriend Paula to “go back to bed” when he’s about to be taken into police custody. He’s concerned about her beauty sleep!
*He signs his illiterate-ass good-bye letter with a smiley face. Which cracked me up, so at least he cares about bringing a smile to whomever has to read that dreary thing.
*He’s gotten away with beating Nicole multiple times, so yeah, he’s an asshole.
*He yells at Kato for trying to offer him juice. Well, damn, maybe your nickname shouldn’t be “Juice” if you don’t want people offering you juice.
*H fails a lie detector test. My man, come on.
*He threatens to kill himself in Kim Kardashian’s room. Can you imagine if that had happened? In some sideways universe, Kim would still be famous because she’d be forever known as the girl in whose room O.J. Simpson killed himself. FAME IS HER DESTINY.
2. ROBERT SHAPIRO
O.J.’s attorney is a slimy lawyer, yes, but how morally corrupt is he? Um, a lot.
*He likes to dine at Mr. Chow.
*He made his wife late to the premiere of I Love Trouble, the trash Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte comedy.
*When we first meet Shapiro, he’s crowing victoriously about getting someone off for a shooting.
*He asks O.J. if he did it, but not out of concern for truth, justice, and the American Way.
*He made the police wait a really long time for O.J. to turn himself in, stalling to cook up a diminished-capacity defense.
3. THE MEDIA
Who else is to blame for this three-ring circus?
*Informing the public that O.J. is a suspect by catching sight of him being handcuffed.
*Bombarding Nicole’s funeral was a BIT much, but not surprising in this day and age. It was a relatively new phenomenon then.
4. MARCIA CLARK
The prosecutor who will stop at nothing to get justice lets her personal life crumble as a result.
*She recognizes what a farce the entire investigation of O.J. has been thus far.
*She’s going through a divorce. She’s a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man!
*Marcia tries to have it all! A career! Love! Kids! Doesn’t she know that’s not how the world works for women? Calm down, girl.
*She yells at her kids.
*She skips out on throwing a friend a baby shower. Tacky af.
*She smokes so much you’d think she were trying to stop Mulder and Scully from uncovering an alien conspiracy.
5. GIL GARCETTI
The district attorney whose fault it is that O.J. never got convicted, but we’re not quite there yet.
The investigation is a mess so far. Let’s try to do the bare minimum of our jobs, OK?
6. FAYE RESNICK
Ah, the inspiration behind these rankings herself. What a journey it will be to see her turn from friend of Nicole Brown Simpson to the “morally corrupt Faye Resnick”!
*She was concerned about her friend constantly getting beat up by O.J.
*But not enough to do anything about it!
*She also gossips about the abuse and asks Kris if she’s seen the photos. This is what you had to do before Instagram.
*She’s fresh out of rehab. Where (in real life) she went only days before the murder, so I’m not sure it actually stuck.
7. ROBERT KARDASHIAN
O.J.’s friend and the man ultimately responsible for Kanye West’s publicist, Kim Kardashian.
*He’s concerned about his friend.
*He’s a little too concerned. O.J. seems guilty as hell.
*He actually says “I’m on the list!” when trying to get into O.J.’s house. Now we know where his family got it from.
8. CHRISTOPHER DARDEN
Assigned to the district attorney’s office, he’s a black man who works for The Man.
*Tells Johnnie Cochran he wants to quit his job so he can stop putting innocent black men behind bars and rewarding corrupt cops.
The LAPD was corrupt as hell in the early ‘90s and chances are good that he signed off on a lot of institutional racism.
9. A.C. COWLINGS
A former football player who is not as famous as O.J. Simpson.
He literally shows up to be O.J.’s getaway driver. Bruh. Look at your life and your choices.
10. JOHNNIE COCHRAN
The most famous attorney to come out of O.J.’s defense. But he’s not on the team yet in the premiere.
His closet, full of colorful suits, is serious fashion goals. He’d look at Cher Horowitz’s closet and go bitch, where?!
*He opts out of wearing a lime green suit because he’s going to the Neverland Ranch and Michael Jackson is afraid of lime green.
*His wife is a sexy, affluent black woman lounging about in a silk robe.
*He’s very anti-LAPD-shooting-unarmed-black-people.
Refuses to take on O.J.’s case because it’s a “loser.” And he only plays to win. You’re not supposed to say that out loud, sir.
11. KATO KAELIN
Some grifter living in O.J.’s guest house.
*Likes to get high.
*Offered O.J. juice when he thought he needed it. (He didn’t need it.)
*He falls in line with O.J.’s lie about his alibi.
12. KRIS JENNER
Ex-wife of Robert Kardashian, future Rita Repulsa of Hollywood.
*Concerned with the abuse Nicole suffered at O.J.’s hands.
*Spends most of the funeral gossiping about her dead friend.
*Brings her children to a media circus funeral because she’s been clearly plotting her empire for a very long time.