American Crime is an anthology series on ABC, and not to be confused with American Crime Story which is currently playing on FX. This series was created by Academy Award Winner John Ridley, who wrote 12 Years a Slave. While I didn’t watch the previous season, I did hear great things about it which made me want to check out season 2, and season 2 did not disappoint.
This series starts off with an alleged rape that happened at a basketball team party, and it quickly deals with issues of race, class, gender and sexual orientation and how it all inter-laps with one another. The victim is Taylor Blaine (Connor Jessup), who is a scholarship student at Leland Academy, find out out he was possibly raped based on some pictures taken of him. His mother Anne Blaine (Lilli Taylor), trying to go the school and the police to try to get answers. Also a the center piece of the story is Leslie Graham( Felicity Huffman), who is the dean of Leland Academy trying to maintain the schools image and Coach Dan Sullivan (Timothy Hutton) trying to make sure no one on the team was involved.
It also affected a very prominent family in the school the LaCroixs (Regina King, Andre Benjamin and Trevor Jackson). Whose son is also at the center of the controversy because he hosted the party and is also over the age of 18, and had is name in the paper.
What I loved about the show was how it toke an issue such as rape and had a positive portrayal of male rape, which is hardly seen or discussed in the media. The performances was also very great especially coming from Connor Jessup and Lilli Taylor as mother and son. I also liked how it portrayed an African-American family who is upper class and how they had lawyers they could talk to and police who they are friends with.
Connor Jessup does an extremely good job as playing playing both a victim and a perpetrator in which he shots one of his attackers and coming to terms with what he did. Episode 7 in particular was his showcase, and also the directorial work by John Ridley.
I also want to discuss how great the writing is and how the writers combined together race, class, gender, and sexual orientation in a way I have not seen on telekinesis, since maybe The Wire. The shooting episode and the aftermath was I think some of the best episodes I have seen this TV season.
My only negative with this season, was the public school drama. I felt it was kind of unnecessary to have in this season and could have been saved for another season. I also think the ending may divide fans since it didn’t have a real conclusion
I really hope this show gets a third season because I think it is one of ABC best series of the past few years and deserves a chance to grow.
Season MVP: Connor Jessup and Lilli Taylor
Best Episode: Episode one, seven and eight.