The riveting courtroom miniseries 'People v. O.J. Simpson' now on DVD
Posted September 13
A number of TV season sets are on DVD this week, along with the gripping miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”
“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (Fox, 2016, three discs, 10 episodes, featurettes). Reality TV and the 24-hour news cycle owe something to the O.J. Simpson murder case, which captivated America during the mid-1990s when football star, movie star and all-round charmer O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with the brutal murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.
Those of us of a certain age may feel we know the story so well that there’s no need to revisit it — the white Ford Bronco chase, putting on the glove during the trial and Simpson’s ultimate acquittal. But the devil is in the details, as they say, and this meticulous re-creation of the trial is thoroughly engrossing.
The fine cast of this FX miniseries is its own dream team: Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark, John Travolta as Robert Shapiro, Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran, Nathan Lane as F. Lee Bailey and Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson, among many others.
“Limitless: Season One” (CBS/Paramount, 2015-16, six discs, 22 episodes, audio commentary, featurettes, bloopers). A direct sequel to the 2011 sci-fi thriller that starred Bradley Cooper, this single-season series has Jake McDorman as a struggling New York musician whose use of the NZT drug unlocks 100 percent of his brain capacity — but only for 12 hours. He subsequently becomes a genius crime-solver for the FBI while hiding his use of the drug. Cooper shows up in four episodes (and is an executive producer).
“CSI: Cyber: The Final Season” (CBS/Paramount, 2015-16, five discs, 18 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). The second season of this “CSI” spinoff turned out to be the last, despite the addition of Ted Danson in his role as D.B. Russell, transferring from Las Vegas (after the cancellation last year of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) to team up with Patricia Arquette, James Van Der Beek and rest of the Los Angeles team in tracking down cyber bad guys.
“The Flash: The Complete Second Season” (DC/Warner, 2015-16, four-disc Blu-ray/six-disc DVD, 23 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). “The Fastest Man Alive” (Grant Gustin) returns to take down evil meta-humans who have powers from the same lab explosion that gave him incredible speed. Both episodes of the “Arrow” crossover are here, but not the crossover episode of “Supergirl.” (Season 3 begins Oct. 4 on The CW.)
“South Park: The Complete Nineteenth Season” (Comedy Central/Paramount, 2015, two discs, 10 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, videogame trailer). When a new morally strict principal comes to town, political correctness is lampooned throughout this season of the vulgar animated sitcom. (Season 20 is currently showing on Comedy Central.)
“Supernatural: The Complete Eleventh Season” (Warner, 2015-16, four-disc Blu-ray/six-disc DVD, 23 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers). Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles) are still taking on angels and demons after all these years, and still whining about it. (Season 12 begins Oct. 13 on The CW.)
“Being Poirot” (Acorn, 2013, featurettes).
“Foyle’s War Revisited” (Acorn, 2015, featurette). These two hourlong documentaries respectively explore the two titular British hit series, “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” and “Foyle’s War.” The first features David Suchet, who starred as Agatha Christie’s fussy Belgian detective Hercule Poirot for 25 years, talking about the character and stories that informed 70 episodes over 13 seasons. The second looks at the popular series about a meticulous police detective (Michael Kitchen) who solves crimes in World War II England, eventually entering the post-war/Cold War era over eight seasons and 28 episodes.
“SuperNature: Wild Flyers” (BBC Earth/PBS, 2016, three episodes). “Defying Gravity,” “Mastering the Skies” and “Crowded Skies” are the three episodes gathered here, looking at creatures that are able to take flight.
“9/11: Inside the Pentagon” (PBS, 2016). Hourlong documentary about the 9/11 attacks, focusing on the Pentagon being targeted when terrorists forced American Flight 77 to crash into the building, taking 184 lives. Witness-survivors tell their stories, many for the first time.
Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." He also writes at www.hicksflicks.com and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.