American Crime series review | violence, racism

american crime series review


When Luis Salazar travels from Mexico into the United States in search of his missing son; he soon discovers the servitude agricultural laborers face as they live in poverty. Forced to pay their meager earnings back to their employers for food and other essentials. It’s a system that doesn’t only target undocumented workers, as American Coy Henson gets sucked into the world after meeting a farm crew chief and taking what he thinks is an opportunity to get his life back on track. Other lives orbiting this situation are social worker Kimara Walters, furniture supply business owner Nicholas Coates; and farm owner Jeanette Hesby — who is shocked to learn just how the business remains profitable.


Quick States

  • Rating: 7.8
  • Genres: Crime, Drama
  • Stars: Felicity Huffman, Regina King, Timothy Hutton, Richard Cabral, Elvis Nolasco, Lili Taylor
  • Creator: John Ridley
  • Director: John Ridley
  • Writers: John Ridley, Kirk A. Moore
  • Certificate: TV-14
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Release Date: 2015
  • AKA: American Crime
  • Runtime: 43 min for episode
  • Filming Location: Texas, USA – California, USA

American Crime series Trailer

credit to IGN youtube channel

I don’t remember the last time I was enthusiastic about a series. The whole world of series became a little boring, tedious, and recycled. And if you expect me to say next that American Crame is the first series I’ve been excited to see in years… That is not the case.

American Crime series review

The American Crime has been all the ingredients of a good series that I ignored anyway: A good promotional campaign, “From actor/writer/director/Emmy” on the poster, and a very traditional story. I didn’t pay attention until later when I discovered the critics’ praise for him; even then that wasn’t enough to make me watch it. The series and its actors nominated for the Emmy, we said OK…

The category of short series has a scarcity these days… Then the series crew is known and good, then Regina King won the Emmy! There are many reasons why she won the Emmy, but we’ll address that later.

American Crime is an 11-episode drama series about a robbery and death of a young man that captures the lives of 4 different families. The events of the series are (somewhat) inspired by real events, but not really. These characters are not based on specific people, but are there people who resemble them; and who have already gone through very similar circumstances? Yes, no doubt. I mean, in a way, these characters are stereotypical, but they are so intentionally, the goal of this story is to put certain people in certain circumstances and then see things happen in front of you, then after 11 episodes you might come up with a lesson.

American Crime series cast

The cast includes the Oscar winner of the Times of Timothy Hutton (who has just won the Academy), the Oscar candidate, but the winner is Felicity Huffman (formerly a desperate housewife in Frasier), and the Regina King (from The Leftovers series (check our review on it here)), as well as a group of actors; none of whom you probably know who will perform better than the main cast at times.

Through a police investigation, we are defined by several people associated with the crime; as well as individuals associated with those people. Each of these characters represents a particular class (or Stereotype, if any), and these categories vary in all terms: Race, religion, origin, social class… Etc, in such a way that almost every class of American society is represented by at least one personality in this “American crime”.

But it can be said that the problem of race is the main problem discussed in the series, and when we talk about race we talk directly about racism, for example, in the first episode when the police say the suspect may be a Hispanic, Felicity Hoffman’s character jumps straight to the conclusion that her son was killed by an illegal immigrant. However, it cannot be said that the series deals only with the issue of race. It can be said that on a larger scale, the series tries to discuss the presuppositions that are within each one of us (for example: Assuming every HBO show is a great show, did you see John from Cincinnati, dude? And it’s meant to get us to give up those preconceived assumptions about people.

The timing!

Theoretically, this series could not come at a more suitable time than this, the problems of race and racism are the most serious these days in the United States and a lot of other countries, beginning with the problem of the confederate flag, then the crimes that were committed by racist groups or people, and then (although the series was shown months before it).

This is a crime series, but it is not a series of mysteries. The police barely appear in the series and the focus is fully on the effects of the crime; and its effect on the characters of the series. This is a required change in this type of series that has become so vulgar to the networks. This means that this series goes where other series refuse to go. You will probably hate some characters (and perhaps you will hate them all like me), not because they are evil characters (this series originally aims at proving that people are not either white or black, literally or metaphorically), but because they are very real characters, and they are the product of the surroundings in which she grew up and the conditions she created.

Good cinematography

Along with the experienced acting crew and also the Oscaric writer, the series is so professionally filmed that if it were presented to you without the channel logo, you might easily think it’s an HBO series or a cable series at the very least, and that’s almost the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in the series after years of watching television series with very poor or very medium quality.

However, with all these positive aspects, there are many negatives, perhaps not negatives, but rather things that prevented the series from producing better than the way it emerged. American Crime deserves applause for his attempt to narrate stories about violence, racism, and drugs and being person-driven, not an event, but for all of this to work, characters must be interesting. The reason I said earlier that the performance of some side actors is better than the main ones is not that the main actors are bad, by contrast, the problem is that the text was really missing focus. The series is good, impeccable even, but little focus would have made it great.

A little talk about characters

First of all, all the characters were given more details than they could bear; and in each episode, we discovered something new about one personality or another, to the extent that by the end of the season each personality has several details but lacks focus, it is better that your personalities are one thing, at least, that does not make all your personalities many things.

With the abundance of characters, this lack of focus has obvious effects on the series. And by mentioning the number of characters, the series was very focused on giving all the characters the same time-space on the screen, but the problem is that not all the characters are interesting. Instead of giving more time to the family dynamics that the series finds, we find ourselves, for example, following the story of a young black man and his Caucasian girlfriend who is using drugs, of course, this is just a building for future events in the story, but you don’t know that, so when you watch that you are not really interested in either of these two characters and that series He made them interesting.

In Conclusion

But the biggest flaw in the series is that it is very expected, and this may be from my personal experience, but I was not surprised by the course that the story took with each personality. I am almost sure that some of you will guess what will happen in a number of live episodes without having to watch them, but I do not know if this was meant to write the series (meaning stripping the series of surprises and not using the events for shock), or just the natural reaction of a person who watched many networks Pull it out.

All this is not meant to say that American Crame is a bad series, on the contrary, it’s a good series, its problem is that it could have been very good, its other problem is that it came in the same season with Live Ketterbridge, which is entitled (with all due) for all the awards, and left only one prize for American crime, just because Oge Ketride He didn’t have a good candidate in her, and that’s why Regina King, who played the role of a Muslim woman (Alia Shadid), won very well, but not so much as an Emmy award, but in the absence of any real competition, she went naturally. It also doesn’t hurt to deserve a prize for her role in a great South Holland.

The bottom line is that American Crime has given a much-needed vitality to the network series and brought me a bit of hope back into it because amid all the crap of superheroes and unfunny scientists there is always a place for serious storytelling that goes to the dark side of the human soul.

Writer and film critic for Filmiland website, movies enthusiast. "Everything I know I know from movies!"

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    1. […] Regina King was also in the American Crime series with a perfect performance that got here the Emmy; you may want to check our review on the American Crime series here. […]

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