Netflix arrived in Singapore about a year ago (I’m guessing), and boy, their marketing has been aggressive. Having worked in digital advertising for a bit less than two years, I’m really impressed by their Facebook campaigns. But what’s been more impressive is their catalogue, which isn’t as extensive as the US (of course), though it boasts a really varied range. But in particular, their localised content for its region — like its niche foodie shows (think Tokyo Stories, Chef’s Table), and regionally produced programmes (my fave Terrace House *heart eyes emoji*) — is really intriguing. I’ll get into this another time, but while the catalogue is huge, it can also be overwhelming, and I end up just mindlessly scrolling for a good ten minutes before closing the tab and YouTubing my favourite David Mitchell moments. I tried Googling for “Best of Netflix Singapore” but it’s mainly been a lazy rehash of popular titles, and I’ve already seen them (Stranger Things, House of Cards etc.)
So, I’m going to try to compile a list on programmes on Netflix that might be overlooked, are recently released in SG, or I just find them really, really good and I want to write about it. The People v.s. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, belongs to the last two cateogires. In typical Netflix style, I binge watched the 10 episodes in two days. And boy, what a story. This is one of many instances where reality is stranger than fiction, especially looking at America in 2017, it’s sad/disgusting to see how the issues of race and sexism have prevailed till today and even worse, have become even more twisted. And also in a typical 2017 style, I’ll make a list on 3 things on People v.s. OJ that really stood out for me:
1. MARCIA CLARK
Wow. How do I even begin to describe how amazing Sarah Paulson is as Marcia Clark???? She made us truly sympathise with Clark, who was vilified during the whole trial. I immediately googled Marcia Clark after that standalone episode “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” that focused on the lawyer’s struggles with her career, divorce, kids, appearance (!) etc. Undoubtedly, she fought such a tough battle and really tried her best. It made me think of those lawyers from Making A Murderer, and man, the American justice system is just messed up. I also like the fact that the real-life Clark liked Paulson’s performance.
2. THE AMERICAN MEDIA
I realise “the American media” sounds like a chapter you encounter in your 2nd year communications module, but not only that, it’s truly a beast.The media spectacle in People v.s. OJ is an underlying feature that creeps in throughout the series The tropes it uses, its sensationalism has really never changed in the past 20+ years. I’m totally guilty of devouring it, I used to love Oh No They Didn’t! and watched E! News as a teenager, and even now, I’m constantly following Politico and New Yorker. I’ve grown up with it in the past several years, I don’t think it has progressed. Not one bit. In fact, it’s gotten far more distorted, which brings to my next point…
There’s an interview where Khloe Kardashian said some bits of the show are fake, like the kids chanting their name when their dad comes up on TV. I mean, obviously, the show is milking it for all its worth (it is created by camp queen Ryan Murphy after all). But the series ends with (spoiler alert!) mentioning that Kris Jenner & co. have made a business empire that revolves around media, particularly reality TV. It’s like a sick full circle, that the one medium that captured the early days of their family’s beginnings, that revolved around a murder, has become a platform for which they’ve conquered. Maybe even more ironic (?) is Keeping With the Kardashian‘s new season that features a (what else) Kim retelling her experience of being robbed in Paris. I guess a true crime story will always persist for the American media – murders, corruption, Hollywood burglars, Russian intelligence – the subject matter isn’t important, its the consumption of self that leaves the audience salivating.