First Impressions

American Crime

Airing On: ABC

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                How did I find myself watching American Crime when it debuted on March 5, 2015 at 10pm EST?  Well, I usually watch ABC on Thursday nights and this drama followed Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.  I had no real desire to watch it, despite all of the great cast and the fact that it was created by the writer of 12 Years A Slave, but it was on and I wasn't ready for bed yet, so I watched.

                American Crime begins with a 911 call in which a man reports that he believes his neighbors are dead.  This leads to another call in which Russ Skokie (Timothy Hutton) is awoken in the middle of the night and asked to come to Modesto, California.  It is here that he learns his son Matt has been murdered and Matt's wife brutally attacked and in a coma.  Barb Hanlon (Felicity Huffman) is traumatized by her son's murder and wants his killer caught right away.  Enraged at what she believes is lack of a response by the police department, Barb is willing to do whatever she must to make certain that her son's case stays alive until the killer or killers are brought to justice.

                Meanwhile, as the investigation deepens, we are taken into the lives of the suspects and their families.  Just what does a war veteran have to do with a Mexican family lead by mechanic Alonzo Gutierrez (Benito Martinez), a lowlife criminal like Hector Tonz (Richard Cabral) and two meth-heads like Carter Nix (Elvis Nolasco) and Aubry Taylor (Caitlin Gerard)?  And why would any of these individuals want to kill him?

                Okay, can I just say that I have already figured out what Matt Skokie is all about and why he was killed?  Isn't it sad that this series is that easy to figure out?  Oh, and that wife of his?  She's more than a victim of assault.  I think she's as much of a victim of Matt's as Aubry was.  Yes, I've even figured out that connection.  Too easy. 

                And is it bad that I just couldn't care the least about any of the characters in this show?  That I see Tony Guttierez (Johnny Ortiz) as a whining little baby.  That I see Russ as a wimp.  Oh, and Barb - she's a real bitch...a racist bitch at that - I bow to Felicity Huffman on that one.  She is always a lovable character in every movie or television series I have seen her in, so to play a bitch on wheels - that takes some work!

                After the premiere episode, I asked people how they liked it.  They felt the same way I did.  I really don't know what to say, other than I really didn't care about what was going on much...except for the meth-heads for some reason.  That couple...there was something about them that made me feel sad for they were wronged somehow and had fallen lower than intended.  Otherwise, there will be no reason for me to watch the rest of American Crime.  If I don't care about the characters, why bother watching the series.


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