Arm chair detectives have a new someone to love: O.J. Simpson, or, as Twitter would have it, the Steven Avery of the 90s. As soon as The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story premiered Tuesday night, eagle-eyed fans started drawing parallels between FX's true crime series and the Netflix docudrama sensation, Making a Murderer. And some of them are spot-on.
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"OJ Simpson = Steven Avery... clear as day," one viewer tweeted. "Robert Shapiro = Dean Strang and Robert Kardashian = Jerry Buting. Marcia Clark = Ken Kratz." The truth stings sometimes.
While many of the comments circulating in the twittersphere were made in jest, there is some substance to the ACS/MaM comparison. Take, for example, the lessons they teach us about socioeconomic status and its impact on the way justice is served.
And judging from the Twitter conversation, Avery's case has injected considerable skepticism into the public's impression of law enforcement, which is carrying over to the reexamination of the Simpson trial. Is that a fresh batch of conspiracy theories we smell?
The similarities don't stop there, though. Consider the hair. The coifs of Making a Murderer proved inspiring enough to spawn an entire Tumblr account: Making a Murderer Hairstyles, a name as un-fussy and unpretentious as many of the 'dos it featured.
Here we have the "Manitowoc Mullet"...
Then there's the courtroom classic, "The Nancy Grace's Sister: a cut with as many layers as this case."
Let's not forget this innovative look, "The Double Perm."
And on that curly note, American Crime Story has at least one (so far) top-knotch perm of its own, sported by one Marcia Clark, played by Sarah Paulson. Just look at these luscious locks:
A slightly looser version of the "Double Perm," and may we just say, perfection. Like Making a Murderer before it, American Crime Story is bringing some criminally good hair to the table.
There's David Schwimmer as defense attorney Robert Kardashian, complete with skunk-like gray streak; there's John Travolta as other defense attorney Robert Shapiro, sporting a wig that looks much more hair-like than his real hair; there's Billy Magnussen as B-list-celebrity Kato Kaelin, really working a piece-y, blond, updated Rachel cut.
And given the details of the case, a "Gimme That Confession Goatee" or a many-layered "Nancy Grace's Sister" wouldn't be at all out of place. Like Avery, Simpson stood firmly behind his innocence plea, despite a growing pile of evidence to the contrary. As in the Teresa Halbach murder trial, the allegation that police tampered with or mishandled key evidence will get a lot of play in the double homicide trial of the century. The defendant's blood will show up in incriminating places, and yet the defense will make moving arguments for its irrelevance to the crime at hand.
One critical difference, however, is that Avery goes to prison for a crime he may have committed, but then again, may not have committed. Simpson does not go to prison for a crime that, most people now agree, he likely committed. So many levels of injustice, so much outrage, and — if Making a Murderer is any indication — a barrage of tremendous memes lie ahead.