Tonight’s American Crime is a Must Watch

CREWIt’s been a few weeks since I watched episode eight of the second season of American Crime. This season’s intertwining storyline has focused on schools, rape, sexuality, and more, and seems to have driven zero conversation in the topics it touches upon.

In January I called the show “the best show you’re not watching,” and I stand by that declaration. In fact, I will say this episode is some of the best television I have ever seen, period.

SPOILERS AHEAD

The previous episode ended with the victim of LGBT bullying shooting one of the bullies and this episode picks up a little later with the high school mourning its student and the shooter in jail.

CONNOR JESSUPBut, it’s not just that topic that makes this a gripping hour, it’s the fact that series creator/producer John Ridley and director Kimberly Pierce and the writers have interspersed real life individuals into the episode. Throughout the hour, real-life Columbine teachers, along with parents and victims of LGBT bullying are featured, reiterating that while we’re watching a dramatization, in real life individuals have and do experience what has transpired. A real face is put to entertainment.

When the show began, I thought I had turned on the wrong show, but after the first few minutes I realized what I was watching and I found myself transfixed, glued to the brave and daring decision to show that what we think might be exaggerated for show is in fact real and at times reality is much worse. We’re shown the lasting impact and the horror from individuals who experienced these exact events first hand. And these weeks after watching the episode I still find myself reflecting upon and haunted by the words spoken throughout.