American Crime Story is back with its third season after three years off the air. While it previously had tackled murderous subject matter, it has now gone into politics. Impeachment: American Crime Story tells the story of how the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal came to be and what followed. Based on the subject matter and casting alone, the show has garnered quite the anticipation. But the question still remains, does it deliver as much drama as the scandal once did? Or does its delivery fall flat? Let’s find out!
American Crime Story has always featured topics that I’ve wanted to learn more about but never really did. This season is no exception and as soon as Monica Lewinsky was on as a co-producer, I was on board as well. This show just does an exceptional job of retelling real-life events in an engaging matter. The way it delivers its story while featuring great performances will always make it a compelling watch. After this episode, I can gladly say that it’s heading down the path of its predecessors.
In this episode, titled “Exiles”, White House staffer Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson) is moved to The Pentagon after the death of her boss, where she meets Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein). This episode also features Paula Jones (Annaleigh Ashford) deciding to sue The President for sexual harassment. Although it’s just the start, the standout of this episode comes from the performances.
Feldstein is barely in it, yet immediately you want more of her. She later comes at the end of the episode for a bit, but she did a great job and I’m excited to see what more she is going to bring to the role. Paulson – one of the most underrated actors out there – was phenomenal. She carries the episode almost completely, as Linda is the focus of the premiere. When both meet near the culmination of the episode, it made for some really good television.
In terms of story and progression, the episode definitely ends on a high note. It builds tension in its last moments with Linda and Monica’s conversation, all leading to that obvious yet kind of sweet reveal. Like any premiere, it spent most of its time setting up for what’s to come. This can be a drag for other shows, but I thought it worked well with how it was implemented in this instance.
My only gripe with this episode comes with the structure of the episode. At times it felt like it was all over the place. I get that we have to jump from narrative to narrative but it felt a bit choppy from time to time. It was a bit distracting, but nothing to detract greatly from the overall quality of the episode.
Overall, Impeachment: American Crime Story kicks off its season in a promising way. If the writing and acting are to stay at the level they were today, this promises yet another great season. I can’t wait to see what’s to come from Ryan Murphy and the rest of the crew for this latest entry into the American Crime Story pantheon. – Kenneth Colon
New episodes of Impeachment: American Crime Story premiere Tuesdays at 10pm/9c on FX.
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