Tag Archives: dream team

3 Down, 7 to Go

So much of the FX dramatization of the 1995 Simpson murder trial has been private conversations that my take on the miniseries so far is pretty much as a spectator.

Perhaps having spent most of my waking hours in the downtown area of Los Angeles as the main city and county administrative centers, a couple of scenes caught my eye.

One was the balcony Marcia Clark stood to feed her nicotine habit. My assumption is it was a balcony of the Criminal Courts building because City Hall could be seen across the street and the District Attorney’s office complex is in CCB (since renamed the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center). What jarred me was that the balcony Marcia Clark was on looked like it was about two and no more than three stories from the ground. The DA’s office complex is on the 18th floor. I can’t think of anything on the second or third floor that would have accounted for Marcia Clark being there.

On the plus side, Sarah Paulson became a more believable Marcia Clark in this episode. Not being part of the attorneys’ conversations, which made up the bulk of this episode, I focused more on the actors’ portrayals.

The more I see John Travolta in this show, the less I see Robert Shapiro. Travolta doesn’t look like Shapiro, is much larger than Shapiro, doesn’t sound like Shapiro and just isn’t the same presence as Shapiro. Or more accurately, Shapiro wasn’t the same presence that Travolta is. Travolta comes across to me as a larger-than-life character. Shapiro wasn’t.

Bruce Greenwood, except for being a bit smaller, is a dead ringer for Los Angeles Superior Court Criminal Division Supervising Judge James Bascue, not the Gil Garcetti character he was playing.

I’m still trying to figure out why David Schwimmer was cast as Robert Kardashian. Nothing about Schwimmer looks, sounds like or reminds me in any way of Kardashian. The character Schwimmer is playing looks like a lost geek who has no idea what’s going on.

And what was that ChinChin restaurant scene all about? Just as all of the promos featuring Kardashian’s ex, Kris Jenner, seemed like the maximum exploitation of what has become The Kardashians, scenes of Kardashian’s children seemed like nothing more than yet another way to capitalize on that brand.

Thinking about it later, though, perhaps it was a vehicle to showcase what the series makers’ effort to portray Kardashian as a principled person and loyal friend and not as vapid as his progeny appear to be.

The best performance so far as being the character he was portraying, in my opinion, was Sterling Brown as Christopher Darden.  My sense of Darden during the trial was that he was introverted and Marcia’s foil.

Kato Kaelin’s line, “Fame is complicated,” made me laugh. It was unbelievable to me that Kaelin could have formulated such a complicated thought. So was the sort of big personality he was imbued with. He always struck me as just quirky.

We’ll see how upcoming episodes play out. I do have to keep in mind that, like all dramatizations, fiction is sure to be mixed with fact. What bothers me about that is an unwitting public, unable to know one from the other, tends to believe that it’s all true.





Alternates Dwindle to a Precious Few


The juror has fallen ill.

Dream team in a spin.


With the jury losing members, requiring alternates to fill the empty spots, the defense attorneys worried about a mistrial and Simpson having to face a new trial, with a new jury that might not be as favorable as they though the  current one would be.

No OJ Independence on ’95 Independence Day

Independence Day.

Court’s on a holiday.

Second 4th in jail.


So, Kim, if Simpson was in custody in the Los Angeles County Jail from the day he was arrested on June 17, 1994, until the jury acquitted him on Oct. 3, 1995, as you claimed in your recent Rolling Stone story, your memory of him meeting with your dad, Bob Shapiro, Johnnie Cochran and other members of the Simpson “Dream Team” at your house during the trial is a false memory.

We Got Our FIXX

The Rotary Club of Mitchell Field presentation and signing went well. Some Rotarians brought guests, specifically because of the program topic – me talking about “Anatomy of a Trial.” From their attention, questions and feedback, they weren’t disappointed. Son-in-law Tom offered an observation, which I thought illuminating. He recalled a trip he made from Milwaukee to L.A. to see my daughter (and his intended at the time), during which I took them in for a short visit with Judge Ito. Tom recounted how surprised he was that here this judge was immersed in what by that time was universally being described as the ‘trial of the century’ and a courtroom full of media, celebrities, ‘dream-team’ lawyers and enough ‘issues’ to drive the most unflappable of judges nuts. Yet, after introductions and his invitation for his guests to have a seat, rather than talk about what was going on with him or the swirl around the trial, he asked Tom and Carrianne what was going on back in Wisconsin and how the weather was there. “He was just such a regular guy, not at all what I expected,” Tom told his fellow Rotarians. Describing his experience was a nice enhancement to the program. I understood the attendance was about a third more than average.


The same couldn’t be said of crowd — or lack of — at the FIXX Coffee House a few days later. Customers were few – FIXX proprietor Shari Franz had said Saturday mornings between 9 and 11 usually saw about 100. Two factors were at play, though. One was the weather. A blizzard had blown through the day before, depositing more than a foot of snow, and more snow was in the forecast. The other was the season. Surely, a number of FIXX regulars were using the last Saturday morning before Christmas to do last-minute shopping and other holiday-related preparations – especially with the potential of getting around later being hampered by even more snow.


But we had a great time anyway. First was just the ambience of the place. It’s dominated by a conversation pit of comfy broad-shouldered sofas with a large low coffee table laden with magazines, catalogs and board games in the center. A basket of toys for kids sits next to the coffee table. A dozen or so tiled-top tables line one side of the restaurant, each surrounded by spindle-back white oak (I’m guessing) chairs, and many with games like cribbage or checkers awaiting players. A few more tables – the small round tall kind typical at bars – dot the front part of the dining room. A piano with books and an alabaster (or faux) bust of Beethoven on top sits against one wall. Small displays of hand-made jewelry, silver book marks, stained-glass sun catchers, business cards and photographs by a local photographer and stacks of books fill every corner and flat surface. Notices of coming attractions are tacked above the coffee condiments sideboard; musicians Ellie and Jerry Quint, guitarist Keith Hampton. The Celtic folk band, the Garlic Mustard Pickers,” have played there.


We met a professor of education at a local college whom we plan to hook up with our online education development expert daughter. We had a couple of suggestions for Shari about spreading the word about happenings at the FIXX. We ended our morning with a great chicken salad wrap and butter-rum flavored coffee before heading out into the snow to finish up our Christmas errand running.