N.O.T.: American Crime: S3 E1, review

ABC’s critically-acclaimed anthology series returns with a brutally honest portrayal of another cruel kept secret in our country. In its third season, American Crime has garnered a following, but not enough to be a ratings darling. However viewers return for the quality of the narrative and the performances. With a cast boasting the likes of Felicity Huffman, Regina King, Timothy Hutton, and season newbie Sandra Oh, it’s sure to be must-see TV on Sunday evenings.

Like the two seasons before it, Crime elects a new stain of American life as its focus. This season can be categorized under two main themes: human trafficking and illegal immigration.

The scenes are painstakingly taut, from camera angles to the purposely short dialogue. Nothing is romanticized. You forget you’re watching a show as it feels more like being a fly on the wall somewhere in Not-That-Far, USA. The opening scene of Mexican immigrants crossing the border immediately evokes sentiments for our country’s current position on border control. A worker on his way to new living quarters, shortly after accepting a job, sees the corpse of a man who’s trek for a better life failed. A young girl getting her makeup done at a department store counter, lying about the identity of her time-conscious male companion. She’ll later wipe the makeup off upon request from a paying customer in a desolate hotel room.

This season intends on analyzing every angle of these monstrosities: from the rich farmers who hire illegal immigrants to compete with larger business; to the childless social worker who fights for victims of the sex slave trade. It’s uncomfortable and ugly. Grossly un-American, and yet painfully ours as much as apple pie. It’s what great art is supposed to do.


Published by Lorin

Hail from the state that birthed Michael, Janet and Babyface. Music junkie. Pop culture fiend.

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