Ah, there you are Crimeziners. Anyone fancy some American Crime? Not Serbo-Croation Crime, or Guatemalan crime, but full bloodied, freedom loving, American Crime? How iconic that sounds. You can almost imagine the marching band, and old glory fluttering patriotically in every scene, as a square-jawed set of shoulder-holster wearing patriots, with pomaded hair, swap dry, Dragnet style witticisms and unfiltered cigarettes, as they “stake out”, run down, then pummel ruthlessly “punks” of every description.
The world has changed substantially since America used to make those kind of shows. In a world where living human beings are burned alive, beheaded, and otherwise tortured in an endless rolling news horror-fest; the viewing public has become somewhat desensitized to the threat of “stoners”, “radicals” and jug-eared gangsters from central casting.
Gritty realism is the new vogue, and American Crime has plenty of that. In this show the darkness is unrelenting from the outset. Heroin addled beat-downs, junkie rip offs, and terror-filled streets seething with emaciated street-hoodlums with more tattoos than you can shake a magic marker at. There are the sweet middle class families too, torn apart by horror of it all. The horror! The horror! Even Joe Conrad wouldn’t be able to make it through this show in one piece.
Thirty minutes of this kind of “entertainment” and you will be reaching for the prescription meds in the vain hope that the world will become bright and shiny again. Of course it won’t. The world will never come good again, especially if you have been watching rolling news coverage for any length of time.
At the other end of the entertainment spectrum we have the CSI’s and the other acronym ridden crime-lite shows that top the ratings. But even these prime-time staples are becoming infected with the growing tendency to favor gratuitous cruelty and stomach churning nastiness over mystery, suspense and sophisticated plot development. Thanks al-Qaeda. Ten bucks for a water at the airport, now this.
On a lighter note, Timothy Hutton is marvelous as former gambler Rus Skokie. Hutton has been acting for literally fifty years man and boy and has starred in umpteen movies and TV Shows. Unfortunately, Crimezine was unable to shake away the memory of his performance as Nathan Ford in Leverage. This was perhaps the cruelest torture of all in American Crime, because every time Hutton graced our screen we expected him to offer up a pithy Leverage style witticism. Sadly none came, and we were forced to choke down a handful of Citalopram with a vodka-tonic chaser. This didn’t help. We then switched to rolling news, in the hope that the latest burnings and beheadings would cheer us up.
But as those with romance and optimism in their hearts will know, there is always something good that comes out of every great tragedy. In this case, that something good is the on-set love match between the superannuated Hutton 54 and his American Crime co-star, 26-year-old Caitlin Gerard. (The junkie chick in the show.)
Apparently the two lovebirds hooked up while shooting the show in Austin, TX. Crimezine understands from insiders that the two are so “into each other” that she moved into Hutton’s Austin love nest and she’s now “secretly” living with him and his 27-year-old son Noah. Aw, bless—the kid is older than she is. No doubt mom—Hutton’s first wife Debra Winger—will be delighted. Catch you later Crimeziners.