It is not often that a crime show, especially one with a single story that spans an entire season, grabs my attention. In fact I don’t think one ever has. I never tuned into season 1 but the great thing about a setup like this is you don’t have to in order to watch season 2. Each season is a story from start to finish with no ties back to the previous season. That makes this a great place to start for new viewers. What really hit me with American Crime season 2 was the plot. The story is about a high school student who accuses members of the basketball team of sexually assaulting him at a party. In many ways its almost taboo in modern media to think of a story about a male being assaulted by other males. However don’t for one minute think it doesn’t happen. It is a severely underreported crime for a very simple reason which the writers do very well at explaining in just the first episode.
“You need to be very careful with that word!”From Oscar Award winning Screenwriter John Ridley, #AmericanCrime reruns with a new season, new story on Wednesday, January 6th at 10|9c on ABC. Posted by American Crime on Thursday, November 19, 2015
The setting for the series is an elite prep school that Taylor Blaine (Connor Jessup) got into through financial aid. The series sets up the socioeconomic gap between Taylor and the other students whose parents have a lot of money and paid to get their students into this elite school. The principle, Felicity Huffman, is only concerned with raising millions for a bigger school from students rich parents and brushing off the accusations by Taylors mother (played by Lili Taylor) who vehemently defends her son. The first episode is full of emotion when Taylor finds drunk and lurid photos of him posted on social media that he doesn’t remember.
The writers are attempting to approach a subject in a way that has rarely been approached on TV. The producers revealed at first it was going to be a girl who was assaulted but they changed the story to a more shocking and taboo topic of a male being assaulted. The entire setup of all the characters from the coach (played by Timothy Hutton), the headmaster (Felicity Huffman), to Taylors mother (Lili Taylor) were superbly acted and emotionally fleshed out. Chief among them was young Canadian actor Connor Jessup who plays Taylor Blaine.
Many of you will remember Jessup as Ben Mason on TNT’s Falling Skies which just finished its 5th and final season in August. Jessup has a knack for emotionally driven, troubled characters and American Crime is no exception. The writers will have you angry, sad, crying and shaking your head by the end of the first episode. I can tell you I am ready to see more after just the first episode and I’m invested in the characters.
“American Crime,” ABC’s Emmy-nominated series, will make its second-season premiere WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2016 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET). The second season is set in the U.S. Midwest, representative of the canvas that is America, at two high schools, one public and one private.
Issues of sexual orientation and socioeconomic disparity come to a boil when lurid photos of a high school boy, Taylor Blaine, are posted on social media following a school party. Circumstances become more complicated when Taylor accuses two players on an elite private high school’s championship basketball team, Kevin LaCroix and Eric Tanner, of drugging, assaulting and then posting the pictures of him online. The team’s head coach, Dan Sullivan, tries to unite the players, while overlooking the dysfunction of his own family. Headmistress Leslie Graham struggles to maintain the school’s reputation in the face of accusations of privilege and cover up.
Taylor’s mother, Anne, remains a steadfast supporter of her son, despite being publicly assailed by the school’s wealthy families, principle among them the LaCroixs. Taylor’s girlfriend, Evy, deals with racial tension at her own school, led by Principal Chris Dixon. While the two schools at the center of the story are worlds apart in status, the lives of the students and teachers at both become inextricably linked.
The series manages to not only touch on the under reported crime of male sexual assault but the repercussions of the 24/7 social media world that we now live in and just how cruel kids can be. Don’t forget to tune in WEDNESDAY JAN 6 10|9c on ABC.