Monday, March 20, 2017

American Crime 3.1-2: 21st-Century Dickensian Focus

American Crime, one of the best shows on television - and on ABC, not cable or streaming, no less - is back for its third season, and off to a powerful start.

The theme this year is, again, remarkably apt, with a focus on migrant farm workers in Carolina, and the attendant ills and crimes that best everyone in the vicinity.  So far, a young prostitute, a young drug addict, and a father from Mexico in search of his son who came to make it rich in the United States are the best stories - along with the attempt of decent people, in and out of government, to help them.

This puts the third season in marked contrast to the first season, in which there was a homicide and near-homicide at its core, and the second season, which delved into a high school party rape.  But the third season has its own quiet power, which even after just two episodes is special and remarkable.

The most interesting story is about the Mexican father, played by Benito Martinez.  For most of the first two episodes, we didn't know why he wanted to come and work in the U.S.   Tonight we discover that it's to find his son, who after communicating with his family back in Mexico, suddenly fell silent.

The story of the drug user is also unusual.   He's played by Connor Jessup, picked up off the street by one of the crew bosses, played by Richard Cabral.   But it turns out this boss has something of a heart, and may, against the advice of a more seasoned boss, actually try to help the newbie.

Regina King, outstanding in now her third season on American Crime, is a social worker who tries to help the prostitute, and (of course) has problems of her own.   But speaking of outstanding, the acting of everyone in American Crime, by mostly the same cast in different roles each season, is excellent and riveting.  This, combined with the unflinching topics and 21st-century Dickensian focus, makes American Crime a series you just can't afford to miss.

See also: American Crime 2.1-3: So Real, It Hurts ... American Crime through 2.6: Brilliant and Unflinching ... American Crime Season 2: Too Little Info

And see alsoAmerican Crime, American Fine ... American Crime 1.7: The Truest Love ... American Crime 1.10: The Exquisite Hazards of Timing ...American Crime Season 1 Finale: The Banality of So-Called Justice

a different kind of crime

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