“Even though we know how it plays out, going on the first episode, this will be compulsive viewing.”

The People v OJ Simpson

The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, BBC2

“A gripping opener that set the stage for the ‘trial of the century’ and captured a slice of American life in the early Nineties, powersuits, perms (both still lingering) and all. Even though we know how it plays out, going on the first episode, this will be compulsive viewing.”
Sally Newall, The Independent

“This was celebrity melodrama par excellence, and the cast camped it up gleefully. But the prize performance belongs to Travolta. His portrayal of defence lawyer Robert Shapiro as a mincing phoney was inspired.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“If the point was to gawp at Travolta, as well as David Schwimmer and Cuba Gooding Jr playing real-life people of varying degrees of weirdness, then it was a resounding success. As a real crime story, however, the show was a failure because the murders, the car chase, the trial, were all played out on television when it actually happened.”
Benji Wilson, The Telegraph

“The People v OJ Simpson offered a new perspective on the scandal of the acquittal of America’s favourite football star on a double murder charge. Who knew that this perspective would be comic? The bereaved families of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman can take solace only that the series rips from their children’s killer the one reputation he had left — that of a tragic hero.”
Andrew Bille, The Times

“A top-notch script, (mainly) excellent performances from a starry cast and artful direction.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“A memorable film, part of the BBC’s commendable In the Mind season, that everyone could benefit from watching. The message was clear across the board: there is no quick fix for mental health and no catch-all solution.”
Sally Newall, The Independent

“The programme was hung around Fry’s sessions with his own psychiatrist, served raw. It was a brutal confessional for someone who is permanently smiling in the public eye, an admission, once again, that this ‘smooth-talking bar-steward’ as he used to call himself in the old Heineken ad, is in the main not waving, but drowning.”
Benji Wilson, The Telegraph

“Last night’s show could have been a great deal more helpful. The documentary went on to focus only on the most extreme cases. Instead of chasing shocks, the makers should have examined the reality, and offered advice, for the majority.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“As the programme began it posed all sorts of questions. The ensuing hour didn’t really answer the points but the answers were, at the same time, obvious from what was going on.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

“In a follow-up to his two-part series ten years ago, Stephen Fry found that society was still as likely to mock and judge as to help. His documentary failed, however, to explore with any depth the causes of bipolar disorder or to distinguish its chemical from its reactive triggers.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

Vinyl, Sky Atlantic

“There are some memorable moments, as you’d expect. Plus lots of lovely visual tricks and artistry. But mainly it’s a baggy sack of indulgence, like listening to someone who was there banging on about it, even thought you’ve heard it all before.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian