In a show of fantastic acting that manages to turn one of the most well known soap opera into something fresh and vibrant, here's the pecking order
  1. Nathan Lane as F Lee Bailey
    Not that there's anything wrong but Lane could sleepwalk through this sleezy bloviating. It's great but nothing new for Lane
  2. Cuba Gooding Jr as OJ
    Don't know how he does it but he somehow manages to balance OJ's charisma and an ever deepening sneer. OJ watched his world collapse with this and you sense the broken, troubled, cynical man underneath it. However good Cuba's vibe and face may be he sort of lacks the jock aspect of OJ that made him both charismatic and infuriating
  3. David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian
    This edges out Cuba only because we knew he could act already. Schwimmer deflates magnificently over the course of this and becomes conflicted about justice, friendship, and his own family. His is a domestic issue which surprisingly keeps the ramifications of murder on those that knew the victims. That said, cut the cute foreshadowing crap about his awful children
  4. Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark
    Considering that Clark has been the butt of jokes as recently as Kimmy Schmidt's first season, Paulson was taking on a hell of a biography. No one got their profile blown up as big and as fast as Clark. But Paulson manages to switch between arrogance and humility, stubbornness and softness, and everything else with ease. Her portrayal rewrites history of the shrew narrative for Clark and makes her a righteous but overwhelmed server of justice whose major flaw is trying to do everything herself
  5. Courtney B Vance as Johnnie Cochran
    On the flip side Cochran has been a caricature a million times over. It's tough to turn such a bright star in everyone's public imagination into something nuanced. But Vance kills it by making Cochran not only a wily attorney who can caustically outsmart any room but someone who has a fiery passion for the bigger picture. Usually you get people buckling under the weight of representing a bigger issue like racism. Vance's Cochran wants you to add 100 more pounds
  6. Sterling K Brown as Chris Darden
    At the top of the pile is the character most conflicted by the goings on and Brown adds layer after layer of subtext to Darden. He goes from put upon second fiddle to the front line of something he's not emotionally equipped to handle and Brown is electric in his subtleties. Vance can chew through scenery but it's almost like you can watch Brown's blood pressure rise from just a quick glance. Great acting is reacting. Considering how Darden was pushed and pulled in this case Brown's work is A+
  7. Not number 1, but number >~*+[~^*|^£\£ is John Travolta as Bob Shapiro
    I honestly don't even know. Whatever fever dream of a portrayal this is just goes beyond human understanding. Travolta makes Shapiro more pompous than pompous more arrogant than arrogant in the name of high camp. This is like Travolta doing a drag performance of Shapiro and it is AMAZING. Every single movement and word Travolta does is in character. What that character is I have no idea but is is god damn electric. This is like a Daniel Day Lewis performance on klonopin, cocaine, and moon dust.