It almost seems like a waste of time to write about a show that ended a month and a half ago but it seemed like nobody was talking about the latest season of American Crime Story dubbed ACS: Impeachment. I really enjoyed it and wanted to say my peace about it.
Impeachment tells the story of the events that led up to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998. I actually didn’t think Clive Owen was very good as the president but it didn’t matter because the show is not about him. The show is all about women and how they were all manipulated by a system that still even with #metoo does the same things today.
Sarah Paulson is unbelievable as Linda Tripp. She not only transforms before us (I didn’t even realize it was her she looks so different until I looked up the cast list!). Linda is a fascinating character because she both believes she is doing the right thing and she also has a major chip on her shoulder which is manipulated by her publicist and the investigators to go beyond what she is comfortable with. Then once she goes there she’s too stubborn to admit what she did might be wrong. Of course, she is responsible for her behavior but she also was marginalized and underappreciated to the point where most of us would be tempted to lash out and gain some control over her situation. Taping those calls might seem more than a little tempting if we were in her shoes (job well done by the creators making me care about Linda Tripp).
Then we have Beanie Feldstein perfectly cast as Monica Lewinsky. She is responsible for her choices but also manipulated by the most powerful man in the world. Then the investigators who treat her like she is some kind of war criminal trying to get the confession they need to bring down the man they hate.
Paula Jones (Annaleigh Ashford) is manipulated by lawyers and her husband when all she wants is an apology. Hillary Clinton is manipulated by the press, her husband and his team to be the long-suffering wife who can clean up the messes her husband leaves behind. This would follow her until her own run for the presidency. She was seen as both not feminine enough and yet too weak to lead the country by many. Edie Falco is fantastic as Hillary and I bet a lot of people might see a new side to her if they watched this show, or at least I did.
It’s a tricky thing to tell a story where everyone watching knows the key events and outcome, but I was riveted each week by ACS: Impeachment. It wasn’t about the events taking place but about the lives of these fascinating women and the way the system used, abused and spit them out as casualties to its mean game. Bill Clinton could go on and give speeches and play golf when Lewinsky, Tripp and Jones’ lives would never be the same. Even the very friendship which helps women survive in tough times was weaponized by these people as a tool to take down people they disliked without care of the lives ruined.
I suppose some people are just tired of politics after the presidency we all experienced (even if you are pro-Trump you can’t deny it was exhausting) so maybe there wasn’t an appetite for a political-based story? If so, that’s a shame because this was riveting television. Riveting television that reminds us all what women face each day and how unfair the system can be as it takes us in, squeezes us dry and spits us out for the world to mock.
8 out of 10