Impeachment: American Crime Story has started and the cast and show are addictive
Ryan Murphy’s take on the Clinton-Lewinsky affair began on BBC Two last night
In a sea of crap American Horror Story missteps, it is Ryan Murphy’s consistently strong and critically acclaimed American Crime Story that always gets it right. The People VS OJ Simpson was a revelation, The Assassination of Gianni Versace was a nightmarish spree of murder and fashion and now, a month or so after it premiered in the US, we have Impeachment. Impeachment: American Crime Story started on BBC Two last night, and if the first episode is anything to go by it is another outrageously entertaining true crime glimpse into the chaos and carnage of the White House amid the furore of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal that dominated global headlines in the late 90s. Here’s everything you need to know about American Crime Story: Impeachment, including cast, plot and if it’s any good.
What even happened with the Impeachment?
Impeachment: American Crime Story is centred around President Bill Clinton’s affair with his White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Specifically, it puts the focus firmly on Linda Tripp – a White House employee and Bush loyalist who gets moved to the Pentagon and subsequently becomes a vengeful and bitter force bomb ready to explode. Enter: Monica Lewinsky, choosing the worst woman on earth to confide in that she’s both besotted and having an affair with the President. Tripp is torn between her friendship with Monica and her desire to be a whistle blower and get Clinton impeached.
Who’s in it?
Like all Ryan Murphy shows, he’s got some of the best actors in the industry playing figures from recent history.
Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp
Ryan Murphy’s go-to gal Sarah Paulson takes lead as Linda Tripp. Not that you need me to remind you, but Sarah Paulson’s credits include nine seasons of American Horror Story, Ratched, 10 Years A Slave, Birdbox, Run and everything bloody else.
Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky
Queen Beanie Feldstein, Jonah Hill’s sister fyi, plays Monica Lewinsky in Impeachment. And she kills it. Beanie is best known for her role in Ladybird and her lead in Booksmart – literally the best teen film to come out of the last 10 years.
Clive Owen as Bill Clinton
English actor Clive Owen plays the former President. He’s best known for his lead roles in Sin City, Children of Men and Closer, of which he was nominated for an Oscar.
Cobie Smulders as Ann Coulter
Cobie Smulders stars as Ann Coulter, the far right media pundit, author and all round general menace. Coulter first hit headlines for her writings about the Paula Jones case and the Clinton scandal.
Billy Eichner as Matt Drudge
Billy Eichner plays Matt Drudge in all his weird glory – it’s a fascinating performance and one unexpected from Eichner. Billy Eichner is best known for his roles on American Horror Story, Parks and Recreation, The Lion King and his iconic Billy On The Street
The cast also features Judith Light, Margo Martindale, Annaleigh Ashford, Edie Falco and Elisabeth Reaser.
Is Impeachment: American Crime Story any good?
It’s only had one episode air in the UK so far, but I’ve watched the first three previewed. Impeachment: American Crime Story is Ryan Murphy at his best – taking a sensational and world-stopping real life story and casting some of the finest actors around to get the best out of it. Sure, it’s a little soapy and salacious, but it’s outrageously entertaining. And with a real life story that is so soap opera like as the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, it’s a natural style that suits the history.
Sarah Paulson and Beanie Feldstein are a revelation. It’s a two hander of Tripp and Lewinsky against the world and then against each other, and their friendship and fall out makes compulsive viewing. Sarah Paulson faced controversy for wearing a fat suit and prosthetics for her portrayal of Linda Tripp, but in my opinion it’s never one that goes into the realm of ridicule even if her characterisation borders on parody. Feldstein brings a likability to Monica Lewinsky that misogyny never allowed her to have in history – and her performance is so good Lewinsky herself thanked the whole cast for how she’s been portrayed. Watch it!
Featured image courtesy of FX.