‘American Crime’ series premiere review: A complicated, gut-wrenching mystery

American Crime -Just in case Thursday night’s “Scandal” episode was not enough for you to feel emotional, ABC added to the mix with “American Crime” on Thursday night. It started as a story about two grieving parents trying to handle the loss of their son, and it evolved into something much more complex.

Then again, the complaint we could see many people making about the premiere is that it may have been too complex, too quickly. This show introduced a ton of characters right away, from Russ and Barb to various suspects, officers, and many more. Matt is the deceased, and there are questions aplenty when it comes to how he died. Were drugs involved? What was the motive? These were big questions, and as the police started to gather together more and more details, these questions became harder and harder to solve.

What the series did well was creating these characters, and also painting situations that were real and challenging. There was no agenda here, and nor was there any real attempt to sugarcoat things. Culture and background did play a role in the way characters thought, and those in bereavement tried to turn a blind eye to anything suspect Matt may have been up to.

This is one of the better pilots that we’ve had a chance to watch in the past year, and it crafted a sturdy and strong introduction to a series. With that being said, this is not going to be a show for everyone. “How to Get Away with Murder” may be been dramatic, but there were occasionally some moments of levity in there. This show does not even try to be anything other than dark. It’s heavy like a true-crime special. It adds to its authenticity, but we have a hard time seeing this as a commercial smash, even with Olivia Pope as a lead-in. Premiere Grade: B.

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