Wednesday, February 10, 2016

OJ Simpson, Paula Barbiedoll, Bolton Bits, and Kardashian Krap

I know I expressed misgivings about it in the last post, but they've (mostly) been laid to rest; I am really enjoying The People V. OJ Simpson. Now that I've seen the first two episodes, here are some unorganized notes on it: 

  • I love Travolta's portrayal of that preening, high-on-the-smell-of-his-own-farts douchebag Robert Shapiro. And it's not that I loathe Shapiro--I have no more distaste for Shapiro than I have for the rest of the whores that comprised OJ's defense team--but man, Travolta is killing it. I know a lot of people are complaining that Travolta is the "weak link" in the cast, but I vehemently disagree. He's a bit over-the-top, but that can be a good thing in the hands of the right actor. He's awesome at the subtle stuff, too; my favorite moment of last night's ep (the second of the miniseries) was the brief scene of Shapiro grooving to some smooth jazz Al Jarreau in his Merc. (To be fair, it is a bomb-ass song.)
  • I like what David Schwimmer is doing with Robert Kardashian, and it's interesting to see him in a role outside of Friends, but I have trouble with the whole "St. Kardashian" thing. I think the writers knew where they're going with that, however. It's like, you can pray all you want and tote that Bible around, dude, but it doesn't change the fact that you're best buds with an abusive, murderous psychopath. And I believe that he covered for that jackass after the murders, either knowingly or *wink*wink* "unknowingly." And then after the criminal trial, he expresses "doubts" about OJ's innocence? Oh thank you. Fat lot of good that did for the victims, dick. And while we're on the subject, can that one little jokey shot of the Kardashian kids watching their dad on TV please be the last time we see his spawn portrayed in this series? Because I don't like being reminded of their existence.
  • And as for Kris Kardashian/Jenner, Faye Resnick, and the rest of the Brentwood bitches? I know they think everyone is fascinated with that lot, but I couldn't give a shit about any of them. I hope their screen time is minimal, too. Seriously, if I wanted to know about that crew, I'd watch one of those stupid Real Housewives shows. 
  • And more Marcia Clark, please. I love Sarah Paulson's portrayal so far, and I absolutely want to hear more of her outrage at the cops and the system that turned a blind eye to OJ's years-long abuse of Nicole. Still disgusting. 
  • Hoping for some scenes with the Goldmans, who have been nowhere to be found so far. I like Fred and Kim Goldman and I appreciate how outspoken they've continued to be about keeping Ron's memory alive and their justified furor at how the whole mess was handled. They kept it real in a case and trial that was teeming with bullshit from the very start.

It's interesting to go back and read some of the articles that were written about the case at the time. This one details the timeline of events on the day of the murders, and boy is it illuminating. It starts out detailing what the victims and suspect did the morning of June 12, 1994: Ron Goldman played softball at a local park, Nicole Brown Simpson bought some toys for her kids, and OJ--shocker!--played golf and hung out at his country club. Early that afternoon, though, things got more interesting: 
2 p.m. - House guest Brian "Kato" Kaelin sees O.J. in the kitchen of Simpson's Rockingham estate. O.J. makes a series of calls to women, beginning with girlfriend Paula Barbieri. They fight over her request to attend Sydney's recital. Paula winds up flying to Las Vegas to spend time with singer Michael Bolton. During a call to Traci Adell, O.J. says he's unhappy. He also calls actress Jasmine Guy.

Okay, am I the only one morbidly fascinated by the fact that OJ's girlfriend ditched him that day to run off to Vegas with Michael Bolton? 

To be clear, I'm talking about this Michael Bolton....

....and not Michael "Mike" Bolton from Office Space

Wouldn't it be cool if she'd run off with Mike Bolton, though? 
Alas (being a fictional character), that wasn't an option. 

Isn't that just weirdly fitting, though? What a spot-on summation of all that was good and bad about the 1990's. The Good: Mike Judge's Office Space, a biting satire of the 1990's corporate culture. The Bad: Michael Bolton (the singer) representing (to quote Peter Gibbons, speaking about his boss) "ALL THAT IS SOULLESS AND WRONG"--a phrase that also perfectly epitomizes the Simpson murder case and that unholy abortion of a trial. 

As the timeline indicates, Paula Barbieri--D-list model and OJ's sometime girlfriend--took offense to OJ barring her from his daughter's dance recital that night, and (I like to imagine, anyway) screamed "Screw you OJ! I'm going to Vegas to be with Michael Bolton! Love is a wonderful thing!" Seriously though, at least with Michael Bolton you'd have a better chance of surviving the night, as he seems way less stabby than OJ. Come on, dude couldn't even take a pair of scissors to his mullet. That's a peace-loving man, right there. 

Also noteworthy but not as interesting: OJ later called Jasmine Guy (Whitley from A Different World!), whom I hope immediately slammed the phone down on his sketch ass. But we'll probably never know.

Fast-forwarding to the trial, another interesting detail concerning OJ and Paula's relationship saga came in the form of testimony from a witness for the defense, Carol Connors. And when you get a load of the soft-serve bullshit she was shoveling for the defense, it's no wonder they trotted this woman out on the first day of their testimony. 

Apparently, on the night before the murders, OJ and Paula were being lovey-dovey with each other at a fancy charity fundraiser, and--well--Connors testimony of their PDA is just soo special: 

"I happened to witness a very exquisite romantic moment that took place between the two of them," she testified. "And being a writer, I was able to compute it into my brain, and to understand it, and to wish that I had been lucky enough to be in a situation of what I had watched." 

Pictured: Conners and her facelift.

Even better? Said "exquisite romantic moment" was taking place while Simpson was stroking Barbieri's face with Natalie Cole singing "Unforgettable" onstage.*

True story: I had the same hair as Paula from 1989 - 1993. And I had a black dress like that, but mine was from Kohl's. (I'm guessing hers wasn't. Just a guess.)

FUN FACT, KIDS! According to Wikipedia, Carol Connors is a former porn actress (not that there's anything wrong with that) who is married to fellow porn actor Jack Birch, the father of mainstream actress Thora Birch. I've read a bit about Thora Birch and her fucked up parents. To be fair, I think it was this article explaining why Thora Birch seemed to disappear from Hollywood just when her star was on the rise (after making the excellent Ghost World, one of my favorite movies) and the author of the piece blames Porno Dad, who is also Thora's manager and who insists on being an on-set "advisor" during his daughter's sex scenes. Creepy enough for ya? So anyhoo, I guess that Carol Connors--Mama Birch--never experienced the sort of face-stroking Natalie Cole "Unforgettable" love that OJ and Paula Barbiedoll possessed, which I find hard to believe. Seriously, Mama Birch? There were no exquisite romantic moments that (being a writer) you were able to compute into your brain when you were with Thora Birch's Porno Dad? I'm shocked, I tell you. Shocked! Love is officially dead.   

If you want to witness Mama Birch's testimony, it starts at about the 1hr:02min mark in this video. You might want to have a barf bag handy. It's so cringe-inducing, even Johnnie Cochran was gagging.  

*OMG Natalie Cole! Speaking of the dearly departed. Let's all take a moment now to remember where we were when we heard the news of her death. Okay, I'm done. 

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