John Ridley won an Oscar for his adapted screenplay of "12 Years a Slave," but will the near-universal acclaim for that movie follow him to the small screen? In the first trailer for ABC's new crime drama "American Crime," we discover a horrifying murder, learn about the Hispanic kid who appears to be wrongfully accused, and wonder what other grim, unpalatable secrets are right underneath the surface.
1. Damn, Timothy Hutton is acting his ass off in this trailer. That bathroom scene where he's coping with unspeakable horror? Unreal. I guess this is a good time to announce that I love "Ordinary People" and have always appreciated that it beat out "Raging Bull" for Best Picture.
2. The dialogue here is taut without being melodramatic, and I think that saves it from being heavy-handed like "Crash," the movie whose tone this trailer seems to emulate.
3. Felicity Huffman is an Emmy winner and an Oscar nominee, but I've thought of her for so long as Lynette Scavo that I've forgotten how versatile she is. Her joyless visage here is a world away from Wisteria Lane, and I'm kind of wowed by the tension between her character and Hutton's.
4. There's an unsettling element of mystery here that reminds me of the first trailers for the semi-recent Jake Gyllenhaal movie "Prisoners." That movie failed me, but I'm hoping this series upholds the promise of intrigue.
5. Watching that kid get arrested at the end of the trailer fills me with a special dread. Yikes.