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True Crime Stories: Why Are They So Popular?
Are you watching FX's American Crime Story: The People vs O.J. Simpson?
Even if you're not, you've probably heard of it. The limited-episode series is retelling the murder trial of O.J. Simpson that occurred from 1994-1995, and everything that happened surrounding the case. It might seem like a strange idea for a tv show, almost a bit macabre, but it's one of the more popular shows airing right now. Perhaps that's because there isn't much else on in the winter, so people watch whatever they can get - or maybe it's because it's a true crime story.
It's a true crime story, but you don't have to be a lawyer to understand it. There's no reading statistics, or getting overwhelmed by details. Instead, we're being fed the story, episode by episode - and yes, we know what happened in real life, but maybe we didn't understand it. American Crime Story gives us the detail, the story of it all, without the education. We can hear everything that happened, without being asked to declare someone guilty even if we might say out loud: "Oh yeah, he's guilty."
People enjoy true crime stories, because the writers know how to take all the little details and incorporate them in seamlessly. These stories are told after the fact, when the case has been resolved and the research has been done. Yes, some cases seem to be just as confusing ten years later - but some might argue that makes the retelling even better. It's non-fiction, but told in a much more compelling manner than your standard non-fiction book.
As for why people enjoy true crime, there's no right answer. Some people just don't enjoy fiction. Some might have been curious about the case, but felt like they didn't have the right knowledge or background to read into it while it was happening. Still, some might also be law students who want to see these cases told in a different way. Whatever the reason, true crime will continue to be a popular genre as American Crime Story brings it to a new medium - from books to television.