This is the lesson of Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, NBC’s attempt at a splashy anthology series akin to FX’s The People v.
In the interim, Court TV came into existence, and the Menendez case was the network’s first hit, a real-life daytime drama that explains the crime’s lasting imprint in our collective memory better than the crime itself.
In the aftermath of the murders, the psyche of 18-year-old Erik (Gus Halper) begins to fray, and 21-year-old Lyle (Miles Gaston Villanueva) puts nearly $1 million on the family credit card.
Simpson has a pop sensibility that is a little more fun than may be strictly appropriate for a series featuring a grisly double homicide, but alongside the ESPN documentary on the same subject, it brilliantly recontextualized and reframed the case and its participants as more than just haute-’90s trivia.
The Menendez Murders, in comparison, simply feels like the most high-profile case that Dick Wolf, the Law & Order impresario, could grab the rights to.