I’d say this week’s episode of American Crime is about reaching out for help and receiving the help you don’t need. The acting again is fantastic and the story is devastating.  The formula of this show is unique, in a way it’s a kind of immersive television. Creative camera placement, angles, dialogue, overlaps combined with unusual silences which enhances the storytelling and makes the scenes more realistic.  It’s as if the audience is a fly on the wall in the room during the drama.

By episode 7 everyone is exhausted and the situations with each character just keep getting worse.  We have spent 6 hours getting to know Taylor and his mom, the members of the basketball team the coach and their families, the school administrators, and the challenges of a privileged and underprivileged school systems.  We have gotten to know these people as people.

In a world filled with simple soundbites, judgment, and righteousness, the world of American Crime is a display of human duality.  It’s shockingly refreshing to witness the journey to crime and learn the why.

I can’t count how many times a tragedy happens, and you hear people connected to the situation say that it came out of nowhere.   It’s so easy to cast someone who has committed a crime as evil or crazy without considering the circumstances of how this person came to the breaking point.

We live in a world where we have access to an infinite amount of information yet in so many cases we cannot even see what is happening right in front of our faces.  There are always signals, signs yet are we able to identify them and take action?

There’s a poignant scene between Taylor (Connor Jessup) and the Coach Sullivan’s cheerleader daughter Becca (Sky Azure Van Vliet) that is a perfect example of how someone in need may ask for help and get exactly what they don’t need.  Taylor keeps reaching out in his way that is invisible to those around him and witnessing his descent just made me shake my head.

American Crime is not a feel good kind of show.  It is a show that triggers emotions that we often hide from. It’s a show that makes us process and think.  Many of us, thankfully, will not have to endure being a witness, a perpetrator, or victim of a crime.  This show can’t even come close to the reality of what going through violent trauma is like in real life.  What American Crime does is allows the viewer to engage their ability to connect to empathy.  To explore the journey to Crime and hopefully strengthen our ability to view difficult situations from all sides.

This episode is not easy to watch.  I recommend you watch with someone and process after watching.  It’s deep. Disturbing, heartbreaking, and deep.

11049613_10206537176921402_2619367755764345357_nJeanine T. Abraham is a professional actor, blogger, new playwright, and GirlTrek organizer living and working in Brooklyn, NYC