REVIEW: 'Impeachment' dissects friendship betrayal in Lewinsky case – Buffalo News

Sarah Paulson stars as Linda Tripp in “Impeachment: American Crime Story.”
Beanie Fieldstein plays Monica Lewinsky in “Impeachment:  American Crime Story.”
“Impeachment: American Crime Story” may be crafted to look like it’s the Monica Lewinsky story but it’s really a better peek at Linda Tripp, the woman who befriended and, ultimately, betrayed her.
In the hands of Sarah Paulson, Tripp’s a determined woman who can’t understand why she was bounced from the White House when Vince Foster died. Rather than wallow in the Pentagon (where she was sent), Tripp looks for ways to get back and, somehow, expose Bill Clinton. By serving as Lewinsky’s confidante, she’s able to get information that just might take the president down.
It’s fascinating to see how Tripp operates. Paulson neatly captures the anger and manipulation, making the woman a greater threat than anyone thought possible.
Lewinsky, meanwhile, is not as innocent as she may have seemed. As played by Beanie Feldstein, she’s a White House climber, assuming a few flirtatious moments could add up to a relationship. She teases Tripp with information, then gets the kind of buy-in that fuels scandal.
“Impeachment” brings Paula Jones (Annaleigh Ashford) into the mix as well. She’s a starting point for the case against Clinton and an bystander who’s basically fed to legal wolves. Ashford does a masterful job making Jones more than White House watchers ever imagined.
The limited series is filled with plenty of boldface names (yup, Hillary Clinton is here, too) but it never seems too sure of its intentions. Because Lewinsky served as executive producer, there’s a sense that she’s given a better shake than ones who check in and check out. Ann Coulter, Ken Starr and Matt Drudge are among the parade of manipulators trying to use the Clinton/Lewinsky relationship to their advantage. But is this about the first impeachment in more than 100 years? Or is it the redemption of Monica Lewinsky?
That’s where the Ryan Murphy production falls short. Because it makes Lewinsky such a nuanced character, there’s a real disconnect when we see others just hit and run. Frequently, they handle their own exposition. Lewinsky gets the luxury of time.
To square things up, writer Sarah Burgess should have eliminated the Clintons (played by Clive Owen and Edie Falco) and let others talk about them. By pulling them in, there’s the hint they’re getting the same treatment as Lewinsky. They’re not.
While Owen approximates the former president’s voice, he’s given such a cumbersome fake nose it’s hard to overlook. Ashford has one, too, but she’s able to act around it.
Switching back and forth in time, “Impeachment” doesn’t light often enough to give us anything really substantial. We see how fringe media uses the case to become mainstream players (and, in essence, “fake news” purveyors); we get how politicians spend more time squeezing out of trouble than actually fixing it. And we understand many are left on the highway of broken dreams.
But how is “Impeachment: American Crime Story” anything more than a nighttime soap opera dressed up with stellar performances? Paulson and Feldstein are spectacular when they’re together. But when this splits them apart, it loses its intention.
“Impeachment: American Crime Story” begins Sept. 7 on FX.
Get the recommendations on what’s streaming now, games you’ll love, TV news and more with our weekly Home Entertainment newsletter!

Baglini, who left WIVB last month, announced his new job on Twitter.

“After he plays for his 32nd team, he’ll be a great addition for somebody’s broadcast crew,” said Jim Nantz of former Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Even in a preseason game, Bills fans can’t get enough of Josh Allen.

It’s an ancient argument about TV news: Just what IS it? TV or news?

“Once you get out, you get how much better life is,” said former WIVB-TV (Channel 4) anchor-reporter Katie Alexander, who now goes by her married last name Olmsted.

Slawson ended his final Eyewitness News newscast with some humor.

Mike Richards is out as executive producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” just days after giving up the host gig. The news comes after a turbulent past month for “Jeopardy!”

The latest Ryan Murphy docudrama, “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” is about the sex scandal involving President Clinton during his second term. It premieres on FX at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The series earned 23 Emmy nominations, including three for writing — more than any other series received this season.
Sarah Paulson stars as Linda Tripp in “Impeachment: American Crime Story.”
Beanie Fieldstein plays Monica Lewinsky in “Impeachment:  American Crime Story.”
Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply