American Crime Season 2

American Crime Returns: Grade the ABC Drama's Season 2 Premiere

American Crime returned for its second go-round on Wednesday night, this time with a different setting, a fresh storyline and a few new faces in the cast.

One thing that hasn’t changed? The issues at the center of American Crime Season 2 remain every bit as harrowing, complicated and uncomfortable. Whereas Season 1 focused on racial profiling and religious prejudice (among other things), the anthology series is now turning its attention to sexual assault and socioeconomic disparity.

And even though the Season 2 cast features a few familiar players (including Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton and Regina King), American Crime‘s sophomore run centers primarily on Taylor Blaine, played by franchise newbie Connor Jessup.

American Crime Season 2Taylor — already an outcast at his hoity-toity high school because he isn’t wealthy — becomes the center of attention at Leland High when incriminating photos of him at a house party make the rounds. Like, passed-out-with-vomit-on-his-shirt levels of incriminating. At first, it seems Taylor is just an oddball who got too drunk over the weekend — but the viral photos quickly turn into something much, much more serious.

After Taylor’s mom (played by returning cast member Lili Taylor) discovers the photos and grills her son about his behavior, he finally confesses that he only chugged those beers because the basketball players hosting the party were egging him on to “be fun for once.” And although Taylor never flat-out says he was sexually assaulted, he tearfully admits to his mom, “I think they did something to me,” leading Anne to believe her son was raped by those basketball bros.

Chances are you’ve seen the recent promos for American Crime, in which Anne insists, “My son was raped!” to which Huffman’s Headmaster Graham replies, “You’ve gotta be very careful with that word.” That five-second interaction is a pretty good snapshot of the events that unfold after Taylor tells his mom how the party really went down. Anne makes a statement to the Leland High administration about what Taylor told her, but it isn’t enough to get any of the basketball players properly punished. (It doesn’t help that the team is essentially worshipped by half of the Midwest, and Coach Sullivan, played by Hutton, is the object of the entire school’s affections.)

Panicked and frustrated by the school’s lack of action, Anne decides to take matters into her own hands — despite Headmaster Graham’s warnings — and ends the episode with a call to 911, asking to report a rape.

What did you think of American Crime‘s return? Grade the premiere in our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. gabriel says:

    That is a difficult show to watch. But it is must see television right now. ABC can’t cancel this show, they just can’t. The performances are superb, and Ridley as a director is just amazing! Cant’ wait to see how it all ends and to hope for a third season focused on gun control!

    • Angela says:

      Oh, yeah, they’ll have to touch on the gun debate at some point, for sure, if they get more seasons. I’d be very interested in seeing their take on that.
      Looks like another good season setting up here. I particularly like that friend of Taylor’s, the girl who met with his mom. I’ll be interested to see where her story goes. And the whole thing with the football team being able to get by with anything because of how revered they are…oh, man, I’ve seen that scene a time or two in some of the towns I’ve lived in. This is going to get pretty interesting, no doubt. And just like last season, I’m in.
      Also, Felicity Huffman is WAY too good at playing characters that set your teeth on edge :p. I mean that as a compliment to her acting skills!

      • Marci says:

        I agree with you, Angela, on Felicity Huffman. I;ve always liked Felicity, but intensely disliked her character in the first season and am beginning to feel the same about her character in Season 2. She’s a great actress, that’s for sure.
        I’ve also been a big fan of Regina King and loved her character in Southland. I had mixed feelings about her character here in Season 1, but get the feeling I’m going to really dislike her character in Season 2. She is also amazing.
        This looks like a really interesting season and am looking forward to seeing how this story line plays out. It’s good to see sexual abuse of boys and men being dealt with on television. It’s an issue that has been swept under the carpet for much too long. Last night’s episode of Law & Order: SVU also dealt with it.

  2. BrightLight says:

    I previously watched the premiere when it was available early a couple of weeks ago and was just as quickly invested in the story as I was for the first season and couldn’t wait to see more. (I think Lili Taylor is going to be this season’s MVP.)
    Since then, a story almost EXACTLY like this (a male basketball team, rape, but involves a public,not private high school) has been unfolding in my area and made me see this episode in a whole different light. Now I’m even more interested in this season than I already was because I’m wondering how closely these will parallel each other. Just a note, this happened in my area AFTER the episode was released online so it wasn’t based on what’s happening, but the similarities are shocking to say the least.

    • Tammy says:

      I was thinking the same thing when I read about the basketball team in TN. My first thought was that is what American Crime is about this season. So timely and thought provoking. add that case where the football team raped that girl who was so drunk she was unconscious. The town split I’m half over it.

    • Sandy Duncan's Eye on Network TV says:

      Lili Taylor puts so much into her performances….in her small amount of time onscreen last night..I felt her pain and heart break…she is so good.

  3. amy says:

    already more interesting than the 1st season

  4. abz says:

    Recently binge-watched the first season. This season seems even better.

    • The Beach says:

      The main reason why I didn’t fully connect with Season 1 was that there was really no sympathetic character. I like a show to cast at least one role that I can root for or relate to in some degree no matter how despicable the rest is. Last season there was nobody I was invested in or gave a damn about. (BTW, I’m no Pollyanna and love gritty shows like BB, SOA, Justified, etc.)

      • :-) says:

        I think the point of the first season was that while we think we know who the good guys and bad guys are most crimes are more complicated than we realize. Sometimes all you can do is feel bad for everyone involved. We see it in the news everyday. Many sides to every story

      • mary says:

        With the first season, I think you needed to know someone who was or had been in one of those situations. For me one of my brothers was an addict(technically still is, but has not used in 10yrs). So that was my connection in having empathy & knowing somewhat what they were dealing with.

  5. Bryce says:

    I haven’t seen the first season, but I watched the premiere online ahead of time because of its focus on sexuality. I thought it was very powerful, though I’m wondering if it’s always going to be so glib. I expect low ratings tomorrow, but I’ll be sticking around this season and finally check out season one if I like what I see

  6. John Davis says:


  7. Et al. says:

    That was a great start. Completely riveting.

  8. spindae2 says:

    There are shows and there is American Crime which is on a completely different and sublime level. Outstanding acting, writing and directing.

    It is a bit moody and depressing but it is real and makes U feel for the characters.

    • Sherrilynn Palladino says:

      So agree with you. Each line, each word, by each character has amazing meaning. Best series in my humble opinion. Keep outstanding acting, writing and directing ALIVE on network television and NOT just cable!

  9. GuessWhat says:

    last season was great
    this season is off to a great start
    excellent actors
    love the anthology approach and different story each season

  10. David4 says:

    I found something about last season to be dreadful. The acting was amazing, stunning cast, but something was off. I hope to give this season a chance when I have time. I didn’t know they added the teen from that alien show. (My mind is not working this morning.) So this season will probably be even better.

  11. Tanya says:

    I watched the first season of this amazing show and I was hooked and hoped like hell for a second season. The cast and creators of this show are remarkable and I know will not disapoint it’s viewers. Thank you for the second season.

  12. Albert Farris says:

    I wasn’t sure I was going to watch season 2, because I got so absorbed by season1, and I didn’t realize that Hutton/Huffman were to be different characters.
    Now I see that you are using some great actors in different roles and because they are great, they are easy to be believable. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. What a great concept.

  13. HAP says:

    Glacial pacing.

  14. Beckers0505 says:

    WOW! I have never seen the first season but this topic was interesting to me. This episode was amazing! Everything about it was great! I was touched and so sadden by the whole thing. I don’t remember ever seeing something on this subject matter. Looking forward to the rest of the season.

  15. Bill D. says:

    Tries too hard to be relevant and progressive. The constant, excruciating close ups are irritating. I’m sure this happens in real life but this…