'Impeachment: American Crime Story' Spotlights the Women Caught Up in Clinton's Scandals: Review

Stars recreate one of the 20th century's political earthquakes — which rocked the White House and nearly destroyed an intern named Monica

History hasn't always been kind to Monica Lewinsky — in 1998 she was referred to by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd as "a ditsy, predatory White House intern," as well as "the girl who was too tubby to be in the high school 'in' crowd" — but it's finally starting to be kinder. Lewinsky, now 48, is one of the producers of Impeachment: American Crime Story, the crackling new installment of Ryan Murphy's American Crime series, which is informed by the perspective of the #MeToo era.

Impeachment focuses on the women who were caught up in the destructive morass of the Clinton Administration, particularly what were referred to as "bimbo eruptions." There's Lewinsky, of course, played by Beanie Feldstein as a dreamy, then panicked young woman wildly in love with the President (Clive Owen, with a prosthetic nose that makes him look like Dick Van Dyke); Paula Jones (B Positive's Annaleigh Ashford), who claimed the President propositioned her in a hotel room while he was still governor of Arkansas; and, yes, Linda Tripp (an unrecognizably frumped-up Sarah Paulson), the disgruntled Department of Defense employee who became Lewinsky's unlikely confidante and secretly taped her.

Impeachment: American Crime Story
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ACS: impeachment
Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky. fx networks/ youtube

Tripp (she died in 2020) was a dreamer like Lewinsky, only her plan was to publish a tell-all book about the Clintons. Which brings us to First Lady Hillary Clinton (Edie Falco). Murphy is a cagey showman: Hillary is too looming a figure — and Falco too powerful an actress — to be given any scenes of her own in the first six episodes. Like an October surprise, she's being held for later. At some point, one suspects, she'll hurl an ashtray, lamp or other handy object at her unfaithful husband.

Impeachment: American Crime Story premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

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