LOS ANGELES -- As far as I know, Hannibal Buress never grew up in the Twin Cities or owns any real estate in the state. You certainly would have thought he was "one of us," though, based on his comments about our fair land Sunday at the TV Critics Association press tour.
Minneapolis is just a great touring city," said Buress who shot his upcoming Netflix stand-up special, "Comedy Camisado," at the Varsity Theater this past September. "It’s one of the cities -- and I think other comedians and musicians can relate to this -- where you’re able to build a fan base there before you get them in other cities. It's a smart, savvy crowd. They’re a little bit ahead of the curve."
The special, available for streaming starting Feb. 5, was just one of the programs being promoted by Netflix who also made available such high-caliber talent as Tina Fey, Patton Oswalt, Jane Fonda, Ashton Kutcher and Aziz Ansari who would end the day by celebrating "Master of None"'s win for best comedy series at the 21st Annual Critic's Choice Awards.
But the folks most in demand Sunday were relatively unknown just a couple weeks ago. That would be Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, co-directors of "Making a Murderer," whose inexperience being on the other side of scrutiny was on display as they uncomfortably addressed reports that their popular documentary series didn't share some pertinent information that may have caused viewers to tilt their opinion towards the side of the prosecution.
"We’re documentary filmmakers. We’re not prosecutors. We’re not defense attorneys," Ricciardi said. "We did not set out to convict or exonerate anyone. We set out to examine the criminal justice system and how it’s functioning today. And it just would have been impossible for us to include every piece of evidence that was submitted to the court or attempted to be submitted to the court. And so we took our cues from the prosecution, what they thought was the most compelling evidence. That’s what we included. Of course, we left out evidence. I mean, that’s just there would have been no other way to do it. We were not putting on a trial, but a film. And the question is, of what was omitted, was that really significant? And the answer is no."
Another trial was the focus of a Saturday-night bash with a much more lighthearted tone. FX threw a party celebrating its upcoming mini-series revolving around the OJ Simpson trial. The hotel bar was jammed with stars including John Travolta, David Schwimmer and Sarah Paulson. But no one took advantage of the festive mood more than Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr., who plays Simpson. He practically closed the bar both Friday and Saturday evenings, showing off impressive moves on the dance floor and willingly posing for selfies with patrons long after the party was officially over.