Debuting on March 12, Season 3 of American Crime is the strongest installment yet in the Emmy-winning anthology series from John Ridley and ABC. Spotlighting the binding structures, cruel poverty and crushing consequences of the economic slavery and exploitation in today’s America, the eight-episode season is, as I say in my video review above, simply some of the best television to come along in ages.

As the show did in Seasons 1 and 2, the latest American Crime features multiple storylines and a deep-bench ensemble that includes the award-winning Regina King, Felicity Huffman Timothy Hutton, Richard Cabral and Lili Taylor. This year the series created by 12 Years A Slave Oscar-winner Ridley adds Grey’s Anatomy alum Sandra Oh and Cherry Jones to its cast. All are strong, but pivotal performances by Benito Martinez and Ana Mulvoy-Ten take this often harsh, intricate and intimate exploration of the American underbelly to a whole new, very dark place.

Mulvoy-Ten’s portrayal of a 17-year-old prostitute is as heartbreaking as it is remarkable on a show I actually find hard to believe is on a Big 4 network — and yet am so heartened it is. No newcomer to American Crime, Martinez played a major role in Season 1 and appeared in Season 2, but honestly you could rewardingly watch this season for his powerful portrayal alone. As a desperate father illegally crossing the border from Mexico to America in search of his missing son in one of the three main storylines of this ultimately intersecting greater plot, Martinez is an actor at the top of his craft in every way.

Click on my video review above to see more of why I think this is must-see TV – and watch the show Sunday. Tell us what you think.

This review was originally posted on March 10.