"American Crime" has never been afraid to push the envelope. In ABC's promos for season 3, more of the conversation-driving plots were promised. On Sunday night, the first episode of the newest installment of the show didn't disappoint, starting a conversation about exploitation, among other topics.

The start of a new story

Season 3 of the anthology drama promised to be as topical as ever. This time around, "American Crime" takes place in a small town in North Carolina. The community is based on farming, complete with migrant workers and head honchos who are exploiting their labor.

It's a broad approach to a pertinent issue, one that's challenging to tackle over the course of just eight hour-long episodes (including commercial breaks).

What's especially bold about these anthology series are the way they are constructed. They feature the same actors from previous years of "American Crime," but they play brand new roles. It's a challenge for actors to shed their role from a previous season to take on a new one, as well as for viewers to hold a new association. The vision of creator John Ridley makes that all possible, though, even if he isn't the show's primary director anymore.

Reception and reaction

The ratings are not out yet for the season debut of "American Crime," but there are benchmarks the ABC honchos are looking to hit.

Last year's season premiere scored 4.74 million viewers before seeing a steady decline over the course of the show. With the heavy promotion before the debut on Sunday, ABC will hope that this year proves to show a rebound in the show's overall ratings.

The reviews for the Season 3 debut are out, though. Deadline writer Dominic Patten called the show "must-see TV" while complimenting the broad scope of the show.

Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter writer Daniel Fienberg applauded the direction of the show. "American Crime" will air this year at 10:00 PM ET on ABC every Sunday - watching is the only way to be part of the water-cooler conversation surrounding the show.