Amazon Prime Show - Goliath

Amazon Prime Show – Goliath

Last night I finished watching Goliath, this series on Amazon Prime.  It is the first Amazon series I have watched; I am primarily a Netflix viewer.  If I were to speak like my middle school players, I would say that the show was “meh!”.

Billy Bob Thornton is one of those actors that rarely has a bad performance, so I started watching it.  After two episodes, I almost decided to stop because it was moving too slowly.  I went back to the home screen, and if this had been a Netflix show with 16-20 episodes, I would have quit.  But this Amazon series only had 8 episodes, so I was 25% done at that point.  I decided to persevere based on Billy Bob’s performance alone.  After a few nights, I finished it.

The upside was, as expected, Billy Bob Thornton’s performance.  He was solid the entire season.  The plot theme was a good one, so the foundation of the season had some promise.  Here are the problems:

  • None of the women in the show were heroic, and most were downright morally rotten.  The junior AND senior lawyers in the defense lawfirm were backstabbing, vile people with no self esteem who fake being strong by eviscerating anyone around them.  While the women on the plaintiff’s side were not vile, they all had major issues, their lives were a mess, none were remotely successful, and they only rarely showed some strength.  I do not like shows full of weak women, and that is all this show had.  They made some attempts at the end to strengthen the characters of Billy Bob’s ex wife and the blonde attorney working with Billy Bob, but it was too little too late.
  • They spent too much time with what I can only call as “dead space”.  These dead spaces were attempts to either expand the depth of one of the characters, or they were 2 minute lulls showing one scene from multiple angles with dramatic music trying to get us to “sympathize” or “empathize” with one of the characters.  Character development works well and has its place, but these attempts were poor.  Most of the episodes had at least 10 minutes of time that could have been edited out.
  • The plot involved a corrupt defense contractor, a corrupt power hungry lawfirm, and a snitch for the DEA that was a “bad guy” for hire on the side, including killing people. There were deaths, injuries, and arrests caused by the defendant throughout the case, yet, Billy Bob’s otherwise intelligent character made almost no attempt to hire security around him.  Really?  This idea of portraying courage as reckless stupidity gets really old.
  • Billy Bob missed the perfect opportunity to connect the dots while cross examining his former paralegal/prostitute assistant.  They had proof the policeman was corrupt, and the corrupt policeman forced her to testify for the defendant, then clearly the defendant was responsible for the actions of the corrupt police officer.  However, the writers clearly didn’t want the jury to decide quickly; they had to keep finding reasons to suppress evidence and bring this to a “dramatic” conclusion so we had no idea how the jury would rule.
  • The lead general counsel of this multi-billion dollar defense contractor was not qualified to be general counsel.  Businesses that big rarely make decisions to hire that bad.

Will I watch a Season Two?  Unlikely, but you never no.

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