I had pretty low expectations for Goliath. David E. Kelley’s more recent works have been average at best and judging by the trailer’s for this show, it didn’t seem all that original. That being said, this is one of David E. Kelley’s best shows, even if it doesn’t reach the heights of Boston Legal or The Practice.
Goliath is anchored by a great performance from Billy Bob Thornton who manages to create a highly sympathetic and yet pretty pathetic character. The use of humour will at times remind people of his performances in Fargo and Bad Santa though. Clearly, the show has been written with him in mind.
The supporting cast is also great. However, William Hurt is an odd entity in Goliath. When we first meet him, he looks and acts like a bad James Bond villain. As the series progresses, we see and learn more about him and in the end he becomes an engaging and fascinating character even if he is a bit outlandish and bizarre for this type of show.
Like Damages, Goliath features a serialized case spread out over 8 episodes. For the most part, the case is interesting and mysterious, but there are moments in a couple of episodes that don’t quite maintain the momentum. There are also some questionable, head scratching moments that in my opinion are bit unrealistic. For example, the large amount of blatant corruption, intimidation and coercion going on outside the courtroom, while adding to the drama and tension, have questionable realism. At times, twists and turns are seemingly added out of nowhere for the sake of surprise and one event in the final episode manages to wrap up a characters story a bit too neatly and conveniently. If you can put up with some of these moments (like I did), they don’t really detract much from the show.
On the whole, Goliath is a good show. I would recommend it to anyone interested in courtroom drama’s with access to Amazon Prime. It has an interesting premise and a great cast and thanks to some twists and turns, the case rarely gets dull. I don’t know if there will be another season, or if this was designed to be a miniseries, but I’m hoping for the former.