Wednesday, 25 January 2017
turbo cycling and watching goliath
I've been watching that Goliath series on box-set over the last few days whilst I try to get my cycling legs working again.
I suppose the show would be classed as a legal procedural and is about a big business doing something that may not be entirely law-abiding. I suspect they used the entire effects budget in the first scene.
The neo-noir show has Billy Bob Thornton as the lead character playing a broken hotshot lawyer who now lives in a motel in Santa Monica. There's several plot points that many of these legally derived shows have in common. In Better Call Saul, (the Bob Odenkirk show) there's an ex partner lawyer who has had a breakdown and now lives in a darkened room with an annoying aversion to electricity.
Check. In this show we get Thornton as the busted ex-partner and remarkably William Hurt as the melodramatic still-in-place partner with a sooo annoying habit who, yes, lives in a darkened office at the top of his tower block.
There's the Grisham/Badalucci-esque spirited female assistants on hand to help Thornton with the case, most of whom seem to work for nothing. Then there's Thornton's broken marriage, savvy teen daughter and ex-wife with a new lover who works for the opposing council.
The thing is, formulaic as it may be, I'm enjoying the show. Thornton's switches from slightly drunk to razor-sharp in the courtroom. The stealth of the big business trying to quash investigations. The brown lighting of Thornton's world to the sterile glass cubes within glass cubes where the Goliath action plays out.
And behind it all is a very good sense of coastal Los Angeles. It was genius to give Thornton a beaten up convertible (red Mustang, of course), because when he drives around you see so much more of the neighbourhood. Even I could recognise real streets and areas from my own experience so there was that quiet 'been there' thought through some parts of it.
I've still about three episodes left to watch, but with Thornton's understated play of the dialogue and great ensemble casting, this is really quite entertaining. I'd even watch another series, if they ever made it.