Whilst hardly original in its storyline, Goliath remains an addictive, superior investigative crime/courtroom drama as alcoholic Billy McBride (Billy Bob Thornton), a former high flying lawyer, reluctantly finds himself drawn back into high stake legal battles.
Approached to investigate a wrongful death/suicide involving armaments giants, Borns Tech, McBride is initially uninterested. But the death of the potential client and involvement of his former firm, Cooperman McBride, more than piques McBride’s interest. Ex-wife (Maria Bello) successfully continues to work there and an almost reclusive Cooperman (William Hurt) holds a very personal grudge.
What develops is unquestionably a David versus Goliath scenario as a very personable McBride surrounds himself in his long-stay Santa Monica motel rooms with extremely likeable colleagues. Ambition, penthouse office suites and multi-million dollar salaries are at odds with the likes of a loud Patty Solis-Papagian (Nina Arianda), a small-time DUI lawyer and real estate agent who originally brought the case to McBride or the sex worker Brittany (Tania Raymonde), helping out as a paralegal as she owes McBride.
Odd things happen as the storylines ebb and flow between the personal, the courtroom and corporate corruption. Cooperman is out to destroy his former partner of one of the most successful legal companies in the world. And if he destroys the careers of his ambitious female staff members along the way as he plays them off against each other, so be it.
It’s the compelling performances that seriously hold the attention in Goliath over its eight part first season – along with an insight into a different Los Angeles that normally takes centre stage.