David E Kelley is back with a very different portrayal of the business of law
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2016/10/16 – “It’s about these two rival law firms,” says Goliath star Billy Bob Thornton. “One is housed in a motel and the other one is in a fancy building, in Century City I guess. We don’t really know where the biggest corporation is. It may be well hidden. I think that’s the idea these days. You have the middle class and lower middle class fighting to gain position in the world against the big companies. In that sense, it’s certainly relevant.”
Thornton’s character is very flawed, very different then Kelley’s previous characters who where hero lawyers. The only person who is on his side is his former wife, and she works for the enemy. It’s a legal thriller with quirky characters.
“When we were doing The Practice, twenty years ago, the litigators were the heroes,” says Goliath executive producer David E. Kelley. “Now litigation, that is the slumming job in the law firms. The practice of law has so changed now. We began to kick around this series long before Bernie Sanders’ movement came to fruition, but that theme is imbued in this show as well in that the system is rigged. We always believed that law was where democracy could ultimately thrive, that that was the leveling playing field where, if someone was wronged, they could get their day in court and right that wrong. And the truth is that’s just not true anymore. Law firms have become big corporate giants. Cases never get to trial.”
“What this particular series is about is this one, down and out, lone sort of warrior knowing full well that he hasn’t got the resources to fight big law, knowing full well that you don’t get to appear in front of juries like you used to,” says Kelley. “It just costs too much and takes too long. And yet, clinging to this notion that if he can just get there, if he can just get in front of you, twelve other people, democracy still does have a chance. “Truth maybe has a chance of winning out. That’s kind of what this David and Goliath battle is and why it’s particularly relevant today, is just because it is exponentially a much, much tougher climb.”
“Truth has no currency in law anymore,” says Kelley. “Lawyers are not obligated to the truth. They’re fighting for their clients, and truth just isn’t really high on the priority list. And yet we have our protagonist…if you want to call him a protagonist or you want to call him an antihero or even a villain. That’s his only card to play and to climb up this hill with that kernel of truth.”
Billy Bob Thornton is Billy McBride, an alcoholic attorney who lives in a motel in Santa Monica, California. He was once a very successful lawyer, co-founder of a law firm. Until his drinking got the better of him. Maria Bello is his ex-wife Michelle, who works at his old firm with William Hurt who’s Donald Cooperman, the guy he founded the firm with. When Thornton takes a case defended by his former firm, it puts his life in danger. It’s hardball.
Goliath premiered on Amazon on Friday, October 14th, 2016, with all eight one-hour episodes. Binge away.