The subject is the Amazon Prime program, not the Philistine who should have gone up against Giannis Antetokounmpo rather than David. SPOILERS AHEAD. The show has two eight episode seasons available with another in the works. It’s headlined by Billy Bob Thornton as a fallen big shot lawyer who was kicked out of his firm because he took to the bottle to salve his sorrow for getting a murderer off on a technicality. Said murderer went on to kill a family. Billy McBride (Thornton’s character) has lucid moments during which he shows that his legal chops are still intact.
The first season depicts David, oops Billy, up against the Goliath of a wicked defense contractor defended by Billy’s former firm. The firm is headed by Billy’s ex-partner played by William Hurt. His law firm has also gotten to Goliath-like size. Hurt will stop at nothing including murder to advance his interests which are 4 plus evil. There’s enough plot here for a two hour movie. Stretching the story over eight hours requires a lot of clumsy dramaturgy. Donald Cooperman (Hurt) has had the right side of his face burned and works in a dark office. We’re never told how he got the burn, though there’s a suggestion that Billy may have been involved. Cooperman seems to have TV cameras all over Los Angeles, the show’s locale, including all the city’s unisex bathrooms allowing him to lurk on everything that goes on.
Hurt is a strong enough actor to stand up to Thornton’s quiet scenery chewing and is one of the reasons that the show maintains impetus. When things between the two are just about to get interesting – Cooperman is being examined in court by Billy – he has a stroke and spends the last episode of the show in a hospital bed.
Billy’s suit against the wicked defense contractor is won against all reason. The contractor is guilty as Benedict Arnold, but Billy has no presentable evidence proving such. The jury awards the family of the contractor’s employee $100 gazillion. The late defense worker blew himself up along with half of Los Angeles harbor when illegally dumping the fuel of an illegal weapon into the water. Rather than take the case to the appeals court, which would certainly throw out the award, the wicked contractor agrees to give the plaintiff $50 million. The CEO not only writes the check he admits, while Billy is recording him with his smartphone, that he has committed enough federal crimes to get himself elected president.
But the good acting by all involved in support of Thornton and Hurt plus the fine production values make the show interesting. David bests Goliath and the ending, if a bit contrived, is satisfying.
The second season is different. In it everybody including the locker room attendant at a men’s gym that features in the action is not only smarter than McBride, they all get the better of him. Hurt is not here. I guess he’s still in the Cedars-Sinai ICU. A youngish hispanic woman (Marisol) is running for mayor of LA as a woman of the people. She’s a creature of a Mexican drug cartel which everybody except McBride comes to realize fairly early in the show. Her adoptive brother, Gabriel, is the cartel’s jefe. His specialty is amputating limbs of anybody who crosses him. The cartel wants an innocent teenager convicted of a hit they carried out. This issue takes up half of the season. There’s no reason given why the bad guys want the teenager to take the fall. They eventually hang him while he’s in jail just before he’s to be released. They make a flimsy attempt to have his death resemble a suicide.
There’s a long ladder of underlings who are supposed to carry out Gabriel’s orders. They all end up dead or amputated by the end of episode 8. One of these characters has a sexual fetish about amputees and is delighted to wake up on Gabriel’s operating table minus all four limbs. Marisol, whose real name is Claudia and who has a disreputable Mexican past, ends up as Mayor. Season 2 has more plot holes than George Washington’s face had pock marks. McBride gets trapped in Mexico, about 30 miles south of San Diego, and is marked for execution by Gabriel’s underlings. He miraculously escapes and somehow gets back to LA. In this version of the David and Goliath story, Goliath wins, basically because David is a moron.
The Marisol character is slated to return in season 3, so it’s possible that Billy will recover his wits and redeem himself. I don’t want to go completely negative and enter the land of the square root of minus 1. If you check logic in the kitchen, I’m assuming Amazon Prime isn’t there, the program is fun to watch. Thornton is a fine actor who keeps your interest even when he’s forced to go against type and not be very smart. If I gave it a rating, it would be 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5.