Harland Williams: The problem with binge-watching on Netflix is that you lose three days of your life.
I’ve spent almost my entire career working in a law firm but never worked for an attorney like Billy McBride, played by Billy Bob Thornton in Amazon’s Goliath. We binge-watched all eight episodes of the first season in two days. The show was dark, well-acted, shot in Los Angeles, and portrayed a down-on-his-luck attorney who sued a big corporate client, which was being represented by his former big-shot law firm.
When I see Billy Bob Thornton in anything, I always think about how good his hairpiece is. Of course, it’s not a good hairpiece if we know it’s a hairpiece! But the minute Goliath started, we were sucked in. But he’s playing a lawyer working out of a hotel room in Venice and drives a Mustang convertible around L.A. His character has a secretary, a paralegal and a co-counsel working for him, and they all fit into that hotel room. How did they get paid? We don’t know since the case is hinging on a plaintiff win and they’re hoping for a windfall. I think he owned one suit and drank a lot out of a brown paper bag.
Over the years, the attorneys I’ve worked for have owned more than one suit, have never been seen with a paper bag in their hands, and worked in a “real” office with doors and a conference room. I’m sure there are practicing lawyers out there who work and look the way Billy McBride does…but where are they? Perhaps I’ve worked for the wrong kind of attorneys all these years.