A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Goliath is a dramatic, gritty legal series featuring a flawed antihero. It contains lots of sexuality, including simulated sex scenes and full frontal nudity, as well as endless cursing, drinking, cigarette smoking, and various kinds of drug use. Addiction, revenge, and prostitution are also explored. Violent moments include a fatal hit-and-run, beatings, and a teen being tasered. It's not intended for kids and might be tough going for more sensitive viewers.
What's the story?
From renowned series creator David E. Kelly, GOLIATH is a dramatic series about a washed-up lawyer who finds himself trying a major case against the powerful law firm he helped create. Billy McBride (Billy Bob Thorton) was one of the most powerful trial lawyers in Southern California but now finds himself struggling with addiction and trying small-time cases. But when he's approached by attorney Patty Solis-Papagian (Nina Arianda) about the strange circumstances surrounding a fatal boating accident that killed her client's brother, he soon realizes the accident is somehow connected to a major defense contractor being represented by his former law firm. As he works with Patty and his former legal secretary-turned call girl Tania Raymond (Brittany Gold) to take the case to court, his former law partner Donald Cooperman (William Hurt) is pushing attorneys Callie Senate (Molly Parker) and second-year assistant attorney Lucy Kittridge (Olivia Thirlby) to stop him by any means possible, much to the dismay of the firm's general council, Leonard Letts (Damon Gupton), and partner Michelle McBride (Maria Bello), who also happens to be Billy's ex-wife. It’s a difficult, complicated, and risky situation, but McBride knows that he has the ability to beat this goliath -- and possibly redeem himself in the process.
Is it any good?
This entertaining series combines the tension of a well-developed legal procedural with the melodrama created by its troubled and deeply flawed antihero. Most of the characters, including Billy McBride, aren't particularly likable, nor are they guided by any sort of moral compass. However, they're well-developed and complicated, which makes them very compelling.
The show's grittiness is enhanced by the use of dark, shadowy film noir-like techniques and sharp visual contrasts between the stark, monotone corporate law firm and McBride's seedy and colorful hotel-room-based practice. But these elements don't overshadow the legal maneuverings, which offer their fair share of narrative twists. Ultimately, what makes Goliath worth watching is that, simply, it tells a good story that's easy to get caught up in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about incorporating things like cursing, tobacco and drug use, and other risky behaviors into TV programming. What’s the purpose behind it? Even though these shows may be intended for adult viewers, is it really necessary?
Many of the characters in Goliath and other shows will stop at nothing to win cases. Is this a true portrayal of what lawyers are like? Or do these representations serve more to perpetuate stereotypes about them?
For kids who love dark drama
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.