Good Girls Revolt – New Series Streaming on Amazon

It is late December, 1969. We are in the Editorial Department of a fictional national news magazine called News of the Week. The news coming across the teletype machines is reporting the outbreak of violence at a free concert held at Altamont, CA. Four people would die and scores were injured. We may not have realized it at the time, but the 1960’s were not going out on a high note.

So begins the Amazon Original Series called Good Girls Revolt. Actually, the opening credits feature video and still images of New York in the late 1960’s. The Rolling Stones song Gimme Shelter was the accompanying music.

Managing Editor Wick McFadden (Jim Belushi plays Wick) has just called the entire editorial staff into the room. He proceeds to read the lead paragraph of what was to be a cover story.

McFadden: This piece hit the bull’s-eye.
Researcher Nora Ephron steps forward: That was me…he did do a court story. I rewrote it.
McFadden: Girls do not do rewrites
Ephron: Why not?
McFadden: That’s simply how we do things here. We have rules, protocol…
Ephron: Those rules are dumb. If the copy is good, it’s good.
McFadden: Young lady. You might not want to make waves; lest we have doubts about our decision to hire you.
Ephron: But you just said my rewrite hit the bull’s-eye. That was your word..bull’s eye
McFadden noticing that every one in the room is listening intently…Why is is everyone standing around? Back to work. [Looking at Ephron] You too dear…

Ephron: This is ridiculous… I quit!

That was Grace Gummer as Nora Ephron. 

And in that minute and four-second clip from Episode One, we have the substance of Good Girls Revolt. This was the sixties and while there were women in the workplace, at this magazine, the women weren’t reporters or editors – they were called Researchers. They assembled files of information for the reporters. They fetched coffee, made copies, did the filing, wrote captions for the photos, and the all the rest of the grunt work that went into creating a published piece in News of the Week Magazine. But the reporters, they were the ones that got the by-lines, the fame, and of course, the higher pay.

If you think that News of the Week might be a thinly disguised company name for Newsweek Magazine; You’d be right. You see, this dramatic series is based on a real story. Some 46 female employees of the magazine filed a complaint in 1970 with the EEOC charging the management with systemic discrimination against them in the practices of hiring and promotions.

This series is based on a non-fiction book by Lynn Povich called The Good Girls Revolt. Povich herself was one of the women who was a party to this historic lawsuit.

The case was handled by Eleanor Hughes Norton, here played by Joy Bryant.  As stated above, the events of the series take place in December of 1969 through March 23rd of 1970.

It was on that day, that the formal complaint was filed with the EEOC, and a press conference was held at the ACLU headquarters in Manhattan.

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Goliath – New Series now Streaming on Amazon

I just finished the new legal thriller TV Series that is currently streaming on Amazon. It’s called Goliath and stars Billy Bob Thornton as Billy McBride, who once upon a time was a super successful lawyer for a multinational law firm that bore his name – Cooperman & McBride.

For reasons that are not immediately made clear to us, Billy is no longer a partner in that firm. His wife, one of the top attorneys at Cooperman, has divorced him, and Billy currently lives and works out of the infamous and real Ocean Lodge,

a Santa Monica, CA hotel. He drives a beat-up Ford Mustang. He drinks more than he should. When he is not in his residence at the Ocean Lodge, Billy may meet with clients at the neighborhood dive bar –

Billy could usually be found on the last bar stool at the far end of the room

Billy could usually be found on the last bar stool at the far end of the room

called Chez Jay, which was just next door.

The series runs for 8 hour-long episodes and can be most easily described as: A disgraced lawyer, now an ambulance chaser, gets a case that could bring him redemption or at least revenge on the firm which expelled him.

Now this is not a new story. Heck, it is almost a staple in the film and TV industry. Goliath might be called L.A.Law Meets The Verdict. Or maybe we can call it Michael Clayton meets The Rainmaker.

Yes, as viewers we love the underdog attorney, the alcoholic attorney, or the attorney who no one thinks can win the case, which involves taking on a behemoth of a corporation, or an insurance company, or even another law firm.

Yeah, I cheered when Tom Cruise as Lt. Daniel Kaffee took down the US Marine Corps, represented by Jack Nicholson as Col. Nathan Jessup and Kiefer Sutherland as Lt. Jonathan Kendrick in A Few Good Men. I fist pumped when the inexperienced lawyer Rudy Baylor played by Matt Damon, won a huge case against a huge insurance company and their attorney Leo Drummond played by Jon Voight. That film was called The Rainmaker.

Or The Verdict. Paul Newman played an alcoholic attorney called Frank Galvin who took on a case about a comatose patient. His opponents – a major Boston hospital, the Catholic Archdiocese, and attorney Ed Concannon, played by James Mason, who was usually referred to, in the film, as The Prince of Fucking Darkness.

Goliath is a series that fits right in with those films. Billy Bob Thornton’s Billy McBride is your basic brilliant lawyer who has had many major reversals recently; so much so that you might tend to believe that he’s going to be chewed up and spit out by opposing counsel.

So who is he going up against: a huge corporation, Borns Tech,  that has major contracts with the US Department of Defense to develop, build, and deliver weapons. And that firm is represented by Cooperman & McBride, which is, of course, Billy’s old firm.

While the foundation of the story is a familiar one, and the title suggests a win for Billy McBride – I mean the biblical Goliath was downed by David armed with just a sling-shot, this is not a series that you should by-pass.

In fact, the series first aired on Friday the 14th, and I finished it on the night of the 16th. Okay, I didn’t binge-watch the series from start to finish, but I did managed to watch 8 episodes in 48 hours.So let’s get into it.

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Notorious – New ABC-TV Series

I remember the first time I heard the expression – Let’s toss out the rundown. That was pretty much about the same time that I heard another expression – Let’s drop that into the C Block.

That’s right, those words came from the lips of MacKenzie McHale (played by Emily Mortimer) the Exec Producer of Will McAvoy’s (Jeff Daniels) news broadcast on the fictional cable news network ACN. The show was called The Newsroom, and it first aired back on June 24th, 2012.

Well the expressions are back, even if The Newsroom isn’t. This time we are talking about the new series on ABC-TV called Notorious. The words were spoken by one Julia George (played by Piper Perabo), who is described as a powerhouse television producer of the number one TV News program in the country – Louise Herrick Live.

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George has an unwritten agreement with a ‘charismatic’ defense attorney called Jake Gregorian who is played by Daniel Sunjata. Their agreement is to never lie to each other.

Their relationship gives them the opportunity to try to control the media, and to manipulate the justice system in the directions they want. Jake, being a high-profile defense attorney, attracts well-heeled clients who have had the nation’s spotlight turned on them for either scandals or outright crimes. Jake can get his clients or himself on Louise’s show and he can try to sway public opinion.

From Julia’s perspective, she’s getting exclusive interviews with the people who are making headlines on the nations newspapers every day. It seems like a win-win for both.

Only it is not that simple. Detectives are at work, as are independent investigators. What wasn’t even considered yesterday is on the front page tomorrow. Things have to be managed by spin doctors on a daily basis – and between them, George and Gregorian are doing just that.

So that’s the set-up for the series. But there are complications, reversals, twists, and more often than you might think, we as the audience are misled as well.

It comes down to who can you trust?

Let’s have a look at the case that series begins with. An internet mogul, a billionaire, is accused of driving a car that was involved in a hit and run accident. Unfortunately, the victim was a young man (just 15 years old) that died as a result of his injuries.

Kevin Zegers as the internet mogul Oscar Keaton

Kevin Zegers as the internet mogul Oscar Keaton

Was this dot.com honcho driving his car? Or was some one else behind the wheel?

Julia George herself is dating a man who has been just appointed as a federal judge. But there’s evidence that’s been sleeping with hookers.

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Westworld

HBO rolled out the first episode of the much hyped and highly anticipated series called Westworld tonight. I know that this was only the top layer of a series that’s likely to be far deeper than what we’ve seen. But to be absolutely up-front about it, I was sorely disappointed.

After some terrific, very interesting and intriguing images that were shown during the opening credits, the episode had no place to go but downhill.

Not like a locomotive steaming across a bridge that has been blown up. No, much slower than that. In fact, very early on people are arriving at a town somewhere in the vicinity of what looks like Monument Valley as well as the Grand Canyon

The time period appears to be the 1870’s or 1880’s, and the locations, the set design, and the costumes sure place this in the same place as every western movie you’ve ever seen.

So what goes on in this town? The arriving train disgorges its passengers and we learn that most if not all of them have paid money to someone somewhere in the real and modern world (none of that is explained besides the fact that these guests have paid money) to visit Westworld.

Westworld is most easily described as a resort that will fulfill your dreams. The people already in Westworld look and sound like people. They act like real people. There’s just one thing. They are all machines or androids of some kind.

You know, in this setting you can expect to see homesteaders, cowboys, Indians, sheriffs or marshalls with deputies, bartenders, hookers, con-men running some games of chance, and other people who are just going about their business as townsfolk.

The key element in how to tell the difference about who is real, meaning a guest visitor, and who is a host – that is, someone who is already there – is revealed early but not explained.

The hosts do not react at all when an insect or a house fly crawls on their face, or even sits on their eyeball.

So people come here to relive the days of settlers, gunslingers, and the like. The hosts apparently have designated roles and they are able to repeat their actions again and again.

For example, Evan Rachel Wood, who appears to be the lead female, Dolores Abernathy, at least of the hosts, will come down the stairs in their home, say good morning to her father, and head into town. We will see this happen four separate times. Always the same except that in the fourth stanza, there’s a differently looking man as the father.

The first father apparently malfunctioned and had to be taken offline for examination and or repair. As the lead programmer (Bernard Lowe) played by Jeffrey Wright said – he went off script.

Now Wright’s character has a boss called Theresa Cullen, She’s played by the actress who starred in Borgen, a three season drama about Denmark’s first female Prime Minister. Sidse Babett Knudsen has the role. She seems much more corporate than does Lowe.

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