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The Watchman : Billy Bob Holds Court on ‘Goliath’, ‘Big City Greens’ Brings Country to the City

Goliath starts up on Amazon June 15, with Billy Bob Thornton’s Billy McBride pulled back into law when a pal’s teen son is arrested for a double homicide. Season two is about “the existential journey” of Billy, according to executive producer and showrunner Lawrence Trilling. He meets a woman. She “causes him to be vulnerable, and he pays a terrible price for that.”

One highlight is a trip to Mexico toward the end of the season. South of the border “is where all the shit goes down,” Trilling said.

What stands out about the legal drama? Trilling boils it down to two things, the first being the “undeniable excellence” of its lead actor. Thornton is a “supremely watchable actor and performer,” he said. “He’s a guy you just want to watch lean against a car and smoke a cigarette.”

The other thing is Goliath’s “binge-worthy” quality. “There are big, wild turns to our story,” Trilling said. “It’s a real romp and ride.”

Mark Duplass joins the cast as a shady developer looking to leave his mark on the L.A. skyline. Trilling calls him a “great villain.” The Goliath bad guys, he added, have a “pulpy noir quality.”

What is the showrunner doing for the premiere? “Putting flyers on my neighbors’ windshields, telling them to watch,” Trilling quipped.

And Big City Greens premieres on Disney Channel June 18, the animated show from brothers Chris and Shane Houghton. It’s about the misadventures of 10-year-old Cricket Green, a country kid who moves to the city with his family.

The series is inspired by the Houghton boys’ upbringing in rural St. Johns, Michigan. “It was a small farm town,” Shane said. “Dirt roads, cornfields, farm animals.”

The Houghton house was so remote that they could not see their next door neighbor’s home. Shane recalls a wisp of jealousy for his friends who lived within walking distance of a gas station.

The brothers, who previously worked on Nickelodeon series Harvey Beaks, now live in Los Angeles. Big City Greens borrows from their experience of shifting from country life to a mega-metropolis. “I loved growing up in the country, and now I love living in a big city,” Chris said. “I like exploring the differences.”

Cricket is based on Chris, the brothers agree, the main character a “mischievous, trouble-making kid,” according to Shane. Fittingly, Chris does Cricket’s voice.

Big City Greens offers a unique look — an array of bright colors, and characters that don’t have noses. “We tried to figure out ways to make the show stick out,” Chris said. “A show where no one has a nose — we thought that might stick out.”