The Goodwin Games – “Pilot” Review

Rating:  4.5

Beau Bridges plays a supporting role as Benjamin Goodwin, the family patriarch, who dies and leaves 23 million to his 3 children.  Well, they have to compete for that 23 million.  Their first test is to complete a family customized version of Trivial Pursuit.  Trivial, indeed.

I am a fan of all three main actors, the Goodwin children, and I approached the “Goodwin Games” pilot with as much optimism as anyone could approach a midseason premiere (that received an order of only 7 episodes.)  If anything, I hope this series serves as another platform to demonstrate the talents of Becky Newton, Scott Foley, and T.J. Miller.

The pilot did a decent job of initial character development; Henry is the obsessive, overachieving doctor, Chloe is bright but struggles with her career due to some poor choices, and Jimmy is essentially the ‘problem child,’ though a good-natured fun one.  The pilot  includes their first challenge, the Trivial Pursuit game.  Had this worked well, it would have increased the likleyhood that each episodes’ challenge would be equally as entertaining.  However.. the opposite is also true, and unfortunately the series’ audience now knows not to expect too much in coming episodes.

The series shows some confidence in that it is really trying to depict the characters as realistic people – these are not wacky, exaggerated archtypes. So there is a chance that this series can overcome this rather bland pilot, continue to develop the characters, and, most importantly, be funny and different.  But if the format includes a family challenge of the week, that will work against this series, as will the silly videotape presentations from Beau. (VHS, really, in 2013?).  If next weeks’ episode features more of the same, then that could be it for TGG, and, maybe that’s a good thing considering this casts’ combined talent.

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