Peacock‘s Paul T. Goldman begins off innocently sufficient. We study that Paul T. Goldman is a person on a mission. After marrying his second spouse (the present calls) Audrey, he quickly learns that she will not be solely conning him, however aside of a a lot bigger conspiracy. Paul pens a e book known as Duplicity about his unimaginable journey from “wimp to warrior,” uncovering the reality about Audrey’s connection to a nefarious intercourse trafficking ring, and bringing the culprits to justice. Understandably, he desires to share this wild true story and units about on a journey to convey his life story to the display screen. Nathan For You and Borat Subsequent Film Movie director Jason Woliner jumps on board, seeing an opportunity to discover the hazy, hilarious gaps between truth and fiction.
Up to now, so good. Paul T. Goldman is simply the newest entry in an rising new style of “docu-comedy” that features Woliner’s previous tasks and Nathan Fielder’s latest masterpiece The Rehearsal. Nevertheless, Paul T. Goldman “Chapter 4: The Trial” is the place issues get decidedly darkish. From the leap, the present’s eponymous topic, narrator, and maestro has been depicted as a unusual naif whose best sin is possibly not studying social cues. (Particularly because it pertains to romance.) In Episode 4, nevertheless, Paul’s lies meet up with him. His nonfiction story is blown to bits because the wilder features of Audrey’s crimes are borne out to be false. We study no arrests have been made. Paul has fabricated large swaths of his story. Worse, he pens an ending to his “true” story that enables him to actually homicide Audrey and her love. All of the whereas, Paul within the current, “actual” documentary refuses to broach any idea of empathy or emotional vulnerability.
As a result of Paul T. Goldman is a mission that asks you to enter Paul’s perspective, it was right here that I started feeling extraordinarily disturbed. As a substitute of simply following a unusual character by a weird chain of true crime occasions, we have been permitting a deeply embittered man to behave out his most aggressively merciless fantasies. In fact, like a dummie, I ought to have seen this twist coming.
The primary three episodes of Paul T. Goldman have been launched on Peacock in a batch final week, which meant I binged them as a three-act story. After Episode 1, I used to be 100% in Paul’s thrall. Did I discover him odd? Positive. Extra importantly, it was clear from his story of proposing to a lady after three months and agreeing to a “part-time” marriage that he was possibly not the brightest bulb on the Lite-Brite show. Nonetheless, his enthusiasm for the mission, his love for his son, and his “oh wow” demeanor put me on his aspect. An fool who says “You possibly can snort at me! I snort at me!” is fairly darn endearing.
Then, Paul T. Goldman Episode 2 rolled. Positive, I used to be shocked that he revealed he met his first spouse by a mail-order Russian bride scheme, however this was Paul. The present had already established he’s not the very best at romance, social cues, or normie conduct. His preliminary depiction of his first marriage led you to consider he was exploited by a wannabe medication scholar who used his unabashed goals of true like to safe a inexperienced card. However then we meet Paul’s precise first spouse Galina. She and their now-teen son Johnny watch as Paul auditions actresses to play the fictional model of Galina, “Talia.”
When Galina means that maybe the couple’s breakup scene ought to be performed extra naturally — and never wholly as Paul’s aggrieved reminiscence of the occasion — she is roped in to dramatically recreate her personal divorce from Paul…in entrance of their actual life son. Placing apart the apparent awfulness of subjecting your child to this, it’s clear from Galina’s portrayal of occasions, her tender recollections of Paul in confessional, and the truth that she’s nonetheless in his life that she’s not a one dimensional villain. From this fault line, tremors ripple by Paul’s accounts of actuality, disrupting the stable floor of his every declare.
However in Paul T. Goldman Episode 4, it will get even darker. It turns into increasingly obvious that the premise of most of Paul’s huge conspiracy theories come from a charismatic pet psychic and his personal creativeness. Upset that the FBI has discounted his “proof,” Paul writes his vicious fantasy of what ought to occur to ex-wife Audrey and her lover Royce Rocco. Woliner questions Paul about this, seemingly extra fascinated about why he shied away from a extra empathetic (or simply plain actual) ending. Paul emphatically says it’s extra vital to be a sociopath than a loser. A warrior over a wimp.
Now it’s apparent that Paul was a mark. He was duped by Audrey, who was each finishing up an affair and making an attempt to extort Paul out of cash. Nevertheless evidently Paul’s disgrace of being wronged has led him down a twisted path to rework Audrey and her lover into supervillains on a scale. In his quest to not be such a pathetic sufferer, Paul has embraced the trimmings of a villain. No peace may be discovered on this path, however possibly, by the work of Woliner and firm, we get one thing akin to artwork.