The new Netflix original, The Good Sam, raises a fundamental question about the human condition: Are humans inherently selfless or selfish? He wisely doesn’t try to give us a definitive answer. But whether the film manages to frame this challenging idea in its lighthearted drama is ultimately the big question here.
Tia Sircar (Good Place) as Kate Bradley:
A New York TV news reporter lingers on the “losses” – covering fires, incidents, etc. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t subscribe to his journalistic pursuits. He regularly risks his safety to record compelling footage, confusing his editor David (Mark Camacho) and his employer’s insurance company. It runs in a gentle rhythm!
But, as is often the case (eventually). The new rhythm of the good news takes him down an exciting new path. A mysterious man named Good Sam (short for Samaritan). Which leaves $100,000 cash on the doorstep of those who might use it.
And troubled families, oncologists are donating money to cancer research foundations. The stereotypical Americans with health insurance, crippled by medical debt anyway. Because critical interventions are not carried out and so on. Kate puts on an investigative hat and finds out who, how, why, and if, where, and when they matter. He is good at his job.
Kate’s work connects her with two potential romantic interests. Jack Hansen (Marco Grazini) is a good hedge fund manager and friend of his father, a senator; despite her pop job, she messes with all kinds of politics and disappears from Jack’s progress. But in the end, she gave up having dinner with him.
Eric Hayes (Chad Connell) is more than his type, a sincere and humble firefighter whom he meets after rescuing three people from a burning building; Good Sam Street happened to lead to his apartment door. Hmmm, Eric invited them too, and no one is sure if there is a diversion in the menu.
The plot depicts one of Kate’s internal struggles:
Poliana versus the cynic. Do people do good for themselves or to represent their interests? It’s no spoiler to say that she met both men in her search for Good Sam.
A show worth seeing: Sirkar’s charismatic seriousness in “Good Sam” easily replaces the external script of lethal spring sacks. I’d love to see what he can do with a more substantial character and script that wasn’t relatively as smooth as the sugar-free peanut butter in Wonder Bread.
“I’ve been working on rhythm for years – we know it always gets ratings,” says Kate, and I know it’s not a very memorable line. Still, this screenplay is full of potentially exciting people saying unflattering things. The film’s final frame points the camera at a rising stork as Kate leaves their meeting and rushes through Central Park, chasing another story that sounds like a familiar song, one that sounds like a diluted Rembrandt piece or a letter to Cleo.
This film wants us to feel good about things because feeling bad is bad. you know, in general things like. It’s hard not to think about what Good Sam is: a witty feminist study of human compassion overshadowed by evil self-interest and how the media have the power to shape perceptions.
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But the film is ultimately fragile, driven by the plot and lighting that detail the characters. Not too dramatic, funny, or romantic, and it’s as lukewarm as today’s tea and as deep as a dollar greeting card.
Good Sam is actively looking forward to it. This is good, and it almost deviated. This will not trigger anxious emotions, and it can even keep you awake. It will quietly excuse itself from your memory 20 minutes after you see it.