I have one and only one reason for not watching The Good Wife, and it’s simply that I’m not a Julianna Margulies fan. I’ve never really liked her. I didn’t in ER and I don’t now. She’s not the sort of actor I like. And given the rumors of her feud with Archie Panjabi, I like her less.
When I finally sat down to watch the series, I came in with a mild annoyance of the star and a desire to see a decent show about the law.
Tracy is belligerent. For years, since 2014 actually, she’s been trying to get me to watch the show. I remember hanging out in my hotel room in San Francisco, chatting about TV, and she brought it up. That was also the trip where we decided to make this site.
Over the last two years, Tracy kept dropping it into conversation, so I tried to watch the first episode. About ten minutes in, I gave up and turned it back off. It was boring. I didn’t enjoy it. The legal case was dull. Predictable. It was basic television.
But she kept telling me to watch it, and then The Good Fight came out, which I did watch. Yes, I watched the episode that aired on CBS and I thought it was good. I love Christine Baranski, and I liked the new characters, and the legal cases were fun.
Every Sunday, our families watched the show, enjoying the plot and the people and, of course, the outright gayity of it all. It was good and clever and witty, and poked at how horrible the world is while giving me hope.
So naturally I tried again.
Gloves Come Off
I’m a techie by profession. It’s what I do and what I enjoy, so one thing I hate is an inaccurate representation of technology. Zoom and enhance. IP addresses. Trace routes. Webpages. It all makes me cry.
They didn’t. Then they properly handled technology, religion, investigation, and the law. The human interest background chatter, Will and Alicia, I could do without. I’m not much of a romantic when it’s not queer, and Will was a slick lawyer. That’s not a compliment. But the law was interesting, and the cases well argued and compelling.
Two Girls, One Code
Season four was weird. Some of the cases were great, but the storyline was weird. It waffled back and forth and that only got worse as the season went on. Then suddenly Elsbeth Tacioni came back in “Je Ne Sais What?” and Diane spoke French and Will got beat up by judges, and then the show swung back up to making sense and being fun again.
This was also when Cary and Alicia split and opened their own firm. Suddenly we got to see how absolutely vile Will could be. Sorry, I was never a Will fan. He was too Male Narrative for me, and often it felt like men were writing his interactions with him. He was supposed to be charming, but he was a sly, slimy creep.
Dramatics, Your Honor
Speaking of slimy. David Lee. Wow. I love a good asshole, and David Lee was a great asshole. He oozed, he slithered, and he lied. Oh boy did he lie. I liked him. He was the sort of creep I could get behind hating on TV. Especially when Will died. Immediately you saw his true colors, how vile he and many of the lawyers could be.
But then weird things picked up again. Kalinda and Cary was a confusing plot line, and one I found rather unbelievable. He should have known she was playing him. and she could have done a lot better. That said, the war between Florrick/Agos and LG was brilliant. It got better when Louis Canning, played by the amazing Michael J. Fox, arrived to buy in and kick out Diane… Who joined Florrick/Agos.
There was a lot confusing about season six. A lot. The plot line of Alicia running for office was odd, but it was in that moment I realized I understood the arc. The plot wasn’t a story about a woman rediscovering her own self following her husband’s ultimate betrayal. The plot wasn’t about seeing a woman succeed. It was something much more than that.
Oh we were watching the journey of a woman finding out who she was, but it was the who she was that was the story. I’m of two minds for season six. I liked the Alicia plots, but the Kalinda plot was really annoying and felt very out of character. They were clearly writing to keep the two actors apart and, since I knew a bit of that backstory, I was not pleased.
If they’d had a title named “Slap” I would have used that.
Like many people, I hard heard the ending of the series was disappointing. That you didn’t find out who Alicia ‘picked’ and that Diane slapped her. It was in season six, when we finally got to see the inner workings of Eslbeth’s mind, and how Alicia tried to play her, that we saw the true Alicia. This developed over the next season and we began to see Alicia sell her soul.
Alicia became as evil as that which she hated in her husband in the beginning. Alicia had become, Kafka-esque, the cockroach. It was brilliant. It was beautiful. And it was all, every step, planned by the show runners.
Overall, I get why people liked the show. I did find it interesting and engaging, but very much not in the way I think Tracy did. Would I recommend you watch it? Yes.
You should watch it.