"The Good Wife" Ups Her Legal Game

BlogHer Original Post

The Good Wife is one of those shows that promises you one thing, delivers it, and then delivers a bonus too.  It's like going to a new burger joint for the fabulous burgers and then finding out the place also has the best shakes in town. 

In its first season The Good Wife proved it had great family drama, great acting and unique characters.  But that's not all.  This season is only two episodes old but already the show has proven itself to be a top notch legal drama.

The Good Wife stars Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, a wronged wife of a political husband, Peter Florrick, who had a run-in with a prostitute and a camera.  Since Peter was a state's attorney, that was a problem.  So off he goes to jail for corruption and off she goes to the nearest law firm for work.

The courtroom scenes are always taught and suspenseful and often just the least bit humorous.  As an added treat, there's usually a subtext of hidden motives since Alicia is a lightening rod for grudges against her husband. The cases are never predictable and neither is the guilt or innocence of the parties involved.

I agree with Aryeh S. at CliqueClack TV when she says:

The best new drama on television last year returned right where it left us before the break. I could do without the Peter/Alicia nonsense, but as a legal drama this show is one of the best on the air right now.

Away from the courtroom, in last season's finale we didn't know if Alicia would end up with her newly released husband Peter (Chris Noth) or her boss at the law firm, Will Gardner (Josh Charles).

We learned what happened in the first few moments of this season's premiere when Will declares his love in a voicemail, but it's erased by Peter's political handler Eli Gold (Alan Cumming) before Alicia ever receives it.  So even though Alicia wants to be with Will, she thinks it's over.

Dun, dun, duuuuuuunnnnnn!

Suzanne Murray at The Stir likes The Good Wife, but wants to see more action in the romance department:

Enough of the simmering subtext and secret glances between Alicia and Will. Just do it already!

Suzanne kind of got her wish in this season's premiere except the action was between Alicia and Peter.  There's a scene when, turned on by Alicia’s ballsy performance in court that day, Peter gives Alicia his own oral argument -- if you know what I mean.

Back in the courtroom, last week's legal case dealt with a guy accused of murder who was representing himself, and Alicia was forced by the judge to babysit him.  This week's case had a defendant being acquitted of murder, only to then be prosecuted in military court because he's an enlisted man.  Watching as Will and Alicia were kept on their legal toes, coping with the stringent rules of military law was very entertaining.

Matt Czuchry is back as Cary Agos, who lost a job to Alicia, is now in the district attorney's office and trying to get revenge.  Also returning is Alan Cumming as Eli Gold, Peter's sly political handler, Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, Alicia's smart and sassy boss, and newly minted Emmy award winner Archie Panjabi as the petite private eye with the mysterious past, Kalinda Sharma.  New this season is Michael Ealy as Derrick Bond, a new partner at the firm who's already shaking things up.  Glad to see him on a hit show this time since his last role flamed out right along with last season's FlashForward. 

There was some funky stunt casting when Lou Dobbs showed up this week as one of the firm's clients.  Blogger Jane Genova saw Lou's appearance as "product placement:"

He played himself,  just as Vernon Jordan had played himself on the show.  That's becoming fashionable now: appearing with one's real-life identity. Could this appearance have represented another kind of trial balloon?  Could Dobbs be attempting to return to the familiar world of television?

And when it comes to the woman power vibe on The Good Wife, Shelly at Shelly's Daily Feed thinks the show is "sooooooo good for women:"

This is women’s empowerment all the way and the writers haven’t backed off on Alicia’s journey of self-discovery. And seeing Kalinda (Emmy award winning actor Archie Panjabi) in action is so satisfying, especially when she pushes the male investigator away…love it. These women drive the storylines and that makes it one of the must see TV shows on the air.

They've also got some interesting guest stars coming up. For example, Miranda Cosgrove of iCarly will play a client in November and Lili Taylor has been cast as someone from Kalinda's past.

Pass me that burger.

The Good Wife airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on CBS.

 Megan Smith is the BlogHer Contributing Editor covering Television/Online Video.     Her other blogs are Megan's Minute, quirky commentary around the clock and Meg's Rad Reviews.


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