I remember when The Good Wife was first aired, it was okay, and then I grew to like some of the characters, but we all knew it should they strung it out for a few too many seasons. Once Will Gardner died, the show was never going to last. Now there is the spin off—The Good Fight, which has been already been renewed for a second season with some good reviews from critic and viewers. As much as I wanted to like this show, the first season was so full of clichés borrowed from the media spin, and what an audience expects. It left me wondering what were they actually fighting for?
****SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN THE SHOW***
The show focuses on Diane Lockhart who has set up another law firm (seriously, how many has she been through in less than a decade), who then decides to retire, and divorce her husband who had cheated on her with a student. She knew that he had, but the fact it was revealed in court by Alicia Florrick brought about the end of a friendship and working relationship. However, it’s hard to garner any sympathy for Diane after she had stabbed many others in the back during the seasons, so it maybe karma at play. Bring in her goddaughter who is the only child of one of the wealthiest families in the city, whom is handed a job straight out of law school. It smacks of old school nepotism, but the clichés just keep coming one after another, maybe to attract and appease the differing target audiences.
Sadly, in my eyes the show is unbelievable, and predictable, just as some seasons of The Good Wife were. We all really wanted to know how Alicia did her shopping and laundry, and managed to get her hair done, without any help (no PA or housekeeper), and it just got silly in the end when we were led to believe no one knew that she was leading a separate life from Peter Florrick.
The odd guest stars from the original show (Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni, and Gary Cole as Kurt McVeigh) attract viewers to the show, but the clichés are not even subtle, and the logline is even more misleading. Take for example the line that Maia Rindell has her reputation ruined, and must save her career, when she has just passed the bar and has been a lawyer for a few months. Diane claiming she is a good lawyer is a joke when she hasn’t even seen her in court, and is backed up when she doesn’t even know to bring up a claim of ‘false imprisonment’ at a tribunal hearing, something you learn even on an online law course without credit. Quite simply there are too many clichéd plots, and characters, with the writing team pushing their opinions and agendas:
- Feminism was heavily written in towards the latter seasons in The Good Wife and continues here.
- BLM (black lives matter) is an important issue, but to move the scene to an all African American law firm doesn’t show balance. Racism is a topic highlighted in each episode, and while it needs to be addressed, it won’t change those who are brought up in a racist environment.
- There is the token gay relationship that all family members approve of, which isn’t wholly realistic.
- The lead of Maia Rindell as the wealthy daughter who passes the bar and walks straight into a job isn’t realistic, nor is any sympathy gained when she is fired. Her character is weak, and her demeanor feeble, that there is no way she would have even passed an interview to get a job in a law firm.
- The obligatory storylines of cyber terrorism, hacking, fake social media accounts, and wire taps continues…
- The political bias of the Trump administration may reflect how many feel in the US, but should a drama use real life scenarios in their scripts?
- The Ponzi plot line based on Madoff is old news, and not many will sympathize with those involved in the storyline.
- The mother having an affair with the brother-in-law is another old storyline rehashed.
- Isn’t Diane having to downsize her apartment after choosing to leave her husband the same as Alicia in The Good Wife?
- An ex-boyfriend posting naked photos on the internet isn’t new, nor is creating fake news as revenge.
After the first episode I wasn’t enthused about watching another. However, in the interests of fairness, I binge watched the series so I could at least say I gave it a chance. None of the characters gripped me, and the only character worth watching was Marissa brought over from the previous show. Even Lucca’s character seemed to be going over the top, although her romance with ADA, Morello was more about how long it will last rather then if it would happen. The cast is a mixture of established actors in guest roles, and a few relatively unknowns, and while watchable, it’s predictable.
I don’t dislike Christine Baranski but prefer her in the role of Dr. Beverly Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory. Of course this show she is the lead character, and no actor would turn down their own show, but I do feel Diane Lockhart should retire. Season one consists of 10 episodes, and season two has been renewed, but only Baranski has been confirmed so far. Dragging in previous clients from The Good Wife again is predictable (but draws in fans), and is a bit tiring.
Rose Leslie, as the goddaughter Maia lacks presence, or maybe that’s just how her character is written. In each scene she looks unsure of what to do or say. Many scenes she looks afraid, about to cry or breakdown, and you wonder how on earth she managed with any moots. In the finale she is encouraged to get some backbone, but instead she looks like an angry child with flared nostrils.
The show has been accused of being too political and too left wing, and at times the writing does show bias, which is not in the realms of creativity, but propaganda. The season finale looked rushed, as if the storylines had been concluded (in case of no renewal), but again, it was too obvious. I do have to chuckle at how they manage to get Maia in court fighting a case until 6 p.m. and who then makes it to dinner at her parents until 8 p.m. The next scene is her hosting dinner for Lucca, when there is a knock on the door, and she assumes is her girlfriend who has forgotten her keys. We all know it’s the DOJ (except her) because people text or call to say they have forgotten their keys unless they are drunk, and people look through the peephole before they open the door. All I can say is that she perjured herself during a proffer, and as a lawyer she should have known what questions were going to be asked, and sorted out her answers. I have no sympathy, and it’s a dead end story with no pathos for one of the lead characters.
I like television dramas to be entertainment, but this show seems to be an extension of the tabloid media played out with some storylines that are worryingly real. Perhaps there is pressure to churn out scripts quickly, but the audience can see that and the holes in them. That’s why Revenge died, and 24 sadly lost its edge. Writing a good script takes time, and this whole series storylines seems to have been pulled out of several tabloid headlines, with lackluster characters. Time to watch some re-runs of Law and Order, and Friends…