I'm watching. You're watching. Let's talk.

Series premiere: The Good Wife

In television on 09/22/2009 at 8:59 am

Series name
The Good Wife

Debuts
Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS and Global, repeating Saturday at 10 p.m. on CBS

Regularly airs
Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS and Global

Premise
State’s attorney resigns after being caught with hooker and later convicted of misusing public funds, although he is seeking an appeal. Wife stands by her man, just as you’ve seen in any number of scandals involving elected officials, and then she moves on, getting a job at a law firm a dozen years after dropping her career to devote her energies to her husband’s political career. So, a legal drama with ongoing estranged spouse-seeking-exoneration storyline. Set in Chicago, home of shamed ex-governor Rod Blagojevich, although this was dreamed up before his public shaming.

Primary cast and crew
Julianna Margulies (ER) is Alicia Florrick, wife of the philandering ex-state’s attorney.
Christine Baranski (Cybill) is Diane Lockhart, senior partner at the law firm now employing Alicia and her self-professed mentor and, soon, competitor.
Josh Charles (In Treatment, Sports Night) is Will Gardner, head of the law firm, longtime friend and former law-school pal to Alicia.
Archie Panjabi (Personal Affairs, A Mighty Heart) is Kalinda, the law firm’s acerbic investigator.
Matt Czuchry (Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls) is Cary, the other newby at the law firm competing with Alicia for the lone spot. They have six months to prove themselves.
Michelle and Robert King (In Justice) are exec producers.

Buzz buzz
Major, mostly positive.

But what do I know anyway? After having seen the pilot I do declare …
This is the best show I’ve seen so far. Great ripped-from-the-headlines setup, with excellent development following. Julianna Margulies’s character acknowledges the slightly awkward box she inhabits — as a mature woman, she knows things that neither junior lawyers nor workaholic male colleagues can know — but doesn’t hammer home the wisdom of women, as another less confident character (and series) might. Great to see Josh Charles again, so great in Sports Night and In Treatment; and do I sense tension between them? Nice also to see that the husband’s attempt at clearing his name will be threaded through at least a few episodes.

Other reviews

Alessandra Stanley says, in the New York Times, that The Good Wife is gold. “Television dramas rarely do very well with the underbelly of politics … The West Wing idealized the White House, Spin City affectionately spoofed City Hall, but mostly politicians are typecast as cads and criminal suspects on shows like Law & Order. The Good Wife takes its cue from real life, not just the headlines, and is all the better for it.”

Even gamer-boy site IGN calls it a smash, acknowledging that most of the site’s readers would not likely seek out an older-woman-coming-into-her-own series, “But at the very least, you ought to call up your mom and suggest she check it out. This show deserves it.”

Official website
Bios, some behind-the-scenes and promo video (some playable with Canadian IP addresses), clumsy photo gallery, and a blog by Cary, Alicia’s competitor at the firm, which is good, but already dated. It has only one post, supposedly the day Cary found out he’d landed the job. Nothing since. Gotta blog regularly, buster.

Twitter
Nine tweets, no conversation. Wouldn’t this be a good spot for “Cary” to microblog? Or maybe he can get the clerk he shares with Alicia to tweet for him?

Facebook
Some video, some fan gushing.

Wondering when the other new series and returning series are kicking off?
Click here for my select list of fall 2009 premieres and other important dates. Who am I to tell you what to do, but you could consider bookmarking it…

— Denise Duguay

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: