April 4, 2013

Serial Love: The Good Wife

The aspirational intellectuals fall all over "Mad Men", "Breaking Bad", "The Walking Dead", "Game of Thrones" and "Girls". They are edgy, weird, gory, stylish, squeamish and on premium cable. "The Good Wife" is on normal TV, in its fourth season and is about the stand-by-your-man wife and her metamorphosis. Not a plot line that grabs you by the throat but may we remark: still waters do run deep.  

"The Good Wife" is one of those rare shows we can watch any time and feel skinny in baggy sweats - you know, just good.  It's not the kind of show where multi-tasking on iPad, iPhone and laptop is possible. This is a good thing and the best indication the show is actually decent. Your undivided attention is politely asked for: may I have this dance? We accept and are swept away for 45 minutes. It's smart (who are these writers? good lord they are awesome and really know their high calibre law office intrigue), sexy and powerful: the women have steel spines. 

Characters we adore because they are intrepid and alluring: Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), Alicia Florrick (Julianne Margulies) and of course private investigator kiss-my-boots Kalinda Sharma (Archie Punjabi). Running our finger down the cast list, we love Will Gardner and Cary Agos (Rory Gilmore's misunderstood rich kid Logan Huntzberger aka Matt Czuchry), Peter Florrick (Chris Noth has finally overshadowed Mr. Big) as well as engaging guest stars. Seeing Michael J. Fox, Amanda Peet and Martha Plimpton romp through the show being annoying adds to the fun. 

Ms. Margulies' Alicia is as reserved and outwardly polished as we'd sometimes like to be. She is also as flawed as we all are. Over the course of the seasons, her imperfections and character nicks simmer to the top, dispersing yet lingering on, giving her the patina of what doesn't kill me makes me stronger. The good wife is crossing the street from Stepford wife to a Chicago broad. The fashion frosting: cool elegance in the corporate world. Take your cue from them corporate zombies: dress sharp, speak sharper. 

NB: we have to offer some fashion advice: peep toe platforms are on their way out girls. 

Excerpt from the New Yorker: 

Set in Barack Obama’s home city of Chicago, “The Good Wife” went at its theme sideways, with cunning and great TV craftsmanship. With her helmet of hair and black-slash eyebrows, Julianna Margulies’s Florrick was a mysterious figure, gifted at hiding motives, even from herself. In the first episode, she was still recovering from the press conference at which her husband, Peter (Chris Noth), the Cook County state attorney, had confessed to having sex with prostitutes. The press nicknamed her St. Alicia, a sneer embossed on a pedestal. While Peter was in jail, awaiting trial for corruption, she took a job as a junior litigator, transforming herself into a single working parent, paying legal fees, sparring with her mother-in-law, and mulling a divorce. But “The Good Wife” ’s showrunners, Michelle and Robert King, pulled off a clever trick: they nested Alicia’s domestic dramas within a sleek legal procedural, with its classic case-of-the-week structure and intra-office sexual tension.

Read more at The New Yorker Emily Nussbaum reviews seasons one through three. 
Season four is currently airing in the United States on CBS on Sunday nights, 9PM. 
Season three is currently airing on Sky/Fox in Germany and Austria on Tuesday nights

No comments: