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We Try It: The Good Wife

I love TV.  I don’t get a chance to watch a lot of it, and I’m pretty picky about what I’ll commit to watching every week.  (Okay, picky may be completely subjective here, I still love Bones.)  The Good Wife, Tuesdays at 10 on CBS, is a show I’ll completely stop what I’m doing to watch.

The Good Wife focuses on Alicia Florrick, (Julianna Margulies) a political wife who rejoins the workforce after her husband, Illinois State’s Attorney Peter (Chris Noth) gets caught Spitzering some hookers and ends up in prison for fraud.  The promos for last fall’s freshman season of the show led me to believe the premise of the program was the relationship between Alicia and Peter.   While their relationship is certainly a part of the overall story, the main focus is Alicia.  Alicia is not a typical TV one dimensional heroine, i.e. The Mom, The Wife or The Career Lady.  She’s all of these things, and I think she’s one of the first TV women we’ve seen who shows just how difficult it can be to juggle all those roles.

Alicia is hired by a large law firm in the pilot, and the Stern Lockhart Gardner offices make for great workplace drama.   The two primary partners (Stern goes rogue in season one and has been replaced by a new partner played by Michael Ealy early in season two) are the powerfully intimidating Diane Lockhart (the awesome Christine Baranski) and her college beau, Will Gardner (Josh Charles, who should be in everything, ever.)  This show does a wonderful job of playing with power dynamics and gender, creating complex and nuanced relationships between the characters that aren’t limited to who wants to sleep with whom.

Circling the primary characters is a cast of the most well developed secondary/supporting cast I think I’ve ever seen in one show.   Calinda Sharma (Emmy winner Archie Panjabi), the firm’s private investigator, is no one’s wacky best friend.  Cary (Matt Czuchry) is a baby-faced, fresh in the workforce foe to Alicia who remains likable even as he pulls several underhanded (and mostly clever) moves to advance.  Alan Cumming plays Eli Gold, Peter’s campaign manager, and he’s fantastic.  Even Peter’s main adversary, current State’s Attorney Glen Childs (Titus Weliever) is a complex character.

I love The Good Wife because it has created an incredibly complicated female character, but I come back every week for the entire cast and the excellent writing.  If you haven’t checked it out, I strongly recommend catching up with a few episodes.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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