Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) has been a good wife to her husband, a former state's attorney. After a very humiliating sex and corruption scandal, he is behind bars. She must now prov... Read allAlicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) has been a good wife to her husband, a former state's attorney. After a very humiliating sex and corruption scandal, he is behind bars. She must now provide for her family and returns to work as a litigator in a law firm.Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) has been a good wife to her husband, a former state's attorney. After a very humiliating sex and corruption scandal, he is behind bars. She must now provide for her family and returns to work as a litigator in a law firm.
Then, in early 2014 I worked abroad and had no access to internet. A friend gave me the first three seasons and, after having given up on "Downton Abbey" during the second season premier, decided to give "The Good Wife" a shot.
"The Good Wife" is one of those quiet shows. It's rarely melodramatic, despite the potential for melodrama in its storylines. You get a better understanding of how Alicia is doing by how much we see her drink in an episode, than how often she screams at colleagues.
Alicia Florrick is the wife of disgraced DA, Peter Florrick. Despite the fact he maybe traded the law for sex and drugs, Alicia continues to stick by him. She actually goes further when, due to his assets being frozen, she returns to work after 16 years. How'd she get a job? Well, her ex-flame is now a named partner at a law firm and he hires her on the (secret) condition that his partner also gets to hire a new start, with only one being kept on after a year's probation. While she deals with duking it out with a boy half her age for a job in an office that makes her uncomfortable, she deals with her husband's mess through the tabloids, the blackmailers and, worst of all, his mother. Drama, no?
"The Good Wife" manages (for its first 6 and a half seasons) to find surprising and satisfying ways to remain exciting. Alicia, played by Julianna Margulies, is just such a power house of emotion and remains magnetic throughout. The creators often stumbled with the periphery characters, but Alicia is so perfectly created, from her dress sense, to her walk, to her little laugh. Even when the show dipped in the final season, Alicia remained worth watching.
That's not to say the side characters aren't pulling their own weight: Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry), Will Gardiner (Josh Charles), Diane Lockart (Christine Baranski), Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) and Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi) all put in excellent work and each have arcs or moments throughout that often rival Alicia's ongoing story. My favourite story, involving Cary's false imprisonment, is one of the best montages in the show and it doesn't occur until Season 6.
Throughout the show, guest actors pop up repeatedly as judges, lawyers, family members and I don't think a performance was ever squandered. Alan Cumming, who appeared as Eli Gold, was so damn good he became a regular. Michael J Fox, Stockard Channing and Nathan lane all show up throughout the run, alongside some other surprising special guests.
My love of the show stems from Alicia's character arc. She's a tragic character who learns, unfortunately, that power comes with a price. Throughout the show, she is named "good" or "saint," but as her confidence and ability grow, and as she steps out of her husband's shadow, she becomes what she hates. Despite never losing the namesake "Saint Alicia," her actions from season 5 onwards see her use her power for selfish and mean reasons. What's interesting is that she never once sees herself as the villain. Not until the very final moment of the show when it comes full circle. She wants to get ahead in the game, who can fault her for that?
If you're on the fence about The Good Wife, I recommend jumping right on it. It's a sexy, sophisticated procedural with some stellar and exciting character arcs throughout.
- Aug 22, 2019