Tag Archives: The Good Wife

The Good Wife” Season 4, Episode 14

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Hey, “The Good Wife” was back last night! Who knew? One of the worst parts about the show being moved to Sundays, – i.e., CBS’s “classy” way of trying to smother it to death – is its irregular schedule. Just when the momentum was building this season after the holiday break, boom! Them’s the breaks. Literally.

“Red Team, Blue Team” was full of hard knocks, from Cary and Alicia being denied equity partnership (kinda) to the two of them going up again Will and Diane in “take no prisoners” mode for their mock trial, and then of course Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston) catching the feds in their own wiretapping game in an amazingly strange and entertaining subplot … READ MORE

“The Good Wife” Season 4, Episode 13 Recap

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Another fantastic week for “The Good Wife.” “The Seven Day Rule” was an episode that probably worked ok on its own, but seemed designed specifically to benefit long-time fans with a complex narrative (not seen all too often on network procedurals). It incorporated familiar aspects and faces (particularly the appearance of Neil Gross, the CEO of ChumHum, one of the show’s favorite Google-esque targets), but it also played upon old rivalries and set up plenty to come … READ MORE

‘The Good Wife’ Season 4, Episode 12 Recap

“The Good Wife” saved their best guest star for last. After last week’s glut of guest stars, this week had only one, but she was a good one: Elsbeth Tascioni, played by Carrie Preston. Elsbeth has an amazing combination of qualities, from excessive exuberance to sharp mental acuity to extreme good nature. In fact, everything about Elsbeth is extreme, but in all of the best possible ways. She may be overwhelming, but she gets things done. And are we meant to take away from Will and Diane’s interest in her that they are hoping to collect her into their fold? (I feel the topic has been broached before, but that she prefers to work on her own. Building up good will though would be a good start to winning her over) … READ MORE

‘The Good Wife’ Season 4, Episode 11 Recap

Quietly, “The Good Wife” returned last night, smothered per usual by more hyped shows on networks who care about them (in this case, “Downton Abbey” on PBS). But “Boom De Ya Da” (one of the laziest non-sequitur titles they’ve ever come up with) was a great way to pick up after the mid-season break and come back fresh, even if they did resurrect almost every character that has ever been on the show (guest stars!)

The Case of the Week, which has been a low point for this show this season, was really a sterling display in “Boom De Ya Da,” taking us out of the courtroom and into the lodge, with a reappearance by Michael J. Fox‘s excellent Alicia-nemesis Louis Canning. The specifics of the COTW were even marginally interesting, focusing on the dilapidated foreclosure properties left to rot by banks who should care a little more about their investments … READ MORE

“The Good Wife” Season 4, Episode 10 Recap

Sometimes “The Good Wife” doesn’t do a proper mid-season finale and straggles on through the holidays, but this year it looks like (according to the last schedule I saw) that there’s been a clean break and the series will return at the first of January. I think this was the right choice to keep the show’s drama taught, and “Battle of the Proxies” left us with plenty to look forward to in 2013.

It seemed from the promos that “Battle of the Proxies” would focus on the ethical issue of trying a client who is known to be guilty and, beyond that, simultaneously working to convict an innocent man of the same crime. Strangely, that turned out to be more a footnote, with the courtroom circus in Minooka being the main focus (presided over by Stephen Root, a favorite of mine). It made the Case of the Week a lot more interesting, but the shrugging dismissal of the fact that two cases could be tried for the same crime at the same time (which I didn’t know was possible) and that “well it’s ok that we helped convict the innocent one on false information, we’ll just slip them a note for appeal!” was unsatisfactory … READ MORE

‘The Good Wife,’ Season 4, Episode 9 Recap

“The Good Wife” trimmed the fat (mostly) for “A Defense of Marriage,” and focused almost entirely on Alicia both in and out of the courtroom. It’s of little wonder though when this series’ named is paired with an episode title and theme like this one. Marriage was on trial for everyone this week, from the micro to the macro, and while some may criticize the show not taking a stand one way or another on, well, anything, I think it was actually a perfect way to illustrate the ambiguity of its subject.

The best “Good Wife” episodes usually deal with politics, and “A Defense of Marriage” was no exception. The other key part is having a relevant and related Case of the Week, which also played out nicely with Alicia’s family politics. The idea of what a marriage is or can be defined as (or can it really, when one comes down to the nitty gritty) was the main thrust in both the politics of DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) as well as both Alicia’s and her mother’s person lives … READ MORE

‘The Good Wife,’ Season 4, Episode 8 Recap

This has been another transitional season for “The Good Wife,” but despite some starts and stops it really has remained a great show. “Here Comes the Judge” again married the Case of the Week closely with Lockhart Gardner, to its benefit. And though there were some lagging sidebar plots (hmmm who could that be … Nick maybe? You got it!), overall it was a pretty engaging episode that raised some interesting questions.

The main one for me is: how are we supposed to feel about the firm these days and their ruthless pursuit of their own interests? I really like Diane and I’m OK with Will, but the way they have plotted against and alienated Hayden in the past and dragged Judge Creary in this episode (and they way they did it) just feels slimy. I would be surprised if viewers disagreed with Judge Dunaway’s final thoughts on the matter: yes, Lockhart Gardner proved their point, but at what moral and ethical cost? … READ MORE

‘The Good Wife’ Season 4, Episode 7 Recap

Oh Case of the Week, must you torment me so? Occasionally, the “ripped from the headlines” approach can work well both in having built-in inside jokes as well as the opportunity to re-visit perhaps a controversial issue on one’s own terms, exploring nuances or alternative outcomes. Sometimes, though, that waivers too dangerously into meta humor that is not so much jokey as just eye-rolling. The part of “Anatomy of a Joke’s” COTW that worked was about how Therese (Christina Ricci - yet another guest star!) wasn’t really trying to achieve anything more than a cheap laugh poorly executed. The part that failed was the hardly-veiled disdain by the show for, not the FCC’s regulations, but the network’s, including a few meta-barbs at “being delayed because of football” (as “The Good Wife” often is) … READ MORE

‘The Good Wife’ Season 4, Episode 6 Recap

“Guest stars galore!” they said. And so it was – the entire episode was so jammed-packed with guest stars that there was even a completely unnecessary appearance by Kristin Chenowith (even though it’s good to see her) squeezed in just because they could. “We’re overflowing with stars!”

I cringe at guest star appearances in almost every case on any show, because the desperation for ratings reeks. But “The Good Wife,” despite having too many characters to know what to do with in the first place, actually finds nice little arcs for them that aren’t so terribly self-aware. Still, because of the fact that the cast has expanded exponentially, even those guest stars got, at best, only a few moments on screen (Nathan Lane‘s Hayden was reduced to saying “this is crap! It’s all crap!” twice, followed by a silent scene of him reading, apparently, Steve Jobs‘ biography) … READ MORE

‘The Good Wife’ Season 4, Episode 5 Recap

After several weeks of complaining that “The Good Wife’s” Cases of the Week had been unconnected filler at best, “Waiting for the Knock” did away with the show’s procedural formula and made it all about the investigation and drama, to great effect. In fact, “Waiting for the Knock” may be the best episode so far this year (though not without its issues) because it played upon the series strengths which, strangely, recently have not been about courtroom drama (even Cary got a small part to play!) The theme of “Waiting for the Knock” seemed primarily about separating business from the personal, and how the two really are inextricably linked … READ MORE