The Good Wife just keeps getting better.
The legal drama, which debuted on CBS during the Fall 2009 season is so much more than just your average procedural. Though it does feature intriguing, and often times controversial, cases, its strongest suit has always been in dealing with the personal drama of Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), her politician husband (Chris Noth), their kids, the press, and an advisor who often seems to be more like the third person in the relationship (Alan Cumming). They hit their stride easily in season one, and now that they are a few episodes into their sophomore season, they are showing off just a little bit by leaving the courtroom to explore the lives of a few of the other characters.
(Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead!)
What’s especially fun to watch is the evolution of characters and their relationships toward one another. Cary (Matt Czuchry) and Alicia may have been going head-to-head for one job last season, but now that they are each comfortably settled, they go head-to-head on opposite sides of the courtroom, as well as a civil suit. Cary has more fun than he should questioning Alicia about a leak in a deposition in tonight’s episode, “Cleaning House,” and in turn the audience has fun watching Will (Josh Charles) strike back in her defense.
And speaking of Will and Alicia, with Alicia not receiving his last voicemail, she thinks he has moved on for other reasons than the ones about which he assumes she never called. Regardless, though, as they continue to ignore the elephant in the room, they end up forming a tighter bond through their work, which leads to more voicemails and text messages that Peter seems to be on the verge of misconstruing. Alicia may be committed to her husband, but he begins to have second thoughts, even though Will shows up at a big political gala with another woman (guest star Elizabeth Reaser).
We’ve seen the bleeding over of Alicia’s two lives before, in a case from the first season in which her husband steered her toward some missing evidence. However, in next week’s “VIP Treatment,” the issue is back and with avengence when a well-known political figure wants to tie himself to Peter’s campaign as a way to get Alicia and her firm to drop a harassment suit against him. It appears this is going to be a major theme as he pushes forward with reelection and she continues to deal with major power players in the same world.
And then of course there’s the new rivalry of Kalinda– or should we say Leila?– (Archie Panjabi) and Blake (Scott Porter). The intensity in their relationship can’t quite be described as love/hate, but the two do find themselves in a somewhat compromising position after she learns that other people are starting to notice his instigating and investigating. We always knew she had major cajones when it came to casework, but to watch her attack a problem from a personal angle sheds some extra light on who she is.
Legal dramas these days seem to be a dime a dozen, but many of the new ones, like the fledgling, stoic The Whole Truth on ABC, for example, would be smart to take a page out of The Good Wife for critical acclaim ratings, and a real shot at longevity. The Good Wife, in mixing both sides of its characters lives, after all, shows them as well-rounded people. They can be serious and hard-nosed when they have to be, but there’s a real layer of fun and compassion to them, as well.
…Well, maybe not a lot of compassion on Kalinda’s part, but that’s just another element that makes this show so unique and interesting!