Inspired by the downfall of whoremonger and also former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, The Good Wife follows the adventures of Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), who has to return to practicing law after her Spitzer-like husband Peter (Chris Noth) gets sent to jail for whoring and corruption. The show, I guess, is designed to answer the question: What on earth is she thinking when she stands beside him smiling like that?
And, you know, the show’s quite good. A little girly for me, but I watch it with my wife, and I’m rather fond of my wife, so it’s nice. And I admire the clever way they’ve pulled off the double-decker storytelling. See, on the hour-long level, the show is a typical, beat-by-beat broadcast procedural. A case comes our heroine’s way–things look bad–she gets a break–she solves the case, sometimes with the slightest whiff of moral ambiguity, but nothing to scare the horses.
But at the macro, seasonal level, there’s a complex cable-style drama playing out, in which the crooked pol is looking for redemption and the good wife is torn between loyalty to her marriage and her family and other stuff like work, the handsome guy at work, and so on. (The handsome guy at work is played by Josh Charles, by the way, who is casually fantastic.)
Anyway, I’m just about through the first season on Netflix and I dig it. Oh, and also, it’s amazingly fair politically. The atmosphere is liberal – which is fair enough – it’s a Chicago law firm – but a Sarah Palin-loving ballistics expert played by Gary Cole is the most honest guy in the show and draws the romantic attention of the lefty head of the firm. And there’s an idiotic dithering liberal judge… so, while it’s no Blue Bloods, which every conservative should be watching religiously, it’s not offensive either.
One more important point: Julianna Margulies has joined the ranks of women who just get more and more beautiful the older they get: Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Beals are two others who come to mind. It’s kind of eerie. Something to do with the letter J. Or maybe it’s me.