Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Good Wife

I continue to be behind in my television watching and my posting. Perhaps I will never catch up, but I'm pretty darn close right now.

I watched the season premiere of The Good Wife, and I liked it enough that I am putting it on a season pass. I suspect it will be a procedural with Alicia Florrick's family drama as a backdrop. But as you know, I'm not always against procedurals, as long as they are well-written and interesting, as this one is.

Julianna Margulies stars as Alicia Florrick, the good wife of the Cook County State's Attorney who resigns in disgrace after a sex scandal. Six months later, Florrick, played by Chris Noth, is in jail after a jury found him guilty of using his office to secure sexual favors from young prostitutes (pretty darn quick trial!). Alicia and her children have lost their home, their savings, and their security, and for the first time in twelve years, she is returning to work as an attorney. Although she graduated at the top of her class from Georgetown, she is now a junior attorney for a downtown firm in which a friend from law school, played by Josh Charles, is a partner.

The firm has a new class action law suit, which requires shuffling of all the cases the firm currently has. Alicia thus has a pro bono case that had been tried by the firm's queen bee partner, Diane Lockhart, played by Christine Baranski. With the assistance of a dedicated investigator, Alicia manages to get the client off, but not without ruffling the queen bee's feathers. Do queen bees have feathers?

Throughout the episode, reminders of Alicia's turbulent family issues abound, from her daughter asking if Florrick slept with teenaged prostitutes, to a colleague loudly playing a video of the press conference, to the prosecutor attempting to use Alicia's last name to win points in a case. This is clearly painful to Alicia, but she doesn't let it stop her.

The episode had a lot of exposition, as expected, but it was well interspersed with the drama. I suspect that anyone who wanted to saw the opening scene, in which a brittle Alicia stands by her husband in the press conference where he announces his resignation. Margulies is in fine form as Alicia, of course, as is Charles, as her friend from law school who might have a history with Alicia. No one does ice queen better than Baranski. Even the children are good, and the show is so far avoiding the stereotypical troubled teenager trap. So, go see it!

Lost fan alert: Titus Welliver plays the State's Attorney who replaces Florick. Lost fans will recognize him as the Man in Black, or Esau, who successfully killed Jacob in the season finale of Lost.

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