This week on Why It’s Worth a Watch, Tiffany and I continue to give some love to CBS with reviews of The Good Wife and Criminal Minds.
I’m a big fan of legal drama, old and new. Suits, Law and Order, Boston Legal, The Practice, The Guardian; be it serious or funny or something in between, I enjoy the various elements that go into trying a case. A television one at least.
The Good Wife delivers not only interesting legal battles, but a great out of the courtroom drama. The show focuses on Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), a woman who appears to be “standing by her man” as he becomes the center of a sex scandal and allegations of corruption in his role as State’s Attorney. Sound familiar? The creators were inspired by public figures like Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, and John Edwards, to name a few.
In an effort to provide for her two teenage children while her husband Peter (Chris Noth) sits in prison, Alicia returns to work in a law firm as a junior litigator, after many years of being a stay at home mom.
Work brings its own challenges; Diane (Christine Baranski), a female partner who seems unsure of Alicia’s value to the firm, Will (Josh Charles), an old friend who she may or may not have feelings for, and Cary (Matt Czuchry), a young and ambitious associate who realizes that Alicia may be his biggest competition.
Despite the challenges, Alicia’s work brings her an opportunity to present herself as a strong woman dealing with the chaos of her husband’s public indiscretions, rather than a woman quietly wallowing or seeking out pity from others.
While the wider story is about Alicia’s life, the writers never phone in the legal battles. In fact, the case prep brings us Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi), the firm’s private investigator who secures information, sometimes via unethical means. The courtroom arguments deliver solid and satisfying dialogue, not to mention excellent guest appearances, like Michael J. Fox and Martha Plimpton.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Alan Cumming’s role, but to tell you who he plays might give something away if you don’t already watch, so just know that he is amazing in his delivery of the character Eli Gold.
In a show that houses so many actors I love (Julianna took home the Emmy this year, Alan Cumming is a genius in everything he does, and I’ve had a crush on Josh Charles since Sports Night) it should be no surprise that I give this show a GTV. The writers manage to keep every character engaging, and every storyline crisp and entertaining, no small feat with everything this show has going on.
And I did mention Josh Charles, right?
(N.B. According to online sources, the majority of the writers for this show are women. Another reason to love this show.)
If you’ve never watched, you can order Season 1 from Netflix (it currently is not a streaming option) or find episodes on iTunes.
If you aren’t watching this yet, why aren’t you? Are you already a fan? What makes you love or hate this show? What is your favorite past legal drama?
Now head over to Tiffany’s blog to check out Criminal Minds, one of the few crime shows I haven’t seen! *gasp*
Come back next week when we click over to NBC and review two of the channel’s hit programs – Harry’s Law and Law & Order: SVU. Can you guess which one you will find here?
Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future. We’re currently working on our September schedule and would love to chat with you!
A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:
GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech