After a long summer, medical The Good Wife finally returns to CBS tonight for its sixth season premiere.
Last season, dosage the long-running drama offered up its best season yet with its share of betrayals, twists and even one shocking death. The season wrapped up with a major cliffhanger as political guru Eli Gold (Alan Cumming) asked– the Good Wife herself– Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) to run for State’s Attorney. With her answer set to be revealed early in the new season, we’re so excited for tonight that we came up with a list of 10 Reasons we love The Good Wife.
The investigators: At first, the only investigator (the lead one for Lockhart Gardner, the law firm Alicia joined in season one) on the show was the mysterious Kalinda Sharma (Emmy winner Archie Panjabi) but she was eventually joined by the cocky Blake Clamar (Scott Porter), a rival she eventually drove out of town. In the past few seasons though, the enthusiastic Robyn Burdine (Jess Weixler) has joined the show as a new investigator, who serves as a sometimes-friend and sometimes-rival of Kalinda. Both Weixler and Panjabi are great in their positions creating one of the best dynamics on the program.
The politics on the show: Chris Noth stars on the show as Peter Florrick, Alicia’s unfaithful husband. In the first episode, he resigned his position as the State’s Attorney but has– since then– sought to mount a comeback both from prison (where he spent several episodes) and from political isolation. He’s now been elected the Governor of Illinois. With the help of Eli Gold, this politician has the chance to go all the way to the White House and it’s fascinating to watch him climb.
Christine Baranski: As Diane Lockhart, Baranski (Cybill) delivers one of the most interesting characters on television. Baranski, who was once better known for her comic chops, shows the complexity of her character each and every week. Lockhart is a die-hard liberal who, despite herself, fell in love with a Sarah Palin- loving gun expert. Her witty banter with him is one of the show’s highlights but so too are the scenes showing her hard-as-nails character strongly facing off against opponents in the courtroom and the office who doubt her abilities to survive in a harsh political environment.
She has and we love her more for doing so.
The complex relationships: In season five, the Lockhart Gardner law firm was torn apart when many of its associates left to form a new firm (Florrick, Agos and Associates). That created a rivalry between many of the characters but even before that happened, so many of the relationships were so rich and complex that it’s hard to pick out one of them that stands above the rest.
There’s the relationship between Alicia and Peter. At times, these characters have acted like love-struck teenagers but there are other times (a lot of other times) when the two couldn’t stand one another– especially after Alicia discovered Peter’s previous affair with Kalinda.
There’s the relationship between Cary (Alicia’s onetime rival and now partner) and Kalinda, a relationship that is defined by both sexual tension and an underlying competitiveness.
Perhaps, the best relationship to watch (and one that will be sorely missed this year) is the one between Alicia and Will, two onetime classmates whose affection for one another was a constant during the show’s first four seasons.
Eli Gold: What can be said about Eli Gold (and Cumming’s brilliant performance)? Eli is a cunning, manipulative and masterful campaign guru who has helped resurrect Peter’s political career. Cumming has admitted in interviews that he doesn’t understand all of the politics involved on the show but he sells the character nevertheless.
The guest stars: On other television shows, guest stars are used for name recognition alone. Shows hire guest stars to bring in new viewers (guess who is on the show this week?) The Good Wife is one of the few shows that uses them brilliantly as recurring characters (i.e. the characters played by Michael J. Fox and Matthew Perry) and as fun cameos (i.e. Donna Brazile).
The cases: Each week (there have been a few exceptions), the lawyers on the show face off against their opponents in Chicago courtrooms in intriguing cases. From murder cases to lawsuits about online content, the cases are interesting in and of themselves but also help to show the characters as they seek to relate to their sometimes obnoxious clients.
The rivalries: Both inside and outside the courtroom, there’s a strong rivalry between lots of the characters (Kalinda and Cary, Diane and David Lee, Kalinda and Robyn, Alicia and her mother-in-law) that drives them to be the best they can be. It’s a competitiveness that has led to numerous betrayals but also to some of the show’s most dramatic and best moments.
The writing: There are few shows on television that continually deliver some the best scripts and dialogue that television has to offer. The CBS program is one of those programs showing the diversity of its writing style by presenting a hybrid of stories. From the political talks to the legal debates and from the family dynamics to the romantic scenes, the show strongly balances a variety of compelling story-lines each week.
Alicia Florrick: Alicia Florrick is a woman with many talents. She started as just a good wife (a wronged political spouse) but has become so much more. She’s a tough lawyer, a caring mother, and a hopeless romantic. Margulies delivers a standout performance in this show as a complex woman, who was forced to toughen up to survive in both the political world and in the legal profession.
Those are only 10 reasons we love The Good Wife. There are a lot of other reasons we left off the list. If we missed something, feel free to tell me about it in the comments section.
In the meantime (and here’s an 11th reason to love the show), check out this music video that the program released last year.
The Good Wife returns for its sixth season tonight on CBS.