(not) Fighting ‘The Good Fight’
I’m not a big cop/law/medicine 60 minute drama watcher. It’s not that I’m not a fan of this type of show, it’s that I’m usually turned off by the storylines that serve as the episodic element: children being hurt, women being raped and abused, anyone being murdered, and in the most horrific ways. In short — these stories always brought up what I saw as the worst in humanity. It’s not that I don’t believe there is bad in humanity: I’m not seeing or seeking to see the world through rose colored glasses. Rather, I look to be entertained, to seek escape from long days by seeing the GOOD in the world. It’s why I started The Daley Kennedy and why I do the work I do.
This weekend, though, this boycott on the hour-long drama (save ‘This is Us’ — which I’ll cover in future posts — LOVE), ended in my watching of the first two episodes of ‘The Good Fight’, a spin-off of the Julianna Margulies ‘The Good Wife’. Well, I’m hooked — craving the 3rd episode with the same fervor with which I’m craving my 3rd Tofuti Cutie of the night. So much so that I downloaded CBS’ All Access on my Roku, an extra step I have found work arounds for at least two years.
First: Comfortable Pilot.
The pilot episode didn’t feel have the painfully expository dialogue pilot episodes of even the best series have. This could be due to the fact the spin-off had an inherent tone and character familiarity for the legions of fans its predecessor brought to the network premiere of this digital-platform-only show. Though as someone relatively familiar with The Good Wife, I have to say I felt easily immeshed from the very beginning.
Perhaps my comfort level was also aided by the pilots opening: the brilliant Christine Baranski despondently watching/mourning this country’s most recent presidential inauguration, wearing all black, sitting in a darkened room, speechless. (Note: no, this wasn’t a fictional inauguration. Sigh…) Also loved the nod to Hillary. Epic.
Second: Strong Women.
There is no shortage of strong women on TV — from news reels of Women’s Marches, ACLU attorneys, immigrants standing up to oppression and fear to a myriad of television shows depicting women in roles of power and influence. This show also shows strong women who are strong in their conviction to do good. And look, here’s the thing about strong women — this isn’t new. They’e been around for… forever. Now, though, is perhaps the most important time for more visibility of strong women.
Third: Social-Consciousness Gets Personal.
The pilot opens with Baranski defending her mostly white firms’ client (the City of Chicago) in a police brutality case, up against two attorneys of a successful black firm, played by Delroy Lindo and Cush Jumbo.
When a fresh-faced first-year lawyer (a Jodie Foster-channeling-Rose Leslie) questions Baranski as to whether they are on the right side of this case, it gives the elder pause, a precursor to the series theme: taking on cases that have an impact, challenging the characters personal aptitude to be socially and morally just. Also a plus here — an accurate portrayal of a gay relationship (Rose is a lesbian in a committed relationship) — something still not abundantly accurate in network television.
What I also love: characters introspection. In addition to the cases they take on (2nd episode features a riveting union/false imprisonment/wrongfully accused class action suit), each character — even this early on — has to struggle with their own level of social awareness, prejudices and moral high-ground. Whether it’s Baranski’s battle for recouping lost wealth to “eating humble pie” as she told Variety, to the characters of the new firm being confronted with their own, subtle level of fear/sexism/racism/tbd-ism, ‘The Good Fight’ seems like it will dive into the questions and cases that make people uncomfortable, which could help us get right about what we don’t know.
I will continue checking out ‘The Good Fight’ and continue commenting on more content depicting — and encouraging — the fight for good. Look for it all on The Daley Kennedy and at Medium @TheDaleyKennedy. Have a GOOD day.