Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Good Wife

Of all the new show I thought I would love before the television season started, I think I love The Good Wife most.
If you haven't seen it, Here's CBS' synopsis:

?THE GOOD WIFE is a drama starring Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies as a wife and mother who boldly assumes full responsibility for her family and re-enters the workforce after her husband's very public sex and political corruption scandal lands him in jail. Pushing aside the betrayal and public humiliation caused by her husband, Peter, Alicia Florrick starts over by pursuing her original career as a defense attorney. As a junior associate at a prestigious Chicago law firm, she joins her longtime friend, former law school classmate and firm partner Will Gardner, who is interested to see how Alicia will perform after 13 years out of the courtroom. Alicia is grateful the firm's top litigator, Diane Lockhart, offers to mentor her but discovers the offer has conditions and realizes she's going to need to succeed on her own merit. Alicia's main competition among the firm's 20-something new recruits is Cary, a recent Harvard grad who is affable on the surface, but is competitive to the core. Fortunately, Alicia finds an ally in Kalinda, the firm's tough in-house investigator. Gaining confidence every day, Alicia transforms herself from embarrassed politician's scorned wife to resilient career woman, especially for the sake of providing a stable home for her children, 14-year-old Zach and 13-year-old Grace. For the first time in years, Alicia trades in her identity as the "good wife" and takes charge of her own destiny.

Now back to me:

Like many law shows The Good Wife centers on a different case every week, with a little personal drama thrown in here and there. But in this show the cases are almost metaphorical to Alicia's story. Cases turn on issues where witnesses have lied for a variety of reasons. Some lies start out innocently enough, a security guard who just copies the same video rather than go out and make his rounds. But when the tape becomes evidence in a murder, he has to admit (on the stand and proven by a plastic bag that blows through every nights video)his lie.
In another case a women is certain of her identification of a black man she witnessed robbing a store. But when pictures are switched on her she has to admit that any black man in the red sweat shirt the robber was wearing looks the same to her. Her perception of the truth is erroneous.
I could give you more examples but I think you get my drift. The show is looking at how bending the truth either consciously or unconsciously, to a large or small degree can spiral into so much more than we ever intended. And even though it may have terrible repercussions, the liar did not necessarily start out with malicious intent.
The Good Wife might be standing by her man because she knows how the lie started and how it turned into a criminal offense, or just a humiliating news story. I love it. The older I get the more I see how moral issues I once thought were black and white are much more complicated and this show is all about the complications.

1 comment:

April said...

I really like this show, too! For all the reasons you mentioned, plus a very talented ensemble.