“The Good Wife” is often touted as the “best show on broadcast television.” Indeed, I have been known to say this from time to time. But now that we have seen Sunday’s eagerly anticipated episode “Hitting the Fan,” it is time to give this show its due as one of the best drama series on TV. Period.
The fifth season started strong after picking up steam at the end of last season, which otherwise had suffered from poorly conceived and executed storylines (I’m looking at you, Kalinda’s abusive husband!). This fifth episode had been touted as a crowd-pleasing blockbuster episode that would reboot much of the show’s narrative and it certainly did that. But, more importantly, creators Robert King and Michelle King presented a beautifully written and directed masterpiece of television.
To that end, I implore the the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and SAG voting committee to let the show back in as a worthy competitor to the usual suspects like “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men.”
At the Golden Globes, the show lost its single bid for Best Drama Series to “Boardwalk Empire” in 2010. Julianna Margulies has contended for Best TV Drama Actress for four years running, winning her first bid back in 2009. She should win a bookend this year.
At the SAG Awards, the show lost its ensemble bids to “Mad Men” (2009) and “Boardwalk Empire” (2010). As at the Globes, Margulies has been nominated for all four years of the series, winning in 2009 and 2010. With six wins for “ER” for both individual and ensemble work, she is tied with Alec Baldwin at a record eight SAG trophies each. Could she break that tie this year?
The show has seen the most awards success at the Emmys.
Though nominated as Best Drama series for its first two seasons — it lost both times to “Mad Men” — “The Good Wife” fell out of this top category two years ago to make way for more provocative and buzz-worthy premium cable and broadband competition like “Game of Thrones,” “Homeland” and “House of Cards.”
Emmy voters don’t usually go back to a show they have dropped. “Lost,” which won Best Drama Series for its first season, was an exception. After being snubbed for the second and third seasons, it made a return to the category for its fourth, fifth and sixth seasons. The same should happen to “The Good Wife.”
Margulies is a three-time Emmy nominee (with a win in 2011) in the Best Drama Actress category for her role as Alicia Florrick. She deserves to be the frontrunner next year after such an audacious performance as Sunday’s. It was a shock that she was snubbed this year, especially as there were seven nominees.
Josh Charles has not been given this kind of showcase since the season two finale, which he submitted to judges for his only Emmy bid for Best Drama Supporting Actor in 2010 (he lost to his buddy Peter Dinklage in “Game of Thrones”). In Sunday’s installment, Charles gets to scream and shout, and plot his revenge against his colleague and former lover Alicia, who has betrayed and blindsided him by starting up her own law firm and taking his biggest clients with her. While he may reap another Emmy nomination, he will have a harder time breaking into the catch-all supporting category at the Globes and the combined lead/supporting race at SAG.
The series has won an acting award at each of the four Emmys in which it contended — supporting player Archie Panjabi in 2010; Margulies in 2011 and Guest Drama Actress twice in a row: Martha Plimpton in 2012 and Carrie Preston this year.
My plea to Emmy voters is to remember the likes of Charles, the never-nominated Chris Noth (as Governor-elect Peter Florrick), Zach Grenier (as ruthless divorce attorney David Lee), Panjabi (who finally gets something to do here) and, most especially, veteran cast member Christine Baranski, who has lost four consecutive bids for her dynamic performance as senior partner Diane Lockhart. This season, Baranski should submit “Outside the Bubble” (the episode leading up to “Hitting the Fan”), and she will stand a very good chance to finally triumph.
Bravo, Team Good Wife. You’re back and better than ever!
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