In this year’s intensely competitive contest for Best Drama Series at the Emmy Awards, one show, “The Good Fight,” has unique pedigree. Its predecessor series “The Good Wife” received two Emmy nominations in the top category for its first and second seasons and has the distinction of being the last network series to receive a Drama Series bid. While “The Good Wife” struggled to hold its ground at the Emmys, its critically lauded sequel “The Good Fight” has a number of undeniable factors in its favor that proves it should contend for the top honor of the ceremony. Below, let’s look at the Top 4 reasons why “The Good Fight” deserves a Best Drama Series nomination.
It’s a modern take on one of the Emmy’s favorite genres — From the late 1980s through the 1990s, David E. Kelley dominated the Best Drama Series category with sophisticated law series including “L.A. Law,” “Picket Fences” and “The Practice.” While a legal series hasn’t taken home the trophy since “The Practice” in 1999, the Emmys certainly still enjoy the genre, with “Boston Legal,” “Damages,” “The Good Wife” and “Better Call Saul” all earning bids in the category since the turn of the century. With the exception of “Better Call Saul,” which focuses on the law in a much less “traditional” manner, “The Good Fight” would be the only potential series nominee to contend in the Drama Series race. In a year dominated by family (“This Is Us”), political (“The Americans,” “The Crown,” “House of Cards”) and sci-fi and dystopian (“Stranger Things,” “Westworld,” “The Handmaid’s Tale”) series, “The Good Fight” would stand out as a bastion of one of the Emmy’s favorite types of programs.
It has the prestige cable quality that its predecessor lacked — In its later seasons, CBS would campaign for “The Good Wife” by emphasizing the hardship of producing more than double the number of episodes of its cable network competitors. While the strategy never paid off in terms of a third Best Drama Series bid, it effectively communicated the difficulty of maintaining quality over the course of 22 or more episodes as well as highlighted the content limitations of being on a network. On streaming service CBS All Access, “The Good Fight” has the prestige of a cable or streaming series without the network constraints on episode length or content, and the series clearly takes advantage of its new digital home. The shorter 10-episode count allows the writers to tackle season-long arcs with a laser-like focus without the need to rely on procedural plot lines. In addition, the show now grapples with mature issues in a more explicit and honest manner, allowing Christine Baranski to drop a few glorious F-bombs, all without the often gratuitous nudity featured on cable fare.
It’s uniquely and intelligently topical — No scripted show directly tackles the thorny legal, social and political realities of Donald Trump’s America as well as “The Good Fight.” Not only does the series open with a shot of liberal firebrand Diane Lockhart (Baranski) abhorrently watching Trump’s inauguration, but over the course of its 10-episode first season, the show ambitiously addresses issues ranging from television censorship to the vicious online rhetoric of the alt-right. While the series clearly has a political point of view, creators Robert King & Michelle King and Phil Alden Robinson never stoop to low-brow or cheap digs. Instead, the series always engages in intelligent political discourse that represents both sides of the political spectrum, embodying Michelle Obama’s mantra, “When they go low, we go high!”
In a male-dominated industry, it puts complex female characters front and center —Following a year when the ultimate glass ceiling nearly shattered, “The Good Fight” keeps on fighting its titular battle and emphasizes its three female stars. The trio of characters at the heart of the series (Baranski, Rose Leslie and Cush Jumbo) represent an incredible cross-section of socioeconomic, racial, and sexual backgrounds, an asset that helps the series reflect the diverse makeup of modern society. While “The Good Wife” also featured strong female characters at its core, including Julianna Margulies’ Alicia Florrick and Archie Panjabi’s Kalinda Sharma, many of their personal and professional triumphs and tribulations centered on the men in their lives. “The Good Fight” features some incredible male actors in its ensemble (Delroy Lindo, Justin Bartha and Gary Cole, to name a few), but theynever upstage its female protagonists, allowing the ladies to relish in portraying full-fledged, complex characters free of the undue influence of men.
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