“The Good Wife,” CBS’s legal procedural that injected soapy entanglements as well as a bevy of marvelous character actors in recurring roles in its seven seasons, earned 39 Emmy nominations and won five for acting. One of its main stars, Christine Baranski who played lawyer Diane Lockhart, was up for Best Drama Supporting Actress six times in a row, more than any other performer from the show (even more than star Julianna Margulies), but she never won for the role.
When the network and the show’s creators, Robert and Michelle King, decided to recruit Baranski to headline a spin-off series for the streaming service CBS All Access, they focused more on the events of the day — specifically Donald Trump‘s rise to the highest office of the land, an ascension that has made legal eagles more necessary than ever. It seemed slow to take flight when it premiered in February 2017, perhaps because it was only available on a subscription streaming service. But it has built a cult-like base of followers by holding up a mirror to many of the harsh political realities of the day, but in a separate universe and with better clothes.
Season 4 kicked off with a bang on March 14 with a clever dreamlike standalone episode about what life might have been like if Hillary Clinton became the commander-in-chief instead. However, instead of a Pollyanna-ish version of what might have happened, Diane learns that the #MeToo movement does not exist and Harvey Weinstein is still a movie mogul and a client of her firm.
Alas, “The Good Fight” ended three episodes shy of a complete season given the complications of the coronavirus crisis. While the continuing topic of the mysterious “Memo 618” remains up in the air, the Kings managed to fashion a compelling finale by focusing on solving the mysteries surrounding the death of sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein. The result was a rather gruesome if blackly humorous ending that would never make its way on a broadcast network.
So why haven’t the 24,000 or so Emmy voters paid attention to this show yet? These days, when many people are sheltered in place at home and eager for entertainment, there’s no reason for them not to celebrate this relevant and well executed drama, from the incredible cast to the writing staff’s clever twists on real-life events. Consider that “The Good Fight’s” only Emmy nominations so far have been for its musical contributions. Those were deserved, but it’s time for more.
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