Saturday, 16 June 2012

TV: The Good Wife (S3) (8/10)

The Good Wife is one of the most criminally underrated TV shows around. In the UK it is hidden away on More 4 and deserves a place on a much more prominent channel. For those not in the know, the good wife is Alicia Florrick, the lawyer wife of the disgraced state attorney who struggles to restart her career in the aftermath of her husbands scandal. The show is basically a court room TV drama with very compelling sub-plots and a great cast of interesting characters. Weekly legal cases are combined with long running story arcs involving Alicia's complicated personal life and co-workers.

The third season follows the relationship between Alicia and her old flame and boss Will, as Alicia and Peter keep their separation secret for the benefit of Peter's political career. At work, Alicia questions her future at Lockhart & Gardner and acts as a mentor to new lawyer Caitlin while all the time struggling to keep her personal life separate.

The strongest story-line in the third season is the indictment of Will for bribing judges by Alicia's husband, the current state attorney. Peter hands the investigation over the politically motivated Wendy Scott Carr and the story-line culminates in a fantastic episode where her case spectacularly collapses in front of the grand jury due to Will's clever tactics. The drama reminded me of the court scene from Stieg Larsson's third novel The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest which is high praise indeed.

The show has an excellent cast of characters and actors, Julianna Margulies and Brit Archie Panjabi are excellent as Alicia and the complex Calinda respectively. Alan Cumming deserves recognition for his character Eli Gold, who provides most of the shows light heart moments with lines such as "the problem with Sun Tzu is that he never fought the Jews". Lighter moments are also provided by all the judges featured on the show, who are portrayed as quirky and particular characters.

Guest stars Michael J. Fox, Jason Biggs and Matthew Perry spice up the action throughout the season.

The season ends with a cliffhanger as it appears that Calinda's mysterious past may have caught up with her and Alicia realises that unintentionally her family has been brought back together, and she must choose if she wants to be a part of it.

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