Well that was brilliant!
The Good Wife is one of my favorite television series of all time, so I wondered if this brand new spinoff could rival a third of that show’s complexity. Thankfully within two seconds of this pilot, I was completely hooked by the continued adventures of Diane Lockhart and the colorful characters that permeate Robert and Michelle King’s world.
The reason this spinoff (perhaps I should refer to it as a sequel?) works so well is because the world that the Kings so carefully built over the course of seven seasons still feels like a living, breathing entity. The Good Wife not only thrived thanks to its sharp writing and complex characters, but because it consistently brought back its whacky cast of judges, lawyers and guest-stars for numerous appearances. Apparently The Good Fight will continue that trend, and I couldn’t be more excited!
But this is Diane’s story. Christine Baranski was always superb on the parent show, but she was too often sidelined in favor of Alicia. Thankfully she’s given center-stage here, and I’m quite confident she’ll be winning every award in sight the coming year. Her performance is as nuanced as it’s always been, and the whole bankruptcy arc should provide the actress with a ton of meaty material going forward. I missed you Miss Lockhart!
As for Diane’s supporting cast, Cush Jumbo returns as Lucca Quinn; it’s a brilliant decision on the show’s part because Wife‘s writing team never really had the time to fully tap into the character last year. I was most worried about Rose Leslie joining this world as Maia Rindell. I wasn’t exactly a big fan of Ygritte on Game of Thrones, but Leslie is terrific here – equal parts likeable and determined. Plus there’s a wonderful layer with Maia being Diane’s goddaughter, and that complicating things seeing as how Maia’s dad is responsible for Diane finding herself in a Ponzi-induced bankruptcy. Hello drama!
Bits & Cases
– Love that the show opens with Diane’s dumbfounded face watching Trump’s inauguration. So current!
– David’s fist bump after Diane announces her resignation is hilariously on point.
– Props for diversity with Maia being a lesbian. Plus she and her girlfriend seem very stable and drama-free (so far).
– EIGHT name partners? That’s a mouthful!
– Notice Diane’s “saint” barb. Definitely an Alicia reference.
– Laugh-out loud moment: Diane screaming out FUCK when she discovers that her retirement money is gone.
– Let’s take a moment and praise the stunning opening credits. The slow explosions, the rousing music – it’s all so creative and perfect.
– How evil are David Lee and Howard? I sure hope they stick around for a while. The latter endlessly mistaking Maia for a florist was a hoot.
– Heartbreaking moment with Maia getting attacked in the elevator. But even more gut-wrenching: Diane having to beg so many people for a job.
– Love that Lucca defends Maia from that psycho.
– New to the show is none other than Delroy Lindo as Adrian Boseman (the lawyer who hires Diane). I like him already!
– Also new is Erica Tazel as Barbara Kolstad. She’s not too happy about Diane so this could get interesting.
– Lots of nods to Will in this debut which is definitely welcome. Diane and Will always had a wonderful friendship, so it was suitably heartbreaking to see her stare longingly at the video and then hold up his picture at the end. Maybe Ghost Will can put it a guest appearance like he did in the series finale?
– I don’t know if Kurt will be a regular on the show (he was kind of boring on The Good Wife), but I’m strangely rooting for these two, especially since he announced that he wouldn’t be divorcing Diane.
– How perfect is the ending with Diane watching David fire Maia, and then finding her outside? I already love the mother-daughter dynamic between these two.
Lucca: Seriously… gun to its head? How nice to be able to talk in metaphors when people like our clients have a literal gun to their head.
Diane: What is to keep me from taking my clients out the door with me?
David: Where would you take them?
Lucca: (to Maia) Harden yourself. Ignore what people say. Keep your head down and keep working. You’re a new associate? Work is your friend. Don’t watch TV, don’t look at the Internet. Do you have a book? Then read it. Keep it with you at all times. Don’t give them the satisfaction… of making eye contact. It’s hard. But it ends.
Maia: I’m done.
Diane: No, you’re not. Let’s go.
Diane: Because it’s not over yet.
It’s astounding how easily this pilot carves a unique identity for itself. Perfection!