Have you been watching The Good Wife? The UK is a few weeks behind the US so last night, Alicia – the good wife of the title – threw out Peter – her dodgy husband – while in the grips of grief after the death of Will, her ex-boyfriend. Oh my.
Thanks to twitter, I knew Will would be shot and I assumed that would be the series finale. I was wondering how I’d have the heart to tune into a new series, next year, without him. But that didn’t happen. The series is continuing by looking at how the death is affecting those around him. Well done the writers for showing that this is not a time when people just drift around looking sad. The ruthless are immediately turning on the weakened, even though all are grieving. Those closest to Will, those most shaken by his loss, are experiencing a searing, overwhelming clarity. They’re questioning everything and seeing through all the masks worn by people in their lives: those they judged too harshly as well as those they should have ousted long ago. And as enemies are exposed, battled and sometimes slain, so new allies emerge. A passing nobody is maybe an angel. Amidst the brutal storm that is still building, moments of kindness, of understanding, are all the more striking.
I loved the way series one showed the indignities of returning to the bottom of the career ladder and having to compete with people twenty years younger. I love the amazing cast (Nurse Hathaway! Cybil’s crazy friend! Mr Big! The cute guy from The Gilmore Girls!) and how more of my favourite actors have joined them (Amanda Peet, Matthew Perry, Richard Kind, Stockard Channing, Nathan Lane, Mamie Gummer, Maura Tierney and Gary Cole). Characters like Archie Panjabi’s Kalinda, Alan Cumming’s Eli Gold, Carrie Preston’s Elsbeth Tascioni, Michael J Fox’s Louis Canning and Martha Plimpton’s Patti Nyholm would each make eminently watchable shows of their own. And they choose a lot of really interesting subjects for the legal cases. And just when I didn’t think I could like it any more, they go and do grief, pretty damned well. In a high gloss, high drama kind of way – obviously – but real enough to resonate with in almost every scene.