Sunday, April 07, 2013

The Good Wife, Season 4

The Wire came and went, then 30 Rock, which leaves the title of the best show on TV to... well, I assume you can see the post headline, so there you go, The Good Wife. With all of its intrigue and sexiness, I've been thinking it of as the Gossip Girl for the NPR set. (Remember Alicia and Peter's scene with All Things Considered? Hot stuff.) I've got a review of it up on Slant. I focus a bit on "The Wheels of Justice" (from last week), which in addition to being one of the funniest episodes The Good Wife has aired, with both Archie Panjabi and Morena Baccarin, represents one of the most redoubtable concentrations of TV hotness I've had the pleasure of seeing.

The other bit I focus on is "Going for the Gold," with particular attention to Elspeth. I'm wistful that this section had to go, though (yes, it's mostly plot synopsis, but I'm kind of in love with the punchline):

The odds seem insurmountably stacked against Elspeth and Eli: the feds are so intent on skewering a notable politician that they blithely alter exculpatory evidence right in front of her. In the end, Eli agrees to wear a wire to catch a fellow campaign staffer saying things he shouldn’t, but rather than going to campaign headquarters, her plan tacitly sends Eli to the office of one of the federal investigators and gets him to admit to the evidence tampering ("Going for the Gold"). Not only does she help clear Eli’s name, she documents federal wrongdoing using the very government apparatus and tactics meant to entrap its victims in the first place. That’s so Elspeth! (Which could be the name of the spin-off her biggest fans have been clamoring for.)

Another observation that didn't make the final cut is the show going green by recycling narrative arcs from past seasons. The first is obviously Alicia and Will's relationship, which is at least cleverly disguised through flashback/fantasy sequences. The second is tied to the first, or at least has repercussions on it, which is Peter's gubernatorial campaign. We saw him running for office in season 2, and in both campaigns, his relationship with Alicia falls under the "It's Complicated" category, partly brought on by Alicia's feelings for Will. The nonstop campaigning may stretch credulity, but I almost want to think of it as an oblique comment on the perpetual campaign mode that describes our political media landscape nowadays. (Hear all the speculation of Hillary positioning herself for another run in 2016?) 

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