It’s that moment, it happens with every show sooner or later…. That moment of the series finale episode and the show now being over, being done, being completed. It happens just like that. You watch a show for a certain amount of time until that fateful day when the show is now complete and your time as a viewer for a program you have looked forward to watching night after night, following the characters journey, admiring and becoming a complete and loyal fan of is now over. Metaphorical tears…… they be a flowing and flowing……
Let me take you on a journey. A journey of my time becoming a complete fan of the now ceased program that was…. The Good Wife. Curtain rises. And so I begin…….
Like any other TV Nerd out there, there are new shows that come around every TV season that spark your inner TV Nerd interest where you may yourself saying, “Yes! This I want to watch! Yup!”. Okay, so The Good Wife was a show on my list of shows I was so interested in being that TV viewer of. So you may be asking yourself did I in fact tune into this show its start to its end? Being that loyal viewer along the show’s seven season journey on that of the CBS network? Was I? Was I? Well, was I? I’ll add a little suspense with a…. Too Be Continued…..
Kidding. Well this is where I made a “TV Nerd Fail” as I like to say when I fail at being a Nerd that loves TV. I know these days VCR tapes are unheard of, but back when this show premiered in 2009, I was still recording my shows on that platform. I was basically Netflix with VCR tapes before Netflix on Roku was a thing. So back then I could only record a show and watch a show, so I couldn’t watch every show my little Pop Culture Nerd heart desired. So I missed out on The Good Wife when it started airing on TV and by the time I got any streaming services there were so many episodes to catch up on I figured I would just wait now until the series was over and start to watch it then. So I finally got Hulu two summers ago and when January of 2018 started so did my journey as well to finally starting this show that was The Good Wife, had finally began.
I have never been one for binge watching just one program. I like my variety of different shows every night to choose from. With a show that has ended like The Good Wife, I made it a TV priority to watch at least one episode every night when I were to have watched any TV programs. With shows currently now on the air, sometimes a show that has already ended its run on TV might fall to the side with a, “I’ll watch it eventually”. So I made that TV commitment to stick with the show and always watch one episode when watching my other shows. When I saw the amount of episodes that the series had (a total of 156, oh boy!), I figured only watching one episode for whenever I watched anything would take a minute to get through. Factor in that I don’t watch TV every night, it might take a minute and a half. I started in January and finished right before this September of 2018. And along the way……. I became a fan.
A brief overview of The Good Wife is basically that of yet another politician scandal and the wife standing beside her husband. The wife here is Alicia played wonderfully by Julianna Margulies. Alicia starts off the series as that loyal wife standing by her husband, Peter (played by Chris Noth). With her husband now in prison, she re-enters the work force again as a lawyer hired by an old college pal, who also happened to be her college boyfriend, Will. Will, who is now a partner at one of Chicago’s biggest law firms. Through the course of the series Alicia morphs from loyal wife to her own person who ends up leaving her husband at the very end. But waiting so very long to get to that point of doing that. Something you wished as a viewer that she would of officially of done earlier in the series run. But not making that distance official between her and Peter earlier in the series, she could have avoided seriously messing up that love life of hers. But I’ll get around to all of that later.
Okay very important personal yet pointless backstory about me finally starting to watch this show and brief overview now on behind, I’ll get around to my thoughts on this incredible series. So I go to watch the series premiere and I really liked it. Fun fact- Gillian Jacobs, from Community and the recent LOVE on Netflix, was on the pilot episode. My inner nerd was very much, “WHATTTT!!!! Amazing!!!!!! And how could I not have known about this?!?!?!?!”.
Okay fun fact about pilot pointed out! In all honesty, based on the popularity from critics and the amount of awards this show gained in the beginning of the series, I was expecting to fully be a fan from the get go when starting to watch this show. In all honesty though, I like liked it, but I didn’t think it was like, “OMG! THIS SERIES IS SOOO FLIPPING GOOD! I TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND WHY IT WAS SO TALKED ABOUT!”. In truth it truly took until about the 10th episode for me to turn into that complete fan that totally understood why it was just a hit.
The Good Wife was seriously just a really solid show at the end of it. The writing was there. The story was there. And the performances were like just so completely there. I truly think that when watching a series that is no longer on the air, that it is completely possible to overlook possible storylines that maybe didn’t work or were possibly not as great as others. I think that can be the case at times when watching a TV program that is not on the air anymore, and where that week to week anticipation isn’t there like it is for a show still currently on. I thought the complete series was perfection from episode 10 to series finale. I know that’s probably not the case, cause I definitely remember reading how the critics were critical of some of Season 4 with the storyline surrounding Kalinda’s ex-husband. I think it’s possible I might of felt that way if I watched the series when it was actually on, but I thoroughly enjoyed every season and didn’t find any issues with Season Four or any other seasons.
When I did watch the show I’d only watch one episode at a time for the most part. And once I really got sucked into being a super fan of this show, I loved seeing the characters and the show evolve season after season. There’s something about watching a series from start to finish, night after night, that is just simply a different viewing experience than watching it when it’s actually on week to week. You get to see the series transform at a faster speed than you would otherwise. Watching a series in this way is almost like reading a book. You get to take your time to read every page at a time at your speed and then finish the book completely with no interruptions or breaks in between. I actually recommend to watch a show in this manner, a show where it is completed and done. And I think in many ways it can be more of an enjoyable experience as a viewer cause you don’t have to wait for more episodes, they’re all there ready for your viewing pleasure.
The characters on this show were so strong and well written which lead to top notch performances in each and every single episode. In made unknowns into stars and stars into bigger stars. Julianna Margulies, who was mostly known for her work on ER prior, with her performance on this series it launched her into that of leading woman status with her portrayal of Alicia Florrick.
Here Margulies, gave an award winning performance of Alicia, showing a woman who finds herself in an embarrassing and unfortunate situation that she didn’t sign up for with her politician husband cheating on her and than going to prison for a completely unrelated issue to that of the scandal he made. Her character finds herself in a situation she could have never imagined and having to start over in a career she walked away from decades prior to focus on her family. Margulies acting on the show was the definition of just so completely strong. She showed that evolution of a timid woman who just spent her time taking care of her family and attending charity galas as the first wife of the governor. A woman her never really took any time for herself, as well as her hopes or dreams anymore. And evolved into that of a strong willed attorney turning her life around becoming independent and truly founding herself again along the way.
Margulies portrayal of Alicia was clearly why award shows were invented. I must just once again reiterate how much I am a super fan of this show before saying what I’m about to say next. Okay…. I unfortunately just really never warmed up to liking her character. I know it’s probably bizarre to say how I love this show so flipping much, but not so much the main character of the show. Maybe it was her hair, it was always so flipping perfect, not a strand out of place. I got a very stern and somewhat of a cold vibe from her character a majority of the time. I don’t know, eh. Honestly, I think it was the hair. It was like never messy. That bothered me somehow and made her a little less relatable to someone whose hair frizzes at the first sign of water or humidity. Jealous? Yes! Anyways….
One of the biggest storylines for the series was the death of Will Gardner. Will was that person that gave Alicia a second chance by giving her a job when she really needed one. He was there for her and gave her that chance to start over again when others didn’t. He was a main character who just had such a major presence on the series. I didn’t watch the show obviously when it was on the air, but this storyline was such a big part of the series. It was that unavoidable spoiler that was everywhere the next day and nearly next to impossible to not have heard about. So yes, I was aware of this spoiler, but couldn’t remember exactly in what season it took place in when starting the show. So even though I knew this was going to happen at some point, I had no idea when, and when I watched that episode it truly hit hard. I have always been a fan of Josh Charles’s work, but him on this show made me a forever fan.
Will was an interesting character. He was likable and felt like a person who went into the law for the right reasons. Although, his character who a lot of the time did stretch the law with his arguments to win cases, you still couldn’t help but liked this guy who gave his old college girlfriend another chance at starting her life over with a job and a change she truly needed in her life. Whether or not his character was always that good guy, Will just had a charm about him that made you just gloss over that, lets say…… the lawyer in him stretching the truth. When that episode arrived that showed his death on the show, I actually found myself saying out loud, “NO!” over and over again and crying as though I just watched an episode of This Is Us or The Good Doctor. I knew about this moment in the series and yet I found myself in shock and denial when the episode was over. I was in disbelief that Will was no longer a character on the show. His character was such a huge part of the series that when his death happened, you truly felt that absence on the show afterwards. Charles portrayal of Will, was a big part to what made this character have a real substance and made him feel just like that average any day guy that you might meet at a coffee shop randomly. Will just had a real likable quality to him, and when his character was killed you couldn’t help but feel some kind of emotion from it.
This show was about a lot. It was about the law. It was about how the occupation of law can sometimes be more about that of the business side and competing with fellow lawyers and winning than about that of the human condition. It was also about that of being independent and becoming your own person. And let’s be real, a major part of the series was also about that of Alicia’s love life. And as far as that love life of hers, she had a real interesting one, indeed.
Will, at the end of the day will always be Alicia’s one true love. She did at the end of the series get to that place of moving on and letting him go. When Josh Charles left the series taking away the character of Will, the show then entered a new potential love interest in that of Finn played by Matthew Goode. His character was the new DA. The relationship with Finn and Alicia never got to the point of boyfriend/girlfriend status. But man, oh man, boy did they flirt. As a viewer, you wanted to see these two in a relationship, but it never got that far.
Then enter the end of Season Six and BAM!, Finn’s character leaves the series. I was like, “WHATTTT!!!”. The show felt like they were setting up for these characters to fall for each other and than BAM!, his character just up and leaves the show. I did not know of this spoiler and was beyond bummed to see his character go. For almost two seasons, it looked like Alicia might of found love again and than there it goes on by. I have to say I’ve seen Matthew Goode in a few things such as The Crown and the recent Amazon’s The Ordeal By Innocence. Although, him on The Good Wife is where I became that lifelong forever fan forever and always. He just had a way about him on the show. The way he spoke, the way he glanced and then spoke. Yeah, loved! Okay, so I could probably go on and on and talk about my love of Matthew Goode’s Finn all day, so moving on…..
A major part of my love for this series was also for the fact that it regularly hired Broadway performers. Combining my two loves on that of Theater and Television. As I do call myself “That TV Nerd When In Jersey Who Becomes A Theater Dork When In NYC” after all. So many, like soooooooo many of my favorite Broadway actors and actresses were on this show. It made my Pop Culture Nerd heart so very full. I mean there was James Carpinello, Kristin Chenoweth, Christian Borle, Mary Beth Peil, Christine Baranski, James Monroe Iglehart, Sutton Foster, Michael Urie (of Ugly Betty!!!!!), Vanessa Williams (of Ugly Betty!!!!), Nathan Lane, Kelli Barrett, Jeff McCarthy, Alan Cummings, Taye Diggs, Karen Olivio, Cristin Milioti, Matthew Morrison, Megan Hilty, Rebecca Luker, Denis O’Hare, John Benjamin Hickey, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Leslie Odom, Jr. among the many others to grace both the Broadway stage and The Good Wife TV series. I sure I’m forgetting others cause my brain breaks sometimes when trying to remember fun facts about a favorite show that featured so many Broadway performers!!!!! This is one of the many reasons I fell in love with this show.
This summer, The Good Wife’s own Will Gardner, Josh Charles made his Broadway debut in a Second Stage production of Straight White Men on Broadway. It had a cast of all stars featuring beside him Armie Hammer and Paul Schneider. Josh Charles in that of a Broadway show right around the time I’m actually watching The Good Wife! What! Dreams do come true! Broadway show plus a favorite actor from a favorite TV show together? My favorite things of Theater and TV coming together! So you’re probably thinking I must have seen this production, like for sure! Well, I did the opposite of that, unfortunately. Every theater season I always try my Theater Dork best to see every show that I possible can see. But that’s usually impossible. You can’t see them all. The Second Stage Broadway productions are only around two months long which isn’t that long of a run, so if you miss it, you miss it. Ugh. And I missed it. Let’s be real, I probably would have been way too excited to really even watch the show cause I be like, “OMG! Josh Charles! It’s Will!”. So I did the next best thing and when I went to NYC one day to see another show, I said a metaphorical hello to a picture of Josh Charles on the side of the Helen Hayes theater where the show he was in was going to play. And yes, even though it was totally just a picture I still got flipping excited to see it. My Mom, who is my constant theater pal, was like, “Who is Josh Charles?”. I was like,”It’s Josh Charles! The Good Wife? You still have no idea what I’m talking about? If you watched The Good Wife, you’d get it. This is a big deal…. It’s Josh Charles. Josh Charles!”
As far as Series Finales go, this one I didn’t love but didn’t dislike completely either. Mixed feelings after watching it. Before watching it, I remember when the finale happened a few years prior hearing that somebody slapped somebody and it was the slap heard around the TV world. I also remember hearing the finale was a let down. It kind of was in some ways, especially for a series that always seemed to know where it was going. The finale showed an ugly side to Alicia when she kind of threw Diane’s husband under the metaphorical bus by putting him on the stand to testify after Diane (Christine Baranski) didn’t want her husband involved anymore in Peter’s trial. So Diane’s husband, Kurt (Gary Cole) is called to come up to testify and Alicia didn’t tell Diane this was going to happen and Diane just gets up and walks out of the courtroom. I remember watching this moment and saying out loud, “NO! NO! NO!”. Kurt is just a real stand up guy and it was like, “Just leave him out of this Alicia, Peter is not worth losing a friendship over!”.
It’s in this episode Alicia just completely lost herself and what she stood for, for Peter, who at the end of the day she just didn’t respect or love as a person any longer. She lost who she became further in this moment when not at least giving Diane the respect of letting her know beforehand what she was going to do. I do not condone violence of any kind, I think Diane could have just simply gave her just a really good stare while slowly walking away, like a “Really, you just did that! We are done! Done! Bye Girl Bye!”, instead of giving her a slap on the face. I think the purpose of that slap was to bring it back to the pilot episode when Alicia slapped her husband at the end of the episode in the exact same location after his press conference before going off to jail. She slapped him in disappointment at what he had done, and in the finale Alicia became that person of disappointment to someone else. Full circle, as though she learned nothing from that experience by picking career and ambition over sincerity and loyalty to those who were really there for her in times of need or help. That’s this gal’s theory, at least.
Also in the Series Finale, Alicia finally really let go of Peter. She is once again standing by Peter at a press conference after his trial and after some time of him speaking to the public, she turns her head and sees Jason (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), her current love. She leaves Peter up on the podium talking and just walks away to go to Jason. She didn’t care about the optics of anything anymore. She just simply wanted to be free of Peter and all he put her through.
She was officially done and over all of it. She just wants to run off, away from it all and be with Jason. And she thinks she sees him and follows him, only to find out it wasn’t him she was chasing after and just some random guy. She finally felt at the end like there was a chance at love and happiness again for her after all that had happened with Will. She took so long to get to that point and place and it was as the saying goes, just a little too little, a little too late. She spent so much of her time trying to see what she could still get out of Peter if he stayed Governor for her career, all as while forgetting she was just going backward everytime she went to him for things like that. Backward not forward. Because of doing things like that she never really allowed herself to completely detach from him until that moment she left him on the podium at that press conference in the series finale. She waited so long to do that, to really let him go. With waiting so long to get to that place she lost a potential love and relationship, as well as a friendship, that may not have been a perfect one, but still a true friend in many ways, at the very end.
So happy that there is a spin-off of this series in The Good Fight with now Diane (Christine Baranski) in the lead role. I know what you must be thinking. I must of totally have started watching this cause I am like such a fan of The Good Wife! But no. I don’t have CBS All Access, so I haven’t started this show yet but I hope to soon. Trying not to spend extra dough lately, so I ordered the DVDs from my local library and they have yet to come in. Ugh! Also, why the heck did a show such as this get put on a platform like that instead of the actual channel in which it is a spin-off of was actually on?!!?! Ugh, TV Nerd frustration. With so many streaming services out today, it’s impossible to have them all cause it’s expensive! I’m just surprised, but I get it. CBS wanted viewers to pay attention to their streaming service channel. So what better way to do that than to have the highly anticipated The Good Wife spin-off be on that of their streaming service channel. By doing that started CBS All Access got a lot more attention than it might of otherwise have gotten. But still, ugh to that cause I’m probably never going to get that streaming service!
So at this point it’s more obvious that The Good Wife is a show that will always hold a special place in my TV Nerd Loving Heart. I loved so many things about this series. I did not talk about everything I loved about it as this article has turned into being super long as it is now and it would be even longer if I continue to babble on and on about my love for this gem. So a quick thanks to those who stuck around to finish my rambling thoughts on it.
Before I leave just a quick note of a little something, something I loved during this series run. Not story related, but hair related. Alan Cummings’s hair was everything on this show. It changed so many times, in shape and color and I loved each and every time! In the beginning, he had this brownish hair tone with a high hair bump going on which was tamed by Season Two. During the course of this series, he returned to a revival of Cabaret (which I saw, also loved cause Theater Dork!), his hair color went from brown to dark black to grey, from long to short. I loved it! Okay, now I’m really done with my way too long thoughts for reals this time, promise.
All in all, The Good Wife: recommend, watch, enjoy!