There are 2 points I want to raise regarding this episode. The first point is something I have been reading on other blogs or hearing on podcasts and the other point is something I have taken issue with on here before about other TV shows. I’m also going to preface this by saying that The Good Wife is in my top 5 of favorite shows on TV right now and in the Top 5 of ensemble casts. Fabulous show and I love it!!!
Point #1 is that I have been hearing a lot and reading a lot about how viewers are feeling that shows aren’t “going there” or “taking risks and stepping out of comfort zones” or are “playing it too safe.” And with some shows, I would agree. I think with this episode of The Good Wife, I would agree that some of those issues took place. Nine Hours was basically about a death row inmate who had 9 hours until he was to be executed. Alicia received a cryptic call from the 7th District Court of Appeals giving her the impression something was missed in Carter’s case and they may be able to get a stay of execution as a result. So it’s all hands on deck and the rush is on for LGB to save this man’s life. I was waiting for so many things to happen….1: they save him and find out he was really guilty; 2: they don’t save him and find out he was guilty; 3: the don’t save him and were able to clear him but ran out of time. The 4th option, which happened, he is innocent and he was cleared in time, was the most boring of the all that could have happened. Now I will admit that I sometimes (okay most times) get a little too involved in my TV shows and sometimes (ok lots of the time) have to be reminded by my sweetie, that’s it’s just a TV show. In this case, I can separate my real feelings about the death penalty, what I think is right and wrong in the real world, and what I want to witness on my TV screen for drama and interesting TV. So please don’t send me nasty comments about my next statement because I am commenting on a TV show, not my personal feelings. Saving Carter in time and finding the stay justified was so bromidic and so predictable and easy. I hated it!! It was the most vanilla of all that could have happened. And this is one of those cases where the show didn’t “go there” and I was hoping they would. I was hoping they found evidence to clear him but didn’t save him in time. It would have been fascinating to see how something like that would affect the associates of LGB. And if they didn’t go that route and were determined to save him, I was hoping it would have been found out that he was guilty. Either scenario would have been much more interesting to watch the ramifications and psyche damages that would have taken place as a result of their decisions and actions. Instead, the writers did what many writers have been doing and took the generic way out. LGB, especially Alicia Florrick, are the “good guys” (except for Will and Blake) that we are supposed to root for in this show. And for the most part, with the exception of the names above, it is easy to do so. But it can’t always be a win for them. Which leads me to my next point of issue….
Point #2, I hate when the law firm the TV show revolves around always wins. The Practice was great example of having twists and turns for Bobby Donnell and company. They mostly won but there may have been a twist where they won but the person they set free played them. Or sometimes they flat-out lost. I think what also helped is that in many episodes, there were multiple cases going on…Eugene and Jimmy may have one case, while Rebecca, Bobby, and Lindsay would have another. And Eleanor would have her own case. Usually in the Good Wife, everyone is focusing on the same case. Or if Diane has a different case from Alicia and Will, you never see it. In fairness, you do have Peter’s election and Alicia’s family also being highlighted on the show and there is only 42-44 minutes to cram everything in. Maybe after Peter’s campaign ends, that will change. I just can’t stand it when the law firm on the show always wins. It’s stagnant, it’s tiresome, and it’s cliche. I have less of a vested interest in the case if Alicia and LGB are always going to win. The closest they ever came to losing or a twist, was the Michael J Fox episode when he told Alicia that even though they won in court, he won in the end because he was able to get them down to a much lower settlement than the client was willing to pay. It was a nice little twist but not some of the jaw-droppers or game-changers that the Practice had. Also, The Practice did a great job of incorporating Helen Gamble, the ADA and their friend, into the mix and showcasing her so that we have in interest in seeing her succeed sometimes as well. That is where The Good Wife is missing the boat with Cary. He is only ever going against LGB, and losing to them. Or they call him once a week for about 8 minutes of face time where he helps them out with a case. It annoys the hell out me. Either put Cary back with LGB or let him be in the States Attorney’s office and let there be some focus on him. It’s like they don’t know what to do with him.
I know it seems like I am really ripping on The Good Wife. But as I mentioned above, this is one of my favorite shows on TV. That’s why I get so upset when I see an episode like this. This episode had a chance to really set the bar high and take some risks with the characters and the writers chose not to do it. I know I am probably crossing a line I really don’t want to cross but I am going to say it anyway…sometimes with a show, you can really start to see the show’s creative team’s political view-point, and I don’t like it. I don’t like being subtly hit over the head with a writer or producers view-point like I am being preached to. It’s hard not to do that, I realize, when you have a show that highlights politics and law. And I don’t mind if a political view is highlighted or focused on that is different from mine. That’s not what bothers me. Actually there are an even amount of views I agree and disagree with on the show and I like seeing both because it invokes some great discussions. What bothers me is when I feel like there is an underlying message to an episode where it’s not just about the episode but someone standing on their soap box. And the episode is more about getting that person’s or people’s personal opinion out there vs. doing what is in the best interest of the show, story, or characters. It’s a very fine, fragile line that is sometimes hard to determine. I personally don’t like it whether it’s a view I agree with or disagree with…I don’t like a behind the scene interjection of political views into my shows. If it’s within the context of the show and it fits with the SL or characters, no problem. But when I think a better a story could have been had but it wasn’t due to personal views, that’s just wrong. In my opinion, this wasn’t the best ending to tell the best story. And I just want to be VERY clear here because I know talking politics (which I hate to do for many reasons) can strike a sharp cord with people….I am not complaining about the view-point itself on the show. Only that I think a personal view was put before the best SL for the show. I have no problems with shows interjecting politics into a show, where it makes sense for the show, and I don’t care if I agree with the particular view or not because I think everyone is entitled to their views and opinions and I think it’s important to showcase all views for the sake of discussion. Just don’t beat me over the head with it and don’t do it and sacrifice a better story. You know what one of my all time favorite shows is….The West Wing. Talk about beating you over the head with politics. But it was ok because I expected it and it was part of what the show was all about…everyday these people fighting for what they really believed in. Alright now I am off my soap box.
Ironically, as much as I just complained about the episode, I still enjoyed it, if you can believe that!! I just wish the ending was different. But as usual, I love how they all worked together as a team to get Carter off death row and get him a new trial. For those of you that read my blog (thanks Sweetie!) you know about my hatred of Will. I do NOT want him and Alicia together. I want her and Peter to stay together. I think they have great chemistry and I do believe she loves Peter. So I am Team Peter!!!! But there were indications in this episode that Will’s pursuit of Alicia is coming back into play now that Alicia has heard the tapes of Will talking to someone about the messages he left Alicia and how he wants to make something work out with her.
What were your thoughts on the episode? Did you like the outcome? Do you think there are too many times when personal politics come into play or am I reading too much into it? What are your thoughts on the Alicia/Peter/Will stuff?