Why The Good Fight is so damn, well … good.
Updated: May 7
Like many people, when I started watching the first season of The Good Fight on CBS All Access, waaay back in 2017, I was expecting—consciously or not—a sort of streaming, lower-rez clone of its spin-mother, The Good Wife, which was a glossy network show, often entertainingly astute and wryly clever, and even occasionally moving, about the adventures of a wronged but imperfect modern day That Girl/Mary Tyler Moore protagonist, set in the land of Chicago law and politics.
But whoa, did I underestimate Michelle and Robert King. They’re mining a whole new mother lode with The Good Fight.
Why does this show feel so perfect for this moment in our lives? Who could have predicted, in their wildest dreams, the world we’re living in now? (Well, maybe Orwell or Vonnegut or Sartre, which sort of proves the point.)
I don’t know how the Kings arrived at this miraculous place in television creativity, but arrive they did, from the get go. The previous three seasons of “The Good Fight” offered, as writer Darren Franich put it in his Entertainment Weekly review a year ago (which was boldly entitled, “The Good Fight is the best show on TV”) deeply satisfying television: “Co-creators Michelle and Robert King aren’t just chasing topicality. They’re telling deep stories about rich characters struggling to make sense of this incoherent moment.”
Which was conspicuously true then. But this current season takes the cake and devours it. And part of the reason for that IS the shitstorm we’re living through now.
In fact, only now could a show that careens from travesty to travesty – e.g. from appallingly crooked judges to casual racism to deep-state treachery – actually be a balm to our psyches. As Kathryn VanArendonk put it in her recent, beautifully written Vulture review, “Caring so much about deep social inequities that aren’t immediately followed by an unprecedented body count is strangely, warmly nostalgic."
Enough analysis. I honestly don’t care why this show works so well. All I really care about is clearing my calendar for the next episode, pouring another glass of wine, and giving thanks.
Long live the Kings.
P.S. Haven’t seen it yet? Lord on a stick.
For a taste of what you’ve been missing, watch the trailer here.