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Old 07-24-2014, 08:03 PM   #1
bsnelson
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"The Good Wife" For Dummies (seeking veteran knowledge)

Yes, I know this show started five years ago, but we're just starting it now.

We're 7 episodes in to the first season, and so far, it's a formulaic thing with each episode having a fully contained legal-based story of varying believability (and I'm not even a lawyer), and the overall arc of the husband's situation and how everyone reacts to it.

It's got such great reviews, and was even nominated for Emmys this year, so it must be (still) doing good things. I like the husband arc, but the law stuff sometimes almost feels like filler between pieces of the husband storyline. I find myself yelling "Oh, COME ON!" at the legal stuff on a semi-regular basis.

I don't want spoilers, just some yes or nos and any general comments

1. Does the show evolve from this format?
2. If not, does the law stuff get better?
3. Is it worth watching five seasons of at this point? (I realize this is quite subjective )

Thanks for any non-spoilery info

Brad
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:11 PM   #2
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I watched the first season with Jannie and enjoyed it but quit watching for some reason and picked up again this last season. It is very enjoyable. I'd stick with it.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:35 PM   #3
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The show does evolve from what it was Season 1. Yes, the law part does get better as you meet opposing counsel and clients (some truly great characters) and revisit them later. Yes, it is most definitely worth watching from the beginning (especially because of the "revisits").

I highly recommend you continue. The payoff is worth it.

If you're only watching for the Alicia/Peter dynamic, and aren't into the other characters, you'll be disappointed. I don't think Noth (Peter) likes to over commit to his acting. He's been known to take several roles where he's not in every episode (for example, when he reprised his character in L&O: Criminal Intent he was in every other episode). He's definitely a supporting actor in this series (although a great one).
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:35 PM   #4
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It has some fun recurring characters and some really good actors. The stories are typical law drama in the vein of LA Law, but I like it I just started watching last week and am plowing through them on Amazon Prime. I'm on Season 3 about episode 14.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:44 PM   #5
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Great show, and this isn't the first year its had emmy nominations.

It generally sticks with the 'case of the week' format, but they specialize in fantastic guest actors as opposing counsel and judges. And while the Peter thing is important now, as it goes on the real intrigue is in the political machinations in the law firm.

Another it does really well is technology. No show 'gets' things like thge internet, bitcoin, the NSA, like TGW.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsnelson View Post
1. Does the show evolve from this format?
I would say that the show evolves within that format.

Sure, it's case of the week but there are a number ongoing plot threads that go on throughout the season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsnelson View Post
2. If not, does the law stuff get better?
I think so. Much better than Boston Legal in this regard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsnelson View Post
3. Is it worth watching five seasons of at this point? (I realize this is quite subjective )
Yes.
The Good Wife really a slow burn kind of show that gets better as it progresses.

I have an interesting relationship with The Good Wife.
From the previews I saw before the show started up, I almost wrote it off as "Lifetime Channel" fare.

I only gave it an initial look because I thought that the cast was interesting.
I watched the pilot, thought it was ok, and wound banking the rest of the season to binge watch during the summer slowdown.

It was good enough to keep the SP for Season 2 and I banked that for the summer as well.

But with Season 3, I started watching it faster/sooner. It wasn't my first choice to watch, but I would watch it after I had watched the must watch soon shows.

And with Seasons 4 and 5, I started watching it as soon as possible.
It gets that good and the characters really get fleshed out.

And as mentioned up thread, the cast does a very good job and they have some really good guest stars that come in.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:08 PM   #7
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I thought the show merely ok the first season and a half but I stuck with it because I'm a Margulies fan from her ER days. About halfway thru the second season it finally hits its stride and gets pretty darn good. Then it just keeps getting better and better.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:43 AM   #8
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Thanks, all. We're up to about episode 10 or 11 of season 1, and it's definitely getting better. We're going to stick with it for now.

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Old 07-25-2014, 07:51 AM   #9
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It's been one of my favorite shows since it began airing many years ago. There are very few shows that have been able to keep my interest for that long of a period, except perhaps Breaking Bad and one or two others. As with any show of this genre, you have to overlook the reality of most situations in favor of story telling. A lot of the cases are ridiculous, but that's the way most lawyer shows operate. The Good Wife stands out because it's got a great cast and consistently good writing.

FYI, the show isn't all about court cases. There are a lot of ongoing storylines that diverge from this area and mix things up quite a bit. There's a whole lot more behind the scenes action than the usual courtroom drama that many shows depend upon. If anything, they tend to stay out of the courtroom scenarios as much as possible.
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:51 AM   #10
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I would have a hard time liking this show if I didn't like the legal cases. Sure, it does get more entwined as the seasons go on, but to me some of the best parts of the show are the law-related parts.
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:55 AM   #11
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Where the show really shines for me is the guest actors.

stick with it.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:22 AM   #12
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It's one of the few shows I'll start watching as soon as it has recorded long enough to be able to skip the commercials. 'Nuff said.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:56 AM   #13
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the first half of the first season drags painfully slow, then, for some reason, the show just starts to "click" - writing, chemistry of the cast, story lines, recurring characters - it finds itself.

stay with it, it will be worth the effort soon, and you'll need these episodes to better follow the show later on (when i really started enjoying the show!).
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:20 PM   #14
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It's one of the few shows I'll start watching as soon as it has recorded long enough to be able to skip the commercials. 'Nuff said.


I used to say that Sunday nights I watched The Walking Dead and then I watched The Good Wife to calm myself down.

This past season The Good Wife got SO intense for a while, it had me more riled up than the zombies!
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:53 PM   #15
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The multi-season long term arc is more focused on Alicia than Peter, but involves her professional and personal life and therefore many people. There is also a "case of the week" because, you know, she works as a lawyer.

The case of the week is sometimes interesting, sometimes not, but you really need to watch the shows in order due to the long term arc. If you jump in somewhere, you would be confused.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:51 AM   #16
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Wow talk about a binge watch!
I am now all caught up. It took about 10 days.
Really enjoyable "in my opinion"
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:25 AM   #17
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Wow talk about a binge watch!
I am now all caught up. It took about 10 days.
Really enjoyable "in my opinion"
It is. I don't think it is a legal show in the old spirit of "case of the week" being the focus. In many of the cases there are issues that impact both Alicia's personal and professional life, and the lives of those around them. I'm sure that happens in a lot of more modern legal shows, but for some reason the impact is more apparent. For me at least it's the best legal drama since LA Law.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:46 AM   #18
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10 days?! That is quite a binge. That's an average of over 7 hours per day.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:52 PM   #19
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10 days?! That is quite a binge. That's an average of over 7 hours per day.
My kid was at camp and my wife was working 12 hr shifts. I had nothing to do.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:56 PM   #20
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YAY! Glad you gave it a chance Brad and Gunny!
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:42 PM   #21
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So, I'm not asking for a really spoiler-y answer (especially with the original questioner asking for no spoilers), but I seem to remember reading that the show basically completely diverged from the original premise, right?

i.e. it was the "does a woman who was cheated on stand by her man or not?".

I only watched a couple episodes of the first season (didn't have enough tuners way back then), but it's one (of a zillion, admittedly) shows I've thought I'd get into some day.. (and yes, there have been a couple I did actually get back to, but I can't think of any at the moment).
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:18 PM   #22
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...I seem to remember reading that the show basically completely diverged from the original premise, right?
i've never thought of it in those terms, i would say the show expanded it's focus to include the lives of those around alicia and peter, and their children. johns-mi summed it up without any spoilers:
Quote:
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The multi-season long term arc is more focused on Alicia than Peter, but involves her professional and personal life, and therefore many people. There is also a "case of the week" because, you know, she works as a lawyer.

The case of the week is sometimes interesting, sometimes not, but you really need to watch the shows in order due to the long term arc. If you jump in somewhere, you would be confused.

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Old 07-30-2014, 06:54 AM   #23
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So, I'm not asking for a really spoiler-y answer (especially with the original questioner asking for no spoilers), but I seem to remember reading that the show basically completely diverged from the original premise, right?

i.e. it was the "does a woman who was cheated on stand by her man or not?".

I only watched a couple episodes of the first season (didn't have enough tuners way back then), but it's one (of a zillion, admittedly) shows I've thought I'd get into some day.. (and yes, there have been a couple I did actually get back to, but I can't think of any at the moment).
It never completely diverged from that premise. Some seasons it was very much about that, other seasons, not so much. But that premise was always the elephant in the room.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:08 AM   #24
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I've always wondered what this show was about. I thought it was about a woman whose political husband cheated on her and the public found out. Then she was the good wife and stuck with him or something. I guess I always wondered how they turned that into a multi-season show. Didn't realize it was actually a law show.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:04 AM   #25
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I've always wondered what this show was about. I thought it was about a woman whose political husband cheated on her and the public found out. Then she was the good wife and stuck with him or something. I guess I always wondered how they turned that into a multi-season show. Didn't realize it was actually a law show.
She joined the law firm of an old college colleague who she'd had a relationship with to gain some independence from the husband without them actually separating from him. She's the "Good Wife" in that she played the wife of the politician to keep up appearances more than anything. Her career and how it relates to his becomes the major crux of the show.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:29 PM   #26
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One of our favorite shows, especially in the last few seasons....

It definitely has changed since the first season....and for the better.

Is it a procedural law show? To a point...yes, the one or two cases per week are always there...but over time, some of the clients have become part of an ongoing storyline, some clients or cases have become key for other cases, some clients come back multiple times for different cases, etc.

The dynamic of the show has changed over the years as well....early season 1, it focused on Alicia and her handling of Peter's infidelity and public humiliation, standing by him, all the while trying to kick start her own career as a new lawyer. As time goes on, the Alicia/Peter relationship/issues take a back seat for many episodes and there are even ones where Peter isn't even in the episode or plays a very small role. Don't want to give spoilers, but will say that there are a lot more storylines regarding Alicia's career and the relationships and players at work and much less emphasis to her homelife although that always does come into play at some point and some episodes do focus on that.

I think they have done an amazing job of keeping us tuning in every week, and keeping the story lines fresh and ever changing.

Stick with it....it gets better and better
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:46 AM   #27
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I had seen a show or two from a TiVo that bought, and it looked good, but it was bothering me I didn't know the story from the beginning. What really got me to start out with season 1 was on Big Band Theory Raj was watching the show on a telescope and he resisted stopping by saying 'But the Good Wife is crying!!'. That cracked me up, as it is so 'Raj'.
A goofy reason for watching a TV show, and I don't exactly why, but I am almost finished with the first season and really love it. The only thing I really don't like is the Dianes' laugh. It really seems fake. Generally I don't think much of her acting either. Fortunately she hasn't played a big part in the show. But I love the show otherwise. I had forgotten how much I like lawyer shows.
So it is time to get on the library website and order the next two seasons.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:48 AM   #28
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I'm no going to spoilerize this. I'm not posting, nor do I know, enough details to require such a posting.

Fan favorite Elsbeth Tascioni will be back next season. I have no idea how many episodes or what her role will be.

Past years Carrie Preston had limited availability due to her work on True Blood.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:05 PM   #29
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Glad to know that. I like the Elsbeth character.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:46 AM   #30
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Glad to hear Elsbeth will be back.
Spoiler:
I hope the NYC lawyer, played by Jill Hennessey, who created a new law firm with her will be back, too.

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