TV Review: The Good Wife (CBS)

The writing of this show cannot be beat this during the fall season 2009. CBS has the ability to bring great creative character development back to television. Every character has the potential for depth and with the great minds of Michelle and Robert King, this show can expand beyond what the two originally thought they were creating.

Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies ) is the wife of Peter Florrick (Chris North ), Cook County State’s Attorney who was imprisoned for political corruption. During his trial, much of his private life, even that which his wife was unaware of, came to light. He had affairs with women, some of which he even paid to have sex. Alicia now has to begin to rebuild her life and take financial responsibility for their two children, Zach and Grace. Her background in law affords her an opportunity to get back into the field as she takes a job as a junior litigator at Lockhart & Gardner. Will Gardner (Josh Charles ), half of Lockhart & Gardner, has ties to Alicia that go back to their days at Georgetown. They are as attracted to one another now as they were in college. Things may have turned out differently had the two of them made a stronger bond but she soon met Peter and the rest is history.

Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi ) is the private investigator for Lockhart and Gardner who worked for Peter Florrick prior to his indictment. After Peter went to jail for his crimes and Alicia joined the firm, the two became good friends. Her small frame should never be underestimated and her ability to dig for the infinitesimal piece of evidence should never be overlooked. She is known to relish both male and female sexual partners.

Diane Lockhart (Christina Baranski ) stands side by side with Will in all matters concerning decisions at the firm. The two do not always see eye to eye but when their backs are against the wall they are like siblings. She has liberal tendencies that often keep the firm on the straight and narrow, especially in the environmental aspect of their clients. Diane stays away from making decisions before it is necessary; waiting for her staff to approach her on most matters. Will and Diane make a great team and no matter what they do, it is always in the best interest of the firm.

Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry ) has been a junior associate at Lockhart & Gardner longer than Alicia, but finds himself in direct competition with her. He tries to play fair, but the little devil that sits on his shoulder has to admit that there is more going on that is working against his staying on at the firm. He hears more with the unspoken word than most actually hear in a conversation. Choices are in his future and he may not have a say in the decisions.

Eli Gold (Alan Cumming ) is Peter’s campaign manager and part-time referee in the public aspects of his home life. Eli has little patience for anything other than his job and getting it completed. His outspoken, often rude, manner conflicts with others to the point of dislike. Black and White without a gray area is how he sees life while pursuing the best campaign for his politicians.

Zachary “Zach” Florrick (Graham Phillips ) is the son of Alicia and Peter who is going through the teenage years, allowing the girls in his life to play him like a puppet. The more he allows this to go on, the stronger he will become, and soon through his father’s DNA the tables will turn. Grace Florrick (Makenzie Vega ) is the daughter of Alicia and Peter who is smarter beyond her years and wiser to the adult situations that surround her mother and father’s public life. Jackie Florrick (Mary Beth Peil ) is Peter’s mother and constant busy body while her son sits in jail waiting for an appeal. She contradicts almost everything Alicia says while manipulating her grandchildren’s lives. She is a busy body in the worst sense of the word, never allowing anyone to discredit her son. She is called upon to take care of the children so that Alicia can go back to work.

Glenn Childs (Titus Welliver ) takes over as Cook County State’s Attorney once Peter goes to prison. He was the one who leaked most of the sex tapes that proved Peters infidelity to his wife. “Ruthless” is not strong enough of a word to use when talking about Childs, who manipulates everyone’s lives to benefit himself. Daniel Golden (Joe Morgan ) is a member of Peter’s legal team and has the tough job of getting his conviction over turned. He has to integrate himself in the family’s lives and work many angles to get his client released. Every day brings higher hurtles he has to clear while convincing Alicia to stand by her man.

This is the pick for the opening of the 2009 fall season. The characters do not have hidden personalities but they are lawyers and politicians, and as such often have to do things most could not fathom in their own lives. What drives these characters is individual to each personality and will keep the viewer coming back week after week. There are several story lines overlapping each other, trying to keep up is easier than watching “Lost” but complicated enough to intrigue all types of audiences. Margulies has sexual tension with every character, but her first true love is her children. Peter Reckell (Bo Brady, Days of our Lives) said that an actor coach once told him to play off every actor with sexual undertones no matter who it is. Alicia is smart, cool as a cucumber under pressure, but it is the sexual connection she has with everyone she meets that makes her interesting. She does not do this on purpose, it is just part of her personality. Just ask Peter, Will, or even Kalinda!!