East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, July 24, 2019, Page 2, Image 2

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    cover story
The ‘Good’ spinoff
CBS pulls no punches in ‘The Good Fight’
By Breanna Henry
TV Media
pon beginning research
for the article you are cur-
rently reading, the first thing I
did was ask my mother if she
had ever watched “The Good
Wife” or “The Good Fight.”
She replied to my text message
instantly and wrote simply:
“Love them both.” Perhaps a
mom’s glowing three-word re-
view isn’t typically the thing to
set someone on a 10-season-
long law-drama television
binge, but this is a show that
is almost impossible to talk
about without mentioning
strong, intelligent and empow-
ered women, and my mom fits
that bill to a T, so why not take
her word for it?
“The Good Fight” is actually
a CBS All Access series, and it
wrapped up its third season
on the streamer in mid-May.
But this summer, CBS itself has
graciously started airing Sea-
son 1 in a prime-time Sunday
slot, which allows new viewers
(and fans who just miss the
series) to watch it from the
beginning. The ninth episode,
titled “Self Condemned,” airs
Sunday, July 28, on the eye
network, and I, for one, and
my mother, for two, strongly
suggest tuning in to catch
Christine Baranski (“Mamma
Mia!,” 2008) as lawyer Di-
ane Lockhart, Cush Jumbo
(“Vera”) as Reddick Boseman
& Kolstad law firm associate
Lucca Quinn, and Rose Leslie
(“Game of Thrones”) as Maia,
who recently passed her bar
exam and got herself and her
godmother, Diane, mixed up in
a whole heap of trouble.
In the very first episode
(“Inauguration”), the liberal
politics of “The Good Fight”
are laid bare, as Diane decides
to retire in the wake of Donald
Trump’s election and prepares
to move south for some well-
earned rest and relaxation.
Unfortunately, a wrench is
thrown into Diane’s plan in
the form of an elaborate Ponzi
scheme, and voilà — we have
2 | Screentime
Christine Baranski as seen in “The Good Fight”
everything we need for one of
series doesn’t shy away from
television’s greatest spinoffs. A having an opinion. The bias
couple of arrests, a few affairs
towards social liberalism and
and plenty of bad tweets later,
democratic political leanings
we find ourselves one episode
may alienate some viewers,
away from the Season 1 finale,
but the show’s honest and
and Diane is prepared to lay it
unapologetic nature is exactly
all on the line for the FBI and
what grasps many fans in the
uncover some distressing re-
first place, including those who
pressed memories.
felt “The Good Wife” tended to
The current political and
be a bit weaker in that depart-
social climate can often push
ment — its social commentary
media towards an extreme at-
was often overshadowed by
tempt at sitting on the fence,
romantic storylines.
which can make a series feel
“The Good Fight” isn’t all
bland or fake instead of having talk, either. Not only is “The
the desired effect of making
Good Fight” the first television
it seem sensitive or unbiased.
show ever to be based in an
“The Good Fight” doesn’t have African-American-owned law
that problem. While both sides
firm, more than 50 per cent of
of socioeconomic and political
its technical crew members
debates are often shown, the
and set staff are women or
July 24, 2019 | East Oregonian and Hermiston Herald
people of color (or both). In an
interview with Collider, Jumbo
said that “the [showrunners’]
starting point is always just
to have the best actors that
they can have. I want to be in
the best show on television,
and I want to do the best work
that I can ... none of us wants
any of that to do with the way
we look or who we are, but it
also should be commented on
and should be talked about
because we’re one of the only
shows doing it.”
Showrunners Michelle and
Robert King, who also cre-
ated “The Good Wife,” were
allowed much more creative
freedom with their new series
on CBS All Access, and the
show has a shorter, 10-episode
season, which is why “The
Good Fight” is able to hit hard-
er and pull fewer punches than
“The Good Wife” could; don’t
be surprised to see much dark-
er subjects explored, or to hear
a little bit of foul language.
The only film trope more
consistent than the bad sequel
is probably the terrible spinoff,
but “The Good Fight” came out
swinging and continues to beat
both of those assumptions into
the dust. The show’s predeces-
sor, “The Good Wife,” which
ended after seven seasons in
2016, was consistently well re-
viewed, despite many fans feel-
ing the show had already run its
course by the end of the fifth.
Apparently, what the Kings
needed was a bit of a fresh
start, because while it makes
use of characters and storylines
from the prequel, “The Good
Fight” stands strong on its
own. Since many people are al-
ready caught up with the show
on CBS All Access, you’re going
to want to be quick on your
feet in order to dodge spoilers;
the best way to avoid them
is to make sure you catch the
most recent episodes as they
come out, so tune in to CBS on
Sunday nights. The best part is,
you still have two whole sea-
sons to watch after the season
finale airs, and trust me (and
my mom), you won’t want to
miss what happens next.
A new episode of “The Good
Fight” airs Sunday, July 28, on