The Good Fight is premium TV that moves at an old-school pace: Schneller
This legal drama pays heed to the disciplined structure that served network TV so well in its heyday: A and B plotlines, cliff-hangers at commercial breaks, a rollicking pace.
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The Show: The Good Fight, Season 2, Episodes 2 and 3 (W)
The Moment: Diane’s change
“I don’t know what’s going on in the world anymore,” attorney Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) tells Liz (Audra McDonald), her new partner (and rival) in her Chicago firm. “I read the news, and it doesn’t make any sense. It’s not just bad. It’s insane.”
But soon, Diane is micro-dosing drugs, and laughing inappropriately in court. These last few weeks felt terrible, she tells another partner, Adrian (Delroy Lindo). “But now I just don’t care,” she says. “What did Tennessee Williams say? What’s the secret to happiness? Insensitivity. That’s what I feel.”
“We are $600,000 richer,” he says, referring to a case they just won.
“And with Trump, we won’t be taxed as much,” Diane replies.
Last season, showrunners Michelle and Robert King pivoted from sexism in The Good Wife to racism here (Diane is the only white partner in her African-American firm). Now it seems they’re pivoting Diane, an idea with potential for naughty fun. (Leftie Diane, praising Trump? Shocking!) And they’re doing it, as they do everything, at a brisk clip.
In the U.S., this series airs on CBS All Access, a streaming service that allows for more risqué plots and language than network TV. But the Kings are veteran writers, and they haven’t entirely abandoned the disciplined structure that served network TV so well in its heyday: A and B plotlines, cliff-hangers at commercial breaks, a rollicking pace.
I love me some premium TV, but it can lead to languorous storytelling. It’s nice to be reminded of the pleasures afforded by rigorous old-school pacing.
Johanna Schneller is a media connoisseur who zeroes in on pop-culture moments.
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