PODCAST: “THE GOOD WIFE” FINALE SPOILER: IT’S NOT A ROMCOM!!

 

 

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Was “THE GOOD WIFE” Series Finale inspired by “THE SOPRANOS”?


When a beloved and critically acclaimed series comes to an end viewers look for closure to the stories of the characters they’ve followed for years. Shows like BREAKING BAD and SIX FEET UNDER provided very fitting, closed ended finales while THE SOPRANOS series finale left viewers wondering if their cable had gone out during the last scene and they had missed the conclusion to the mob family saga. In fact, series creator David Chase purposely wrote an open ended and quite ambiguous ending for the show leaving some fans calling it one of the most disappointing g series finales in tv history. But it’s still one of the most talked about series finales to this day. 

On May 8the CBS will air the final installment of THE GOOD WIFE and in a recent interview with Variety series star Julianna Margulies said that after filming the final scene she told co-star Christine Baranski, with whom she shared the final scene, that fans will either love it or hate it and there will be no in between. It seems Alicia’s story isn’t tied up neatly and will viewers wondering “what’s next?” for the often put upon legal eagle. 

Will you be ok if THE GOOD WIFE series finale leaves you wanting more? 

Click here for the full story in Variety. 

CBS Should Cast O’Shea Jackson as the Young Lead in TRAINING DAY!

 

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Showbiz 411 is reporting that the CBS pilot for TRAINING DAY, based on the movie that earned Denzel Washington his Academy Award for Best Actor will not be casting an African American man as the rogue detective with a questionable moral compass.  Instead the network is looking to cast a white actor in the role.  This would have been a meaty role for for a black actor in his 40s.  My shortlist for this role included Shemar Moore (CRIMINAL MINDS), Cuba Gooding Jr., and Malcolm Jamal Warner.  Shows like EMPIRE, SCANDAL and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER have proven that audiences love and are accepting of black actors portraying multi-layered, sometimes messy characters. But, my guess is that the network wants to remain in its comfort zone of having a procedural drama with an older caucasian man as the leading man.

According to Showbiz 411 in the new version, Frank Rourke is the “wolf, a rogue cop, and a man who lives by the law of the jungle.” His protege is Kyle Craig, a young naive black trainee who will try and take Frank down. That would be the Ethan Hawke part from the movie.

So, if this is truly the case, CBS should cast O’Shea Jackson (STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON) in the role of the young cop paired with veteran cop.  Jackson gave an amazing performance as STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON portraying his father Ice Cube during his time as part of the rap phenom N.W.A.  In his first movie role, he showed a great amount of range inhabiting all of the rage and frustration felt by young black men living in Los Angeles during the late 1980s/early 90’s. O’Shea was also very charming in the scenes where he got show the softer edges of Ice Cube.  Hollywood was buzzing about Jackson’s performance in the film, his first movie role.  Many were surprised when he didn’t land on the list of Oscar nominees in the Best Supporting Actor category.

By casting O’Shea Jackson in TRAINING DAY, CBS has the opportunity to appeal to a younger audience that’s probably not very familiar with their other shows.  He’s young, handsome, and can act!  And maybe his famous father would take time out of his hit movie making schedule for a cameo or two if the show goes to series. This would be a smart casting move by CBS that would get a lot of notice.

Why CBS should END this version of “THE GOOD WIFE”

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Fist off, I’ve loved “The Good Wife” since it premiered in 2009. The story of Alicia Florrick, played by Emmy winner Julianna Margulies, as she tried to rebuild her life and law career after her husband Peter’s affair with a call-girl was exposed combined juicy family and political soap opera with weekly law cases (keeping with CBS’ staple of procedural dramas).  But “The Good Wife” transcended any procedural drama on CBS or any other network quickly becoming the best drama on broadcast television.

Co-creators of “The Good Wife” Robert and Michelle King announced this week that they are leaving the series at the end of this season. They’re vision for the show was a seven season story arc and for them this is the end.  It’s rumored that CBS is trying to negotiate deals for an eight season of the show, which means a new show runner and vision for “The Good Wife.”

I believe CBS should allow the Kings to complete their vision for “The Good Wife” at the end of this season and viewers should say farewell to Alicia Florrick and company.  Alicia deserves her happy ending and be allowed to walk off into the sunset gracefully.  However, “The Good Wife” is such a good brand that there is a way for CBS to evolve the show with new protagonists and stories.

Other networks have had success with anthology storytelling in recent years and “The Good Wife” could be a way for CBS to get into the game. The show should focus on a woman of color who is running to replace her late husband as Governor. Her only political experience has been that as First Lady of her state. She’s built a career as a successful Chief Financial Officer of a Fortune 500 company.  Her opponents will of course use her lack of political experience against her.  And even though she was able to turn her company’s financial turmoil around when she came on board, he opponents will spin things to make it look like it was her fault.  And, because she’s had a success full career, they’ll call into question her dedication to her family because she wasn’t a stay-at-home mom.  The show can focus on many themes including women in politics, race in politics, the effect of local politics on the community and the double standards when it comes to women and power.  There could also be an umbrella mystery surrounding her husbanding dealing while in office and the circumstances surrounding his death.For continuity, CBS could enlist one or two, at most, of the current characters to make guest appearances on the new incarnation of “The Good Wife” as legal counsel, or old love interest from the new “wife’s” past.

“The Good Wife” in its current incarnation should go out while still in a good place creatively.  This season hasn’t been its strongest, but it still stand out as one of the only quality dramas on broadcast tv.  CBS should give the show the dignity of going out with the vision of its original creators, the Kings.

What do you think? Should “The Good Wife” wrap up at the end of season 7?  Would you watch a new incarnation of the show in a new setting?  Comment below.

 

 

“The Good Wife” is the PERFECT SHOW to Address ASHLEY MADISON SCANDAL!

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The recent Ashley Madison hacking scandal is ripe for a “ripped from the headlines” story on THE GOOD WIFE. The series has often been in-step with stories playing out in the real world. THE GOOD WIFE writers are amazing and don’t really need my help, but for fun, I have a few ideas.

The origin story of THE GOOD WIFE is that the wife of the Illinois State Attorney has to pick up the pieces of her life after her husband is caught in a sex and corruption scandal.  Throughout the last six seasons the show has often referenced that scandal to reinforce Alicia’s (Julianna Margulies) continued mistrust of Peter (Chris Noth). Now that Peter is running for President, it’s a perfect time for an Ashley Madison-like website to get hacked, potentially derailing Peter’s campaign.

Alicia is, yet again, setting up her own law firm so she could take on a class action lawsuit again said website by a group of “clients” of a website designed to help married people cheat on their spouses who had an expectation of privacy when they signed up for its services. Maybe one of the men exposed in the scandal has committed suicide, as has been recently reported amid the real life scandal, and his family is suing on his behalf. As Alicia is going through the list of names she recognizes a name, possibly an alias she’s known Peter to use in the past when he needed to be incognito.  Alicia immediately suspects Peter had an account with this site and she will once again face public humiliation.  While Peter denies her suspicions, this new conflict reopens old wounds and makes Alicia question if she can continue to play the role of the supportive spouse. Alicia’s former law firm could represent. the website giving Alicia a chance to go up against Cary (Matt Czuchry) and Diane (Christine Baranski).

Of all the shows on television, I trust THE GOOD WIFE most with this story.  The writers would intelligently explore all sides of the hacking issue as it pertains to a website set up for the express purpose of infidelity.

THE GOOD WIFE returns for its 7th season on Sunday, October 4th at 9pm EST.  Check out an extended deleted scene between Alicia and Peter from season one of THE GOOD WIFE below:

3 Spinoff Ideas to Bring More Diversity to CBS

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While CBS has some diverse character threaded throughout a number of its primetime shows, it has yet to launch a series with characters and actors of color as the lead and focal point of the series. So, I came up three comedy spinoffs of series currently on the CBS primetime schedule.

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“RAJ” (THE BIG BANG THEORY)

THE BIG BANG THEORY is the top rated comedy on television and part of the series’ appeal can be credited to Kunal Nayyar’s performance as astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali.  When first introduced, Raj, who hails from New Delhi, India, was very shy around women and unable to speak to them. Over the years, his condition has improved and he’s even started dating a young dermatologist. BIG BANG has had fun playing with the idea that Raj has romantic feelings for his best friend Howard and usually brush it off to him being metrosexual.

CBS has the perfect opportunity to spin Raj off into his own series. BIG BANG should have Raj finally deal with the root of his feelings for Howard and come out. With Howard happily married, Raj decides he needs a fresh start and accepts a job at a new university in the San Francisco Bay area, where his sister Priya now lives. There, Raj experiences the ups and downs as dating as an openly gay man.  CBS should take advantage of THE BIG BANG THEORY’S success and use Raj as an opportunity to showcase an Indian actor in a leading role on sitcom.

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“CARL” (MIKE & MOLLY)

Reno Wilson plays Carl, Mike’s best friend on MIKE & MOLLY and often gets some of the best punchlines on the show. In early seasons Carl lived with his grandmother, played by Cleo King, who raised him.  While they have a combative relationship it’s clear that the two share a deep love for one another.

My spinoff idea for Carl is that his grandmother wants to escape the cold Chicago weather and decides to move to small town in Arizona.  Carl decides that he doesn’t want that amount of distance between them and gets a job as the captain of police in a small town. Carl would be surrounded by motley crew of officers under his command. He and his grandmother could share a house together with her commenting on his still often disastrous dates. Since Carl’s parents abandoned him when he was a small child the show could also introduce a younger sibling that Carl agrees to take in and act as a parental figure, just as his grandmother did for him.

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“REGINA” (MOM)

Oscar winner Octavia Spencer has appeared in eight episodes of hit sitcom MOM as Regina, an embezzling money manager who’s also in AA along with series leads Christie and Bonnie.  Regina was sent off to prison for her crimes but earned an early release.  While in prison, she found religion and is now leading a more “righteous” life.

In her spinoff, Regina needs to rebuild her relationship with her family and find a new career. Regina, now separated from her husband, could rent an apartment nearby after getting a new job working at the church her family attends.  Her husband and kids still attend the church and that’s where he agrees to let Regina spend time with her children. Her husband could have a new girlfriend by whom Regina feels threatened and she comes up with silly stunts to get time alone with her estranged husband in order to remind him why he first fell in love with her. The church setting also allows for some fun recurring characters including the Pastor, with whom Regina shares some chemistry.

CBS desperately needs more diversity in its lineup and by utilizing established characters on already popular sitcoms the network could quickly make strides in this area.