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. 

Are You Ready to Say Goodbye to “The Good Wife”?

  
After tonight’s incredible episode of “THE GOOD WIFE” there are only three episodes left until the May 8th series finale. 

Tonight’s episode left us with a lot of questions:  will Peter go to jail? What does Jason want from Alicia? Will there be more repercussions from Alicia finding out that her phone calls are being monitored by the NSA? What has Cary been up to since he walked away from the law firm? Will Josh Charles really return as Will Gardner?

So many questions with so few episodes left. At a Q&A at the Tribeca Film Festival, Variety wasn’t able to get many spoilers from “GOOD WIFE” creators Michelle and Robert King, but series star Julianna Margulies did say call the script for the series finale “brilliant.”

Are you ready to say goodbye to the best drama on broadcast tv?

Click here for the full story in Variety. 

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:

CASTING CORNER: 3 Actors Who Should Be TV Series Regulars

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With the fall television season upon us, I started thinking about some actors that are floating out there who should be cast as series regulars.  To get things started, below are the three actors I’d like to see in contract roles.

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MALIK YOBA

I’ve been a fan of Malik Yoba since he was on the 90s FOX series NEW YORK UNDERCOVER.  I was happy to see him return to FOX this year as Vernon on EMPIRE.  Unfortunately, Vernon’s fate took a tragic turn by the end of the season, leaving Yoba out of a job.

I’d love to see Malik Yoba join the cast of HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER as a rival attorney to Viola Davis’ Annalise Keating.  When we last left Annalise her husband had been killed and her lover framed for the murder, so not only would Yoba make a worthy adversary in the courtroom for Annalise, he’d also make a hot love interest for her as well.  I can imagine the chemistry between the two actors as being electrifying.

On a side note, I wouldn’t mind seeing Malik Yoba do a guest spot on BLACK-ISH, reuniting with former GIRLFRIENDS leading lady Tracee Ellis Ross. Yoba could play Rainbow’s ex-boyfriend from medical school who Dre has always felt insecure around.  This guest-casting would appeal the GIRLFRIENDS viewers who haven’t discovered BLACK-ish yet.

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TREVOR DONOVAN

Model-turned-actor Trevor Donovan got his big break in 2007 when he was cast as Jeremy Horton on DAYS OF OUR LIVES.  While the role was short-lived, Hollywood casting agents took notice and by 2009 Donovan was cast as Teddy, the closeted jock on 90210.  Trevor Donovan gave a moving performance during Teddy’s coming out story and proved he was more than his good looks. After his stint on 90210, Donovan has mostly done episodic tv work and was seen most recently in the mini-series TEXAS RISING.

I think Trevor Donovan would make a great addition to the cast of SHAMELESS.  He could play the therapist for bi-polar Gallagher brother Ian.  Ian would want more than therapy from Donovan’s character, and while he knows it would be unethical to cross that line with Ian, this is SHAMELESS,  a show with very few boundaries.  And just for fun, Donovan’s therapist character could take a liking to Ian’s older sister Fiona, pitting brother and sister against each other.

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RUSSELL TOVEY

American television viewers got to know British actor Russell Tovey during his two seasons on the now-cancelled HBO series LOOKING.  While there’s no shortage of television and stage work for Tovey in the UK, I’d like to see him back on tv here in the U.S.

Russell Tovey would make a great addition to THE GOOD WIFE as a cocky lawyer who joins forces with Alicia in her new firm.  Alicia would mentor him, much like Will mentored her early on in the series.  It would be fun to see Tovey go up against Cary and Diane in court often fumbling and leaning on Alicia for help.  He could have an inappropriate flirtation with Alicia who doesn’t want to, yet again, mix business with pleasure. Heading into its seventh season THE GOOD WIFE could use an infusion of some sexy new blood and Russell Tovey is more than capable of delivering.

Check back here for more from the CASTING CORNER.

Why “THE GOOD WIFE” should have been a cable drama!

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Since it’s debut in the fall of 2009, THE GOOD WIFE has been the best drama on broadcast television.  The superb cast, lead by Julianna Margulies as the titular character, stands toe-to-toe with the casts of any of the the most buzzed about cable dramas.   Airing on CBS, THE GOOD WIFE is about as “edgy” as the network gets.  The story follows Alicia Florrick (Margulies) as she tries to rebuild her life after her husband Peter, the former states attorney is imprisoned after a sex and corruption scandal.

At first glance I thought THE GOOD WIFE was going to be a retread of previous CBS series JUDGING AMY.  Let’s face it, the network found its sweet spot with safe, by-the-book procedural crime dramas so who would have expected a smart, compelling, often edge of your seat drama.  The show allows its perfectly cast characters to explore their sexual desires in a way never really seen on other CBS shows.  But, for all the smart, compelling, sexy stories THE GOOD WIFE has often been overshadowed by in buzz and awards by cable dramas

The nature of airing on a cable network, basic or premium, allows dramas more latitude in how they are written and produced.  While THE GOOD WIFE produces 22 to 23 episodes a season, cable dramas only produce on average 13 episodes a season.  This allows cable dramas to have more tightly written story arcs and because their entire seasons are usually filmed well ahead of their premiere date, stories aren’t subject to change course because of network executives’ reactions to a shows ratings performance.

As THE GOOD WIFE has evolved over the past few seasons, I’ve often said, if the show was on cable it would be nominated and win a Best Drama Emmy.  If the show aired on CBS sister network SHOWTIME, it wouldn’t be subject to delayed airings due to football and other sports overruns.  With a shorter episode order, THE GOOD WIFE would could give even greater focus to the often conflicted relationships between the characters and less on the procedural “case of the week” elements of the show.  Don’t get me wrong, the show does an excellent job of weaving timely cases into their storylines, often times being ahead of breaking news.  But, with a cable production model, especially on a premium network, the show would rely less on these stories and could focus on one or two major cases throughout the course of a season.  And without having to write with commercial time in mind, the show’s content would fill close to 60 minutes.

As for content, as I said earlier, THE GOOD WIFE is about as edgy as a show gets on CBS.  But imagine if the show were stripped of the limitations of FCC broadcast standards.  In a world filled with lawyers and criminals, the characters would talk the way lawyers and criminals talk. Alicia’s arguments with estranged husband Peter would sound like real arguments that couples in troubled marriages have.  Remember the season of THE SOPRANOS that focused on Tony and Carmela’s marital woes?  It was intense and it felt real.  Also, the show implies many of the characters have wild sexual appetites, but on broadcast we’re usually just left to our imaginations.  There have been a couple of envelope-pushing scenes but not to the extent we see on cable.  We would get to see more than Kalinda wrapped in a sheet after a tryst with one of her many lady loves.  Or when sexual open Kalinda turns to her male friend with benefits and co-worker Cary Argos we don’t have to just see the  under a sheet tent in post coital bliss.  As for Alicia, her sexual fantasies could be more fully explored beyond quick cuts of what “might have been.”

A major plot point since early in the series is Alicia’s representation of Chicago drug kingpin Lemond Bishop.  In season six, Bishop played a big part of the story putting Alicia’s political future and Cary’s live in jeopardy as well as being a major part of Kalinda’s exit story.   While the story that played out was intense and the audience was never quite sure what would happen, if it had played out on cable a the stories could have had grittier more explosive outcomes.  Kalinda’s exit from the series was cute but could have been a water cooler moment.  The show did have a major water cooler moment when Alicia’s onetime romantic lead and legal rival was gunned down, off-screen, with no spoilers of the event being release ahead of air.  This was an instance where the show had been delayed for a football overrun and I decided I would just watch the next day on-demand.  When my Twitter feed exploded, I knew I had missed something big and the next morning watched the game changing episode online.

THE GOOD WIFE is a show that should have many explosive game changing moments, without the restrictions of broadcast television.  If the show had the creative freedom that cable allows, it would be as big as its cable counterparts.  I’m not advocating for gratuitous sex and violence but I can tell THE GOOD WIFE would go there, if only they could.

While critics love the show, I believe the show suffers from the “it airs on CBS” perception problem.  CBS isn’t known or embraced by viewers as a place for edgy, social media buzz-worthy programming. Lesser shows that air on basic or premium cable networks benefit from their association with the type of programming those networks put out and reap the benefits, sometimes undeserved.

Heading into its seventh season, I know it’s too late to for THE GOOD WIFE to make the move to cable but I like to imagine what heights an already stellar cast, writers and show runners could achieve in a more unrestrictive creative world.

Relive Alicia and Will’s stormy relationship in the video below: