Friday, June 23, 2017
Orange County Screenwriters Association


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The Good Fight

good fightWhen I grow up I want to be The Kings. As in Robert King and Michelle King who were responsible for the incredible "The Good Wife" and "The Good Fight" which picks up after the main character of the "The Good Wife" (Julianna Margulies' Alicia Florrick) has left for other pastures.

I'm going to steal this excerpt from Wikipedia to explain the main premise because it covers everything needed to say:

The series follows Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, as she is forced out of Lockhart, Decker, Gussman, Lee, Lyman, Gilbert-Lurie, Kagan, Tannebaum, & Associates after an enormous financial scam destroys the reputation of her goddaughter Maia (Rose Leslie) and Diane's savings, leading them to join Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) at one of Chicago’s pre-eminent law firms.

The series stars Baranski, Leslie, Jumbo, Erica Tazel, Sarah Steele, Justin Bartha and Delroy Lindo, and features Paul Guilfoyle and Bernadette Peters in recurring roles. The series is executive produced by Robert King, Michelle King, Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, Liz Glotzer, Brooke Kennedy and Alison Scott, with Phil Alden Robinson producing and co-writing the first episode.

109352 1309b copyWhat all that means (basically) is the original show is back but different.  Between "Wife" and "Fight" the Kings did a short-lived political satire show "Brain Dead" which involved alien critters invading the brains of people in Washington and creating even more politically polarized parties.  Hmmm.  Truth is very much stranger that fiction.

Unabashed liberals, the Kings have always pushed a progressive agenda in "The Good Wife" but have done it with class and moderation.  The characters they created were smart, engaged and likely to lose as much as win any case or moral argument; and the issues they faced were explored (mostly evenly) on both sides of any argument.

Both "Wife" and "Fight" are from Ridley Scott's company - another piece of class.  The show reflects well on Scott Free, Ridley (and the deceased Tony's) production company.

And speaking of class, when I grow up and become The Kings, I also want to marry Christine Baranski.  As a writer, one could only wish that someone with her talent and scope would infuse one of our characters.  I don't get much into discussing production and performances, since we as scriptwriters have little control over those areas (unless we do), but Baranski is world-class and certainly made "Wife" great.  She and is continuing that trend in "Fight."

Since Baranski's character is going to work with for minority-based firm that (literally) takes on city hall, you can expect "Fight" to be politically charged.   "Wife" took on many political issues but didn't lecture.  It was definitely a progressive slant but never strident.  I expect "Fight" to be a bit more charged.  Even the title reflects a super-charged climate in America so I'm anticipating some fireworks.

imagesOne of the things that astounded me about "Wife" was the incredible characters the show created.  I'm hoping that the type of luminaries that were created in "The Good Wife" like Louis Canning and Eli Gold will continue in "Fight."  They made the show thick with fun and conflict.  Given the Kings track record, I think that's a safe bet.

The pilot had a lot of setting up to do and a lot of situations to explain, especially if you hadn't watched any of the previous show.  It was masterfully done although I'm not completely sure that all the "I" dotting and "T" crossing was absolutely necessary.  Being as well-written as it is, none of made me wish for them to get on with it - I slurped up every delicious minute especially since old favs like David Lee (Zach Grenier) and Howard Lyman (Jerry Adler) show up and will hopefully continue on as foils for Baranski's character.

For some reason (like I didn't know why) the one-sheet for this show looks like an adult soap opera's one-sheet, with the three woman apparently pushing poutiness over reasoning.  Don't be fooled.  The women of these shows are both physical and mentally formidable if "The Good Wife" was any indication.  One only has to look at the character of Kalinada Sharma (Archie Panjabi) from "Wife" to know that there is no gender-bias when it comes to anything.

Above all, the shows celebrate the strength of diversity, sexual-orientation openness, and gender-neutral situations and that perhaps more than anything is why I'm going to follow it slavishly.  We need to speak clearly and often against some of the darkness infusing our county.  In today's climate, rather than stepping backward I'm hoping that Hollywood pushes forward even harder.  I know I will.  Inclusion, not exclusion, should be first and foremost on all our minds.  "Fight" indeed.

"The Good Wife" lasted eight seasons.  My fervent wish is for "Fight" to last at least as long.

"The Good Fight" is currently exclusively on CBS All-Access (streaming) but perhaps one of the other streaming services like Netflix will take it on also if it proves a success.

 

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