We've seen it happen again and again, the wife standing by their man despite their past mistakes. Even more specifically, many question those women whose husbands play with their political power, why do they stay and how do they get through the scandals that haunt their family? The Good Wife follows Alicia Florrick, played masterfully by Julianna Margulies (seen in E.R and The Sopranos), as she becomes more pragmatic in life.
As the wife of a politician, her and her children's lives are turned upside down when her husband, the Attorney General Peter Florrick, is accused in a public sex and corruption scandal. So how does she deal with this? In moves the mother-in-law, and out goes the husband, as she turns her back and returns to her career in law, after 13 years.
She is having to start all over again, while juggling two teenage children and her estranged husband who is currently in jail but hoping to get out soon and let 'everything return to normal'. During a powerful scene while she visits her husband to get his signature for sale documents over their home, he thanks her for taking the reigns, for being the breadwinner while he is incarcerated but it won't be for long. Although literally she walks away from his, the consequences of his betrayal are far bigger than he thinks. It wasn't even the use of public money that effected her, it was his affairs.
But The Good Wife tackles the subject of these women head-on. At one point, Alicia’s new co-worker, Kalinda (Archie Punjabi), tells her, “You know what I don’t get? Why you stuck by him.” She finally asks the question which most people around Alicia were thinking.
The use of the word 'Good' in the title is ironic, as she is meant to represent the wife who never leaves the side of her husband, as seen in the first scene of the show. But when she is reminded of him sleeping with other women, she leaves his side and the audience is left wondering whether this is a show of forgiveness or whether the marriage is over.
Her first case when returning to work is on a pro bono murder accusation, while collecting together the facts and being through head first into the proceedings, Alicia finds that returning to work isn't going to be as easy as she thought. With a great performance from David Paymer, who plays no nonsense Judge Questa, he plays with Alicia throughout the case to get her to better herself every time. And then we return to that scene where she visits Peter, played by Chris Noth, he tells her about evidence being hidden, something he learnt about while in office. She uses this piece of advice and although it's not legal, it does shine questions over their relationship and the ethics of Alicia in both her business and home life.
What I have found with The Good Wife is that it doesn't become too self obsessed with itself. It gets past the whole wife going to work scenario and does what CBS does best, become slightly procedural from the lawyers point of view while contrasting the home life story seeping into her work life.
“I love how complicated she is,” Margulies said. “This is a woman who thought her life was going one way for many, many years. She trusted that life and that world she lived in. And then everything crumbles."
What we have learnt about Alicia though, what has been cemented is the many different sides to her, mother, breadwinner, lawyer and woman. This may not just be another legal show; it may be an exploration of relationships and a portrait of a woman making sure she doesn't go over the edge.
What is imaginative about this show is that although it is fictional, the ideas which come from it and the characters which have started to become established are very much real. It seems to represent a microcosm and deal with issues which aren't spoken about on television. The idea of Alicia having her own opinion, her own job, leaving the side of her husband is something that I am sure many women are going to appreciate watching.
I look forward to the next episode and think CBS have done well in establishing the show with it's pilot.