SHOW: The Good Wife
PREMIERES: The second season starts on Thursday, January 6 at 9pm on More4
THE PREMISE: Julianna Margulies plays Alicia Florrick, the wife of disgraced state’s attorney Peter Florrick (Chris Noth). When Peter is sent to prison following a sex and corruption scandal, Alicia returns to her first passion—law—as a litigator at the firm of Stern, Lockhart, & Gardner. She must balance her time dealing with difficult cases, providing for her kids, and choosing between her husband Peter and her boss Will Gardner (Josh Charles).
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: The only thing you like more than complex legal drama is a strong female character—or vice versa. Either way, The Good Wife is the best of both, showcasing intriguing cases and Alicia’s impressive lawyering skills. The series began as a procedural but morphed into a serial drama over the course of the first season. If you enjoy shows that take storytelling risks and play with their format, you’ll probably appreciate The Good Wife’s ability to rebrand itself and become stronger than ever.
WHY YOU MIGHT HATE IT: You just couldn’t care less about courtrooms and judges and, ugh, lawyers. Hey, I realize not everyone shares my passion for the Dick Wolf oeuvre. If you want a family drama without all the legal mumbo-jumbo, skip The Good Wife. On the same note, if you like legal procedurals but don’t want to spend too much time on the characters, this show is not for you. While time used to be divided fairly equally, the series now maintains a focus on larger story arcs.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Toward the end of the first season, Alicia got picked to join the firm over ambitious upstart Cary (Matt Czuchry). Cary seemed to have his eye on revenge, joining forces with the equally vindictive Glenn Childs (Titus Welliver), who has spent a lot of time and energy trying to bring Peter down. Meanwhile, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) continued her odd relationship with conservative gun nut Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole), and Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) answered the question of her sexual ambiguity when she made a move on FBI agent Lana (Jill Flint). But the most important thing to know about Season 1 of The Good Wife is that it ended on a cliffhanger: Alicia had to decide whether to stand by her husband, once again a candidate for state senator, or to run off with Will, who offered romance but no practical solution to Alicia’s dilemma.