The Good Spinoff: Who CBS Should REALLY Have Paired Off With Christine Baranski

It’s official: The Good Wife’s Diane and Lucca will be appearing in their own spinoff, which will pick up a year after the date of the show’s polarizing finale.

While I couldn’t be happier at the idea of getting an hour-long dose of Christine Baranski’s steely, nuanced acting, I have to wonder: why Lucca? She was a character shoehorned in at the end of the show’s seven-year run to provide Alicia with someone to team up with, to bounce ideas off of. She had no significant arc of her own–when Alicia wanted to rejoin her old firm, Lucca capitulated after about five minutes’ protest, and when Lucca was unhappy at the firm, her unhappiness functioned as the spur for one of Alicia’s plotlines instead of one that truly revolved around Lucca. And most of her conversation, especially in the last few episodes, revolved around her mistaken notion that Alicia and Jason were true loves pining over each other.

While Cush Jumbo did her best to inject some form of personality into Lucca, the truth is, we haven’t even seen a Lucca-centric episode on the original show and yet I’m already desperately bored by the thought of watching her in her own spinoff. Here are some spinoffs CBS should have considered.

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Links We Loved This Week — 5/13/16

Last week we rounded up some of the pre-finale coverage of the end of the The Good Wife, one of the shows we’ve been recapping since we started this blog in September. Here are some of our favorite reactions to the finale:

  • Emily Nussbaum at The New Yorker, like us, thought it was a flawed episode but liked the“rich, dizzy darkness of the last few minutes.”
  • The NYT wrote that Julianna Margulies’ acting saved any flaws in the finale.
  • The Fug Girls hated the ending: “Instead, I wondered, both of this hour and of the last seven years, ‘Is that all there is?’”
  • The Atlantic analyzed all the ways in which the show came full circle at its ending–not just The Slap, but that too.
  • At EW, Melissa Maerz asks, “Does wanting closure from The Good Wife make you dumb?” (I’d say no, maybe not, but I do still disagree with the dismissal of the ending.)

Someone has been telling a surprisingly well-written cosmic horror story (more like SCP than anything else) in comments to mostly-unrelated reddit threads. This is a page that collects and organizes the story so far.

Huffpo summarizes the legacy of Jane Jacobs, who would have turned 100 this week.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is resurrecting the poet’s infamous orchard and gardens, via the NYT.

Why I Loved The Good Wife Finale: Recap & Review

This is it! In its final episode, The Good Wife rose out of the ashes of a mess of a season and grasped at the character-driven brilliance it had in its heyday. Before that, it attempted to make sense of a character whose contradictions, changes, and choices were opaque to her and wonderfully complex on screen.

I’ll recap it, then follow up with final thoughts—a farewell to this flawed masterpiece of a show.

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Links We Loved This Week — 5/6/16

In the LA Review of Books, GD Dess holds up the failure of Purity as evidence that Jonathan Franzen is part of kitsch culture.

The tale at this juncture finally transmogrifies from a so-called realistic social novel into a novel of what James Wood has called “hysterical realism,” in which the conventions of realism are not abolished but, “on the contrary, exhausted, and overworked.” …Franzen has abdicated his writerly duty, and this dereliction demonstrates a certain authorial contempt for his readers.

Turns out Walt Whitman was really into “manly health” and cutting down on carbs way before it was cool.

Person of Interest executive producer Jonathan Nolan doesn’t just believe that Facebook will destroy the world, he takes it as a given (via AV Club):

A lot of things that Samaritan espouses are believed by the people who work for Samaritan, the same way that I’m sure people who work for Facebook don’t believe that they’re working for the company that will destroy the world. But, you know, they are. And everyone gets through the day rationalizing their own existence.

 

As you may know, The Good Wife will have its final episode this Sunday. Here are some of the best articles and interviews making sense of its incredible first few seasons, and (by almost all accounts) its struggling seventh:

  • Alan Sepinwall at HitFix takes a look at The Good Wife as the last prestige network drama. “no show has dealt with the struggle to defy societal expectations and keep one’s feelings under tight wraps as often, or as well, as The Good Wife,” he writes. (Ignore the part where he says that Parenthood was a rival for this show. I just watched the whole thing. It wasn’t.)
  • Salon jumps on the “there will never be a great broadcast drama after The Good Wife” bandwagon.
  • At the New York Times, Christine Baranski has a very surprising favorite scene from the show; Michael J. Fox and other cast members also weigh in.
  • Also in the NYT, James Poniewozik writes a good-bye-Good-Wife article notable for describing Jason as a “laconic, bearded sex cowboy.”
  • The Kings looked back at the show. Robert King says, “On our show, no one’s really shooting at each other. Their words are the guns.”

The Good Wife Recap: 7×20 “Party”

Someone over there at CBS looked at my Secret Dream Diary of Guest Stars I’d Like To See and put them all in this episode. Veronica! Owen! Zach! Marissa (I guess)! Everyone but Josh Charles, who we’re still hoping is on his way back for one more appearance.

Anyway, we come back up on the same conversation between Jason and Alicia that ended last week’s episode. Alicia repeats that she wants Jason. Which is a huge step for her, just to say what she wants (even if what she wants is kind of stupid). Jason confirms that she’s not getting divorced because of him: it would be a bad idea because he doesn’t know what they are yet.

Men who are this afraid of commitment are really kind of arrogant, aren’t they? He’s acting like she’s too stupid to notice that they haven’t made any commitments to each other yet, or too blinded by love of him to understand what a risk it would be to give up marriage for undefined FWB situation. Calm down, buddy. I don’t think she’s going to perish for love of you quite yet.

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Links We Loved This Week – 4/29/16

The AV Club wrote a fantastic article on how the Good Wife broke all the rules of TV legal dramas, and then broke itself. Also, the NYT did a great interview with Julianna Margulies and the Kings – though they got quickly shut down when they asked about Archie Panjabi!

Last week was Charlotte Bronte’s 200th birthday (read our piece on Villette here). Electric Literature ran an interesting piece (that we VEHEMENTLY disagree with) on rereading Jane Eyre and finding it somewhat less awesome.

 

We saw The Huntsman: Winter’s War last Friday. We were all really excited for it, and at least one of us was also pretty drunk, but we HATED it. Here are some takes from around the web:

Gizmodo says, “The fact that we get to see this pointless, silly movie made with an A-list cast… is one of the great marvels of our age.”

The Mary Sue laments that it’s “generic white male hero number eleventy five million.”

The Atlantic mourns the “bizarre camp classic that almost was.”