A Spinoff As Good As the Original

Better Late than Never: The Good Fight Review

When The Good Wife left the airwaves last May, and a spinoff was announced on CBS’ spinoff online channel, CBS Access, one could easily have made the argument that this was just a cheap attempt for CBS to try and reach an audience with a ready made series with little originality. After all, it had several of the original members of the series most notably Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, Cush Lumbo as Luca Quinn, and Sarah Steele as the scene stealing Marissa Gold, playing the same roles, albeit at a different law firm. (We’ll get to the other recurring members in a minute) And considering that the funeral baked meats for the Alicia Florrick were not yet cold, an argument could also be made that this was show creators Robert and Michelle King attempt to try and keep doing what they were doing so well on The Good Wife, albeit on a network that allowed them to curse and show even more explicit sex scenes.

Or so you might’ve thought. Instead, The Good Fight more than demonstrates that the series is just as timely as ever in a post-Trump world. And rather than rest on its laurels, the series goes to levels you wouldn’t think. At the center of the new show is Diane Lockhart’s goddaughter Maia Rendell (Rose Leslie). Having passed the bar exam in the Pilot, she has since been at the center of an even worse scandal that plagued Alicia in the early seasons. Her parents (Paul Guilfoyle and Bernadette Peters) are found to be at the center of major stock trading fraud that has bankrupted thousands. With her father arrested, and claiming his innocence, Maia is completely unsure who to believe, considering that her parents keep telling conflicting stories. Her personal life (she is a lesbian) has been made the subject of Twitter frauds. And now it seems that these same frauds have put her firm at the center of a Cook County Investigation.

Meanwhile, Diane has been affected even worse. Planning to retire at the beginning of the episode, her finances were wiped out because of her friendship with the Rendells, and even worse her reputation has been destroyed among the liberal forces she allowed to invest. With everything in upheaval, she turned to a primarily African American lawfirm, headed by Adrian Bozeman (Delroy Lindo). Reduced to an associates position, she has been trying to rebuild her reputation and her life, aided primarily by Marissa who transferred to be her assistant.

All of this is fascinating on its own, but the series is also staying true to its origins by having each episode center around the same kind of timely cases that the series has been renowned for. There have case about TV copyright infringements, the property of embryos, the right of a doctor to treat even foreign nationals in harms way, all presided over by the same delightful set of judges that made The Good Wife such fun. And then there all the memorable recurring characters who were always enjoyable. So far, Matthew Perry, who played Peter Florrick’s gubernatorial opponent in Season 4, returns as Mike Kresteeva, now with the AG’s office determined to bring down the firm. Its help that the firm is represented by Elspeth Tascioni (Emmy-winner Carrie Preston), who has already demonstrated how perfect a lawyer she was. John Benjamin Hickey and Gary Cole have already reappeared as their scene stealing characters. Could Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox) be far behind?

The Good Fight is not yet as great as The Good Wife, but its very quickly becoming as addictive as that series was. I’m grateful that the series has been renewed for Season 2. I only hope the Emmy judges are more kind to it than they were to its founder.

My score: 4.75 stars.

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After years of laboring for love in my blog on TV, I have decided to expand my horizons by blogging about my great love to a new and hopefully wider field.

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