As good as it gets
The Good Wife is shaken by the shock death of one of its most popular cast members. Debbie Schipp reports
IT’S the closely guarded twist that shocked the cast of The Good Wife and drew howls of protest from viewers in the US in March. Fans set up online support groups to vent and grieve in the episode’s wake, and The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies spoke to Facebook users about the dramatic turn.
The show’s co- creators did interviews explaining their decision.
The episode, Dramatics Your Honour, airs in Australia this week, and in terms of TV deaths you didn’t see coming – provided you’ve managed to steer clear of internet spoilers – it’s a doozy.
When Margulies fi rst learned of the plan to kill off a cast member in the early stages of the storyline’s development, she thought it was a “brilliant idea”.
But it didn’t stop her crying over the departure of a cast- mate she has known “for a long, long time”, she told US press.
Other cast said it was “like the loss of a family member”, with one reluctant to read the fateful script.
“I had trouble getting through it,” the cast member told eonline. com
“I kept trying to read it and then I’d stop, knowing this was the episode where it was going to happen.
“I was almost in denial. And then there was one morning where … I said: ‘ I’m just going to do this’. Suddenly … our stage directions indicated what was going on. And I just couldn’t even see the page, I was just awash in tears. Then I put the script down.”
Margulies’ character Alicia Florrick has alienated many in season fi ve by starting a breakaway law fi rm with Cary ( Matt Czuchry) and taking former clients of Lockhart/ Gardner – now called LG – with her, much to the disgust of Will ( Josh Charles) and Diana ( Christine Baranski).
The fallout proved good ratings fodder in the US, even ahead of the shock episode.
But the death makes Alicia “rethink everything”.
“I think she is going to look a little bit inside herself rather than just be in survival mode,” Margulies said.
Alicia starts to question: ‘ Why am I doing this? Why am I representing these a--- holes?’ Suddenly, it’s black and white. There’s no grey area.”
Series creators Robert and Michelle King said the event creates “a new dramatic hub … violently spinning everybody in new directions”.
“We’ve all experienced the sudden death of a loved one in our lives. It’s terrifying how a perfectly normal and sunny day can suddenly explode with tragedy,” Michelle King said.
“Television doesn’t deal with this enough: the irredeemability of death.
“Your last time with the loved one will always remain your last time.”
THE GOOD WIFE Wednesday, 9.30pm, TDT