Baranski accepts a new brief
When The Good Wife debuted in 2009, it was inspired by the humiliating spectacle seen rather frequently on TV at the time, of various political spouses standing beside their husbands while the latter publicly confessed to infidelity. That series opened with Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) slapping her husband Peter (Chris Noth) for putting her through it.
The finale seven seasons later featured Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) slapping Alicia and walking off. An intentional reference or not, it heralded this new spin-off series, The Good Fight, created by Michelle and Robert King, and starring Baranski along with Delroy Lindo and Game of Thrones’ Rose Leslie.
The 20-minute opening sequence shows Lockhart announcing her retirement to her law partners and putting a deposit on a villa in Provence. Leslie plays her goddaughter Maia Rindell, who has just joined her law firm as a The Good Fight, The Good Wife junior associate. They have a two-week crossover during which Lockhart is expected to “pass the baton”. But everyone’s lives are thrown into disarray when Maia’s father, Henry (Paul Guilfoyle), is accused of running a Ponzi scheme. Lockhart is financially ruined, all of her contacts are burned by the scandal and her partners are unwilling to rescind her resignation. In addition, Maia’s positive standing in the firm is obliterated.
Lockhart naturally needs to restart her career and Adrian Boseman (Lindo), opposing counsel in a police brutality lawsuit, throws her a lifeline. (In his all-black law firm they call her the “diversity hire”.)
Hospital and legal dramas can roll on and on, and this one deserves to — it’s pretty terrific. It was well received in the US this year and a second season has been commissioned. Wednesday, 8.30pm, SBS.
Christine Baranski, right, with her new co-stars in reprises her character Diane Lockhart