Tuesday, June 06, 2017

THE GOOD FIGHT -- My review

I continue to watch Emmy screeners, catching up on series I’ve heard are good, series on pay services I choose not to pay for, and channels I’ve never heard of. We are truly in a golden age of drama, my friends.

I started watching THE GOOD FIGHT, which is on CBS All Access. (For only $5.99 a month you can watch NCIS anytime you want – as opposed to watching it on cable channels… anytime you want.) As most of you know, I was a fan of THE GOOD WIFE (although the last couple of seasons they groped in the dark a little).

THE GOOD FIGHT is a sequel (or spinoff) of THE GOOD WIFE with the same creative team at the top (Robert & Michelle King).

And happily, I can say that I am loving THE GOOD FIGHT. Like THE GOOD WIFE in its prime, the writing is spectacular. The stories are ingenious, the characters are all fascinating and the casting is pitch-perfect. The show has a rich glossy look, there are usually two to four stories dovetailing expertly through each episode, there are always surprise turns, and as opposed to being on CBS, they say “fuck.”

It’s just a handsomely mounted well-crafted exceptional television series. And yet, for all those reasons, it feels strangely… retro.

Lots of the series I currently enjoy like BETTER CALL SAUL and FARGO are real mood pieces. Lots of artsy shots of desert scenery or snow. Dialogue tends to be minimal. These shows are very cinematic – and I don’t say that as a criticism in any way. The tone of these series is low key. The characters are very layered and the storytelling, although leisurely, is also complex, surprising, and they too can say “fuck.”

So THE GOOD FIGHT seems almost a throwback – to an age when the pace was brisk, the dialogue crackling, and every episode was packed with invention, characterization, complexity, and emotion.

Personally, I like both styles. So choosing one series to vote for is an extremely difficult task. In addition to the shows I’ve mentioned, there are probably ten others that deserve serious consideration. Every hour drama is worth a good hard look… except HAWAII 5-0.

My guess is THE GOOD FIGHT probably won’t get much Emmy love. It’s not sexy in the zeitgeist sense. So it probably will get my vote. A masterclass in television drama – yeah, I’m going with the underdog.


Peter said...

Will you be reviewing Wonder Woman? I haven't seen it yet but looking forward to it.

blinky said...

I don't get free screeners so I will ask: Are there any alien ants in the Good Fight?

Rob Greenberg said...

I watched all 10 episodes, but was constantly annoyed with the amount of commercials on ALL ACCESS. Plus, they broke not at actual act breaks, but intrusively IN THE MIDDLE OF SCENES.

RockGolf said...

In Canada, Good Fight was shown on the basic cable channel "W". Yes, just W. Stands for Women's Television Network. It also had commercials, but they were definitely for the most part on act breaks. The show would regularly run about 5 mins over its allotted hour, probably because of the number of commercials.
Fortunately, I can DVR and use the lovely Skip function.

sanford said...

Rock Golf is it possible to stream Channel W here in the US.

forg/jecoup said...

I hope you check out the screeners of the broadcast comedies (my suggestions are superior donuts, trial & error, great news, superstore, american housewife, speechless) and post your thoughts here as well. I'm hoping broadcast comedies won't be completely shut out by Emmys time with shows that while has good critical acclaim are barely even tries to be funny