It’s been five years since The Good Wife debuted. I remember seeing the promos for the series before it began and thinking to myself, “How’s that going to survive?” I think I got caught in the whole, “political sex scandal,” drama and forgot to realize… These people have lives AFTER the scandal. The Good Wife is their life after the scandal…

Premise: The State’s Attorney for Cook County Illinois (Chicago) has been a naughty boy. Drugs, sex with hookers – just a bad boy. The show starts with him in a press conference admitting to his vices and seeking the forgiveness of the voters… and his wife. P.S. His wife is standing right next to him at the podium… 🙂

She puts on a brave face, walks off stage – slaps him – then starts her new life which includes a new apartment in the city and a new job at one of the city’s best law firms – Stern Lockhart Gardner.

Writing: Outstanding. Phenomenal. Original. Television has gone the way of reality and regurgitation. Little is original. The Good Wife is one of the few exceptions. It appears that they actually do background on their story lines. It also appears that they do research to create new story lines. Everything is accurate. Everything. They clearly have lawyers advising them on case law, litigation and civil procedure. They must also have some tech geniuses working on their team – a lot of their story lines and cases involve current technology.

Characters: The character are well developed and well planned and there seems to be no shortage of new, interesting characters – lawyers or not. In fact, many of the most interesting characters have been their clients and non-lawyer acquaintances. Their use of recurring characters adds spice to the mix.

Alicia is the main character, played by Julianna Margulies. Her husband is Peter, played by Chris Noth. Other standout characters are Archie Panjabi as Kalinda – the law firm’s investigator; Alan Cumming as Eli Gold, the political consultant; Josh Charles as Will Gardner and Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart – the named partners. Jonas Stern exited fairly early on.

The way they push Kalinda’s character to the limit while keeping her a complete mystery is fascinating. I’m not so much for Will’s love life as a revolving door only because he’s in love with Alicia who’s sticking with her husband. Not that they didn’t have a brief affair during seasons 2 or 3, but, it didn’t work for the character of Alicia and I think the writers realized that. They’ve been back on track since…

Syndication: It’s a keeper. We’ll be watching The Good Wife for years to come. We’re now up to season 5 and the best episode I’ve every seen on this show was season 5, episode 5. Alicia has decided to leave and start her own firm. The writing, the editing, the dialogue, the performances – all spot on. On a new level. Proof a show that started with a singular premise can be so much more.

Rating: A+! The Good Wife is likely my favorite show on television and has been since it debuted. I had no idea it would have so many layers and introduce so much content, but, I’m glad I’m having the experience.

If you’re not a fan, become one. Season’s 1-4 are on DVD. Spend a weekend getting caught up and enter the fold. In much of the drivel that is network television, your mind will thank you…