A couple of posts ago, I said I was going to scout out a few new American TV shows from the new crop of season premieres for my UK friends. And I'm keeping to my word. So here is the first of an occasional series: US tv titbits.
The Good Wife has been much hyped by the American media as the comeback vehicle for Julianna Margulies (Carol Hathaway from ER; last seen disappearing off into the sunset with George Clooney, the lucky thing). In it, she plays the wronged wife of a politician played by Chris Noth (Mr Big from Sex and the City). So far, A Good Cast.
Mr Big (sorry, I can't help thinking of him as that) has been thrown into jail, accused of abusing public funds. He's also been involved in a sexual scandal, clips of which are now circulating on YouTube to the mortification of his teenage kids. His wife has stood by him in public, as most wives tend to, but not necessarily in private.I must say the programme rather skated over what the exact accusations involved - instead, we were given snippets of what had happened by way of TV clips in the background and the odd snide remark made to Julianna's character, Alicia. But it seems to involve hookers and call girls.
Meanwhile the show focused on Alicia's return to work as a lawyer after a 15 year break, presumably to support her family. The way the other law firm staff treated her, as a woman who had taken such a long break from the workplace, was both patronising and demeaning (and not just from the men). She has to prove herself all over again, against ambitious junior colleagues.
Defending a woman accused of murder, she constantly had her husband's trangressions rubbed in her face from all concerned, including the judge. Naturally she rose to the occasion, and got her client off the hook by producing new evidence that even the homicide department had overlooked (yeah, right).
Mr Big, when she visits him in prison, thinks meanwhile that if he's found innocent of abusing public funds, everything will be OK. She replies that she couldn't give two hoots about the ethical stuff. Clearly, she is not going to forgive him that easily and will get on with her brilliant career instead of sitting around moping. (But then, he is Mr Big and quite sexy, so she might, eventually.)
I'm a bit in two minds about this show. I quite enjoyed it, but I'm not sure exactly where it's going. JM's character seems to be half Hillary Clinton, half Ally McBeal, which isn't the most convincing combination, and the courtroom drama took up way more time than the story about the scandal. I'd like to see a bit more of Mr Big, too, and find out exactly what has happened between the two of them before they move the story on.
Still, if you like polished American legal dramas, with everyone in designer suits and with glossy manes of hair, this is probably the show for you. I'd give it a six out of ten.