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Watching the first great scripted series about technology (The Good Wife)


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#1 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:38 PM

A few years ago we began to understnd that when a show we like is moved from another week day to Friday, it's as if a beloved friend or relative has been moved to a hospice.

Only recently did we begin to realize that when a show we like is moved from a non-Friday week day to Sunday, it's as if somebody sent our puppy out to play in heavy traffic. It is one of these shows that a New Yorker Magazine review calls "the first great series about technology."

Here's what the reviewer specifically noted:

What has received less notice than the show’s complexity and its bold female characters is its unprecedented emphasis on technology. This season alone, Lockhart Gardner took a case involving the online currency bitcoin; used Twitter to upend British libel laws; handled a military case involving drone warfare; litigated crimes featuring violent video games and a “date rape” app; and dealt with various leaked-image disasters (a corporation fighting a viral video, an Anthony Weiner-like dirty photograph). In one dizzyingly self-reflective story line, a Zuckerbergian entrepreneur sued a Sorkinesque screenwriter; the episode had a confident structural wit, subjecting a writer who defended distorted portrayals to his own distorted portrayal. Over time, such plots have become a dense, provocative dialectic, one that weighs technology’s freedoms against its dangers, with a global sweep and an insider’s nuance. In this quality, “The Good Wife” stands in contrast not merely to other legal shows, with their “The Internet killed him!” plots, but also to the reductive punditry of the mainstream media, so obsessed with whether Twitter is making us stupid. Put bluntly, “The Good Wife” is to the digital debate as “The Wire” is to the drug war.

Of the four Sundays of the Nielson February 2012 Sweeps period, only one new episode of "The Good Wife" was aired in an attempt to keep it from getting killed in the heavy traffic of "The Super Bowl", "The Grammy's" and "The Academy Awards." And for the first half of the 2011-12 season, it was up against "Sunday Night Football" (one week also against "The World Series").

Like every series, not every episode is great. But many potential fans didn't watch the show from the beginning. As noted in the review:

...If you’d never watched, you might think it was an escapist soap opera like “L.A. Law.” But to fans it quickly became clear that “The Good Wife” ’s conventions concealed strange depths. Early on, some critics playfully called the series “The Wire Lite,” an outrageous-sounding comparison that rang true. The narrative was crosshatched with mini-narratives, requiring a network audience to pay close attention—something generally demanded only of cable viewers. Unlike “Law & Order,” which glamorized prosecutors, “The Good Wife” took a jaundiced view of all institutions, from Alicia’s firm, Lockhart Gardner, to marriage itself. Alicia’s choices—would she have an affair? get promoted?—were contingent, shadowed by power plays. She might be our heroine, yet her liberation and her corruption work in lockstep. In the first season, she traded on her husband’s connections to beat out a colleague for a promotion. This season, the show’s third, she helped conceal a forged document and slept with her boss. As the series’ title implies, Alicia tries to be good. But switch perspectives and she seems as shady as anyone in her favor-trading city.

This fall CBS moved the show from Tuesday at 10:00, where it had been for two years, to Sunday at 9:00 where basically it is struggling for a demo audience though it has about 40% of the 50+ audience when it isn't being run over by a truck. I think that change prevented the show from gaining some ratings and lost CBS ratings on Tuesday at 10:00.

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#2 ONLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 07:25 PM

I watched the pilot episode, thought it sucked and cancelled the SL.

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#3 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:45 PM

I am enjoying the show. It is very well written and like all new shows usually takes a few episodes to get its feet wet.

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#4 OFFLINE   SeaBeagle

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:01 AM

All this writing about this show but, no one wrote the name of the show .

#5 OFFLINE   gilviv

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:10 AM

I've been a fan of "The Good Wife" since the series began, great acting, excellent writing! Hope it will survive the Sunday time slot.

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#6 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:50 AM

All this writing about this show but, no one wrote the name of the show .


It is mentioned in the first quote that Phrelin posted and Phrelin mentions it as well below that quote.

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#7 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:53 AM

I've been a fan of "The Good Wife" since the series began, great acting, excellent writing! Hope it will survive the Sunday time slot.

+1. Wife and I both enjoy it.
/steve

#8 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:20 AM

+1 Great show! Cast, writing, storyline all top drawer. Even gets a solid 8.1 on IMDB.

Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi are HOT! HOT! HOT! J

Josh Charles (Sports Night) delivers the goods again. My weekly anticipation level approaches that of "24".

Big fan!

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#9 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:44 AM

BTW, I found author Emily Nussbaum's New Yorker article to be convoluted and not illustrative of the tv series at all. As far as the "technology" aspect of the program, not so much IMO. Yes, it's quite often the subject of the court cases, but you seldom see a button, flashing LED or digital display. It's about people, intrigue and sex, not so much the tech stuff.

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#10 OFFLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:53 AM

It is mentioned in the first quote that Phrelin posted and Phrelin mentions it as well below that quote.

- Merg


Except everyone has been writing about it as if it's a new show. :scratchin

Did I simply imagine it was on the last 2-3 years?
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#11 ONLINE   David Ortiz

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:00 AM

I love when Alicia clashes with Peter's mother!

#12 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:43 AM

Except everyone has been writing about it as if it's a new show. :scratchin

Did I simply imagine it was on the last 2-3 years?


Sept. 2009.. was when the first ep aired.
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#13 OFFLINE   trainman

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:08 PM

What has received less notice than the show’s complexity and its bold female characters is its unprecedented emphasis on technology.


I assume the reviewer meant that it's unprecedented for a show that's not considered "sci-fi," since I'm sure there are a number of sci-fi examples -- even only considering prime-time dramas that aired on broadcast networks, "Max Headroom" is what first comes to mind, and that was over 25 years ago.
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#14 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:32 PM

I assume the reviewer meant that it's unprecedented for a show that's not considered "sci-fi," since I'm sure there are a number of sci-fi examples -- even only considering prime-time dramas that aired on broadcast networks, "Max Headroom" is what first comes to mind, and that was over 25 years ago.

Yep. The reviewer is saying that technology issues are emphasized in what basically would be considered a legal soap. And that not only has included complex courtroom arguments but also placing "computer" technology within the daily lives of the attorneys and staff and Alicia's kids in a way that really hasn't been done - it's there, integrated without "comment", people use it, Alicia's teen son cleans up his mom's computer glitches, the daughter is involved in the online world, etc., all not considered anything special, except maybe by grandma.

It really has made the show more interesting for my wife and I who were pretty much immersed in making personal computers a useful part of the real world beginning in the 1980, and who now watch our grandkids take computers, tablets and smart phones for granted as a routine part of their lives.

In other words, it isn't science fiction, just part of life, like a car or microwave oven. It isn't like the "CSI" kind of stuff, where they show all this cool equipment, most of which virtually no police agency in California has access to even though it probably exists. In "The Good Wife" it has become just a part of the courtroom activity, people arguing over some pretty interesting technology issues which are seemingly current.

And for the record the show is in its third season, but struggling for ratings because of CBS moving it to Sunday at 9:00.

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#15 OFFLINE   SeaBeagle

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:10 PM

It is mentioned in the first quote that Phrelin posted and Phrelin mentions it as well below that quote.

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The only name that I pick up on is a show called The Good Wife.

#16 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:19 PM

The only name that I pick up on is a show called The Good Wife.


And that is the subject: The Good Wife
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#17 OFFLINE   armophob

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:51 PM

Must be an acquired taste. My Aunt and Uncle enjoy it. I tried a few episodes with them, but found myself drifting off. Could be a generation thing as well.

#18 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:55 PM

The only name that I pick up on is a show called The Good Wife.


And that is the subject: The Good Wife


SeaBeagle.... I am in the same boat as you.

I read the OP 4 times, looking for the title...

Because frankly, from all the commercials that I have seen for the The Good Wife, I would NEVER have connected it to technology, which was in my head from the title of the subject.

As for the show, from when we watched the first 3 or 4 episodes... we nuked it as we just couldn't get into it and just didn't like any of the characters... and how the show was sold... it should have been a great match for our viewing likes.
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#19 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:26 PM

The title of the show had me thinking of The Starter Wife ...
I don't watch enough on CBS (other than Craig Furguson) to see promos for their shows.

#20 OFFLINE   SeaBeagle

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:50 PM

SeaBeagle.... I am in the same boat as you.

I read the OP 4 times, looking for the title...

Because frankly, from all the commercials that I have seen for the The Good Wife, I would NEVER have connected it to technology, which was in my head from the title of the subject.

As for the show, from when we watched the first 3 or 4 episodes... we nuked it as we just couldn't get into it and just didn't like any of the characters... and how the show was sold... it should have been a great match for our viewing likes.


The good wife to me seems like one of those regular TV shows. Nothing in the title about technology.

What is happening here is either one or more of the actors are plugging their show here or one or more of the directors knowing this is a technology forum is doing the same,




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