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:
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").
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.
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:
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.
...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.