The Good Wife Season Two Report Card: A

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The 2010-2011 television season has come to a close.

As we prepare for the summer slate of programming ahead and for the new shows to come this fall, TV Fanatic will be taking a look back, grading and evaluating the latest seasons of various dramas and sitcoms.

First up: The Good Wife.

Diane and Alicia

Best character: Alicia. It's incredible to think of how far she's come since the series premiere, when she was unsure how to navigate through the law firm or her sordid personal life. Now? She's on her way to partnership, she's standing her ground with Peter and Kalinda and she's taking the reigns with Will. Julianna Margulies has never been better.

Worst character: Blake Calamar. The character was needed in order to out the Kalinda/Peter affair, but getting to that point wasn't a smooth ride. For a show that prides itself on morally grey individuals, Blake was painted with too one-dimensional of a brush. His dastardly presence felt more too much like a plot device.

Best episode: "Nine Hours." A race against the clock, in order to save a death row inmate, highlighted this tense hour. It juggled various storylines, locations, characters and current event references all within one of the most suspenseful episodes of TV this season.

Best storyline: Peter's campaign. It combined everything. We were treated to a look at Chicago politics within the context of developments on the show, from Peter's libido to an illegal immigration case to the machinations of Eli Gold and the Democratic Committee.

Hopes for 2011-2012: Full-on Wilicia. Enough with the back and forth. It might get messy if these two come out as a couple, but any kind of cover-up will surely be worse in the long run. Also: the return of Gary Cole, fewer quirky judges and more of Cary's awesome smugness.

Overall grade: A. This is network television at its best. The dialogue is sharp, the characters are multi-layered, the mixture of the personal and the professional aspects of Alicia's life blend together in natural, fascinating fashion. There's just the right amount of humor and cultural references, thrown in via off-hand remarks that never slow down the pace. And the performances? I could watch Margulies and Alan Cumming discuss vinyl siding for an hour and be riveted.

Agree? Disagree with this take on the season? Sound off now with your personal report card for The Good Wife!

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Very much agree with you on the praise. Kalinda is such an interesting character, I would love to get to the bottom of her, I am very much anticipating season two. Although I am not quite sure about the relationship with Cary. Alicia is so wonderful. But so is Will. The last episode was everything I hoped for.
Looking forward to a new great season very much!


This is the best show on television these days. And there are so many: Dexter, Justified, Damages, The Killing, just to name a few. I love all the characters and the actors playing them. And this season hit no deadpoint, it was perfectly paced, and managed to balance multiple storylines without getting messy. And it expects the viewers to understand and catch things without it being said out loud. Alicia is always the favorite, but Diane is my hero. And Kalinda.
The best storyline this season was the Bond vs Diane/Will, the campaign and I didn't necessarily like how the whole Blake-storyline went on and on, I still loved how Kalinda's character evolved through that, and how the baseball bat became it's own character.
The best episode(s) for me: "In Sickness". It showcased Julianne's acting-range all the way, and should also be the one she wins an EMMY for. Other standouts: "Great Firewall", "Closing Arguments" and "VIP Treatment".
A+ for the whole season.


I totally agree with this. Amazing season from a great show


it is the yery best show ever, can not wait for the fall


I like all the characters in the show, especially Alicia and Kalinda. Kalinda is so smart; she's always several steps ahead of everybody else. She is such a good investigator. I felt sorry for Alicia when she found out about Kalinda's one nighter w Peter. Kalinda is truly remorseful, and I want Alicia to forgive her so they can get their friendship back. Very well written show, and it keeps me on my toes.


More of Cary in general. And more of him and Kalinda. I've enjoyed every little bit of their relationship.


One of the best season's in Network TV history Favorite episodeForeign Affairs
Worst episodeSilver Bullet This show climb all the way to number 2 on my top 5. Falling only to SOA a cable show.


The Good Wife is currently the best show on prime time TV. The characters (with exception of Blake) are all fabulous. They should show a warmer side of Cary, as I really like him. And bring back Gary Cole - he's sexy and charming and has tons of chemistry with Baranski. Alan Cumming's character growth this year was a nice surprise. And of course, we're all rooting for Alicia and Will - although I must admit I love Chris Noth.


This is just the most terrific TV show. Intelligent, exciting, brave writing. And the actors are just amazing - the best ensemble on TV lead brilliantly by Margulies. Love it!


Agreed on worst character. Blake was ridiculous but then the huge casting mistake reduced the character to whatever Porter was capable of playing, which isn't much.
Alicia is finding her footing again after a tepid season.
Nine Hours was by far the best episode of the season with compelling storytelling and great characterization without going into over the top romance or political maneuvering.
Totally disagree on the the last two though. The campaign storyline was a mess and boring as they come. I might have been spoiled by the West Wing but that was a thoroughly uninteresting look into the behind the scenes of a campaign (or rather the underbelly since everything was about personal attacks and idiotic flyers, videos and the likes). The overall absence of the candidates (Peter and Childs) and overbearing presence of Eli Gold (never fully developed into a character despite the romance snoozefest with America Ferrera, cartoonish pie-in-the face comedy scenes etc...) didn't make things better. Not connected enough to the core characters.
As for Willicia, I don't know what that is but if it means more of the Grey's Anatomy scenes we got in the finale. Color me not interested. At all. And more Cary? I've seen enough. If he could get under a bus, I wouldn't bat an eyelashes. He's getting more one-dimensional every second, it's painful.
Kudos on writing a whole article about the Good Wife without mentioning Panjabi and Baranski. I'll take them over Cary, Cumming and the Willicia cliches any day.

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Good Wife Quotes

Reese Dipple's the reason you're not at the firm. You sway Peter on this bill and Dipple will sprinkle rose petals as you step off the elevator.


It's hard to be on this side.