The Good Wife Review: Red Cups Runneth Over

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The Good Wife can sometimes try to be too hip for its own good. Such was the case on "Affairs of State."

I have no idea if stoplight parties, a site like After Death Space or rape apps exist (I'm guessing some form of them do) but trying to shove them all into one episode made the show come across like Amy Poehler's character in Mean Girls. You know, the mother who thinks she can still hang with her teenage kids.

Parker Posey on The Good Wife

Granted, I've often praised The Good Wife for being one of the few programs whose characters talk like actual people, often by referencing current events, but there's a fine line. I draw it when those references take place in the course of conversation - e.g. Eli throwing "Rahm" into a point about running for office in Chicago - as opposed to building an entire case around the technological advancement du jour.

Or an entire storyline out of an attempt to shock. Seriously, Eli's ex-wife slept with a Bin Laden?!? Again, I see what the series is trying to do here (as it was trying to do with Will as MLB Commissioner, or Peter giving the DNC speech); it's simply trying to drop these characters into the real world, where the Presidential election is certainly a hot topic and where, well, Osama Bin Laden has second cousins.

But it's distracting. I enjoyed this look into Eli's past, and I've always been a fan of Parker Posey, but I laughed out loud when Vanessa's fling was named. I doubt that was the emotion the show was aiming for in this attempt to shed light on Eli's romantic history.

On a sidenote, one we'll likely tackle in this week's The Good Wife Round Table: should Kalinda have told Eli the truth? Absolutely. It's her job and it's true to her character as a straight-shooting professional.

Finally, two more complaints about an episode that didn't do very much for me:

  1. Setting up Caitlin to crush on Will just seems below The Good Wife. The young office blonde has a thing for her boss? It's not original and there are only a few ways for this to end: they hook up (ridiculous), Caitlin stalks him somehow (ridiculous), Caitlin outs Will and Alicia to the firm (my guess).
  2. Too much time was spent this week on characters we didn't know very well. Caitlin. Dana. Matan. I didn't feel invested in most of the hour's developments.

So, yes, a bad grade for The Good Wife for a change. It had its moments - Will awkwardly meeting Zach and Alicia not wanting Will to meet her kids, out of fear or a lack of love, it's unclear - and I'm proud of Cary both for his promotion and his bedding of his beautiful co-worker, but I'll be happy to never attend a spotlight party again.


Editor Rating: 3.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (116 Votes)

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


I wasn't all that invested this time around. I'm at the age to know what a stoplight party is and I didn't. I don't care for Caitlin at all, what was the purpose of adding her? That crushing on Will thing is stale and below TGW standards to me. I have a love/hate relationship with Cary, I didn't understand why he got so much unnecessary focus.Didn't care for his strained phonecall with Kalinda. I like Monica Raymund but what was the purpose of her this episode? While I was mildly amused at Cary liking ethnic women...shocker...not. Seriously, kudos to him...but I'm a bit biased so I'd say that anyways : ) I thought the entire aspect of that was stupid. Are ethnic women that interchangeable over there? What happened to his colleague that used to be his second chair? They stopped showing her, the black one, and upped showing him and Kalinda, the Indian one, and then brought in Rev's grandaughter, the other black one, and then went to Monica Raymund's character, the black/latina one. I don't know some consistency would be great over there. Of all the things to focus on a constantly moving office, promotion, and who Cary beds was important? I think not!My point, I could have told you he had a thing for ethnic chicks, one of his few redeeming qualities for me, but an entire episode focusing on that was...silly. They wasted a good five valuable minutes on Will and zack's awkward meeting. I feel bad for Will. Yes, Will. Because he seems to finally be at the point of wanting a real relationship and is shockingly oblivious to the fact that Alicia is using him for sex. Role reversal much?I like that it isn't the traditional oblivious woman but I still can't help but wonder why someone as smart as Will hasn't picked up Alicia sees him as a bedpartner but not a longterm relationship type. Unsettling for those of us shippers. And Eli. Oh ELi. What was that?


I don't like Will and Alicia together. I think they don't really have chemistry and I do not trust Will. he seems to "young" for Alicia who actually needs someone who is grounded and knows what he wants from life. Will has not really decided what he wants and as his ex-girlfriend said he will probably disappoint Alicia. I do not care much for this office-romance and it's too soapy for my taste. I have nothing against soaps, but when I watch TGW I expect something different. Too much Caitlin and her crushing on Will was ridiculous. I hope they do not continue with this. I wasn't really bothered by the Rape App (it's a really good idea actually!), I found it ridiculous that Eli's ex-wife slept with an Osama-Bin-Laden cousin and the case was just confused. If the Taiwanese guy has lived in the States for some amount of time then why wouldn't he get accustomed to some things like doing his signature differently. Europeans write dates differently (DD.MM.YY) or the time with 24 hours instead of 12 hours am and 12 hours pm or the 7 with another line in the middle but when in the US they do as the Americans do, so why would it be differently with the Taiwanese? It just doesn't make sense. Also I thought they had everything from this boy, his clothes etc so if he had raped her shouldn't there be sperm or anything else? To me it sounded that the case was clear the moment they found the "wrong" signature and he fled to the Airport, something that people who are innocent would maybe also do when they are panicking. I do not say he wasn't guilty bc obviously he was but I think they should have made it clearer somehow and not just leave us with Alicia saying that sometimes the ones that look innocent are in fact the guilty ones. I however liked the Carey story although I also wasn't interested in his office romance. I like the Eli-kalinda dynamic but I just miss Alicia-Kalinda and some other things that made TGW what it was and which seem to have disappeared all of a sudden.


I really do not like them to repeat the same plot, the plot often does not work. Such as Will's women, Alicia's naive. They really can not compile a better story? This time, they made ​​a mistake of the Chinese' last name and first name. I was a little disappointed. I know the writer is not easy. But I really do not want, they have lost us, the original audience.

Anna maria

yay I love Cary! I'm so happy he got a big office and a promotion!


i love the good wife, i love this show but this time i don't know what to say, i truly don't. i don't even know if i liked the ep if i didn't.


To add to my last post. I think it's fantastic that CBS have been brave enough to make a woman in her 40s the central character. We have been obsessed with youth for so long, so to see a woman who is sexy, sassy and intelligent beyond the youth years is really good.I hope she doesn't become a victim and I hope Alicia and Will have a good outcome.


I was disappointed in the overall plot but liked some bits. I have teenage children the same age as those in the series and whilst largely self-obsessed they do occasionally think beyond their own world, see me as an individual rather than just their mother and show genuine concern for my well being. So I would like to see Zach and Grace use their already demonstrated detective skills to work out that something is making their Mum happy and I think it would be brilliant if they decided to interrogate Kalinda believing that she is still their mother's friend. Kalinda should tell them that Will is good for their mother and they should surprise her with an endorsement of her relationship as they are getting in the lift to spend a weekend with their father.Will's kack handiness with Zach was hilarious. Don't like the implications of the new Kirstie character. It's too predictable. Subtlety has been the beauty of this show so far and would hate to see it descend into well trodden format. Also pleased to see Cary come up trumps this week and am intrigued to see how the Alicia/Kalinda relationship develops.


I thought this episode was sub-par by TGW standards because of how it attempted to base its story-lines on headlines without any subtlety.Making the smarmy Dutch boy look like the murderer(as in that Bahamian murder),then it turning out to be the Taiwanese was pretty shabby writing.It had been pointed out that there was only a single hair of the victim found on the Asian boy,so how did he manage to rape and murder a girl on a crowded boat without leaving or getting any more trace evidence on him than anyone who walked by that girl?That receipt proves he doesn't have an alibi, but not that its an open and shut case that he's guilty and I was surprised that Alicia would take such flimsy evidence as gospel truth.This show hasn't been in the habit of this kind of sloppiness and I hope they don't start.The legal cases are not the main reason why I watch but their handling by both the writers and the characters are a good part of what attracted me to the show.


Alicia is confusing in her 'yes/no' attitude toward Will. Perhaps she is finding out that her husband is not the only man who will let her down, big time. The scene with Will & Zach was hysterical and very realistic. Zach has heard 'things' about Will & his mom so his monosyllabic response were spot on. Eli's expression when Vanessa touched him in the park broke my heart. Their fight in the office snapped me back to reality regarding this divorced pair and was very good indeed. Hope Parker Posey comes back. Kalinda being hesitant with facts regarding Eli's ex-wife were not out of character. She didn't want to tell this proud and difficult man that he had been cuckolded in his marriage and with whom. Ouch! Loved Eli's dismissal by picking up the folder to read through. This is a great show & this growth spurt may not make everyone comfortable, but this episode certainly was not as bad as this columnist makes it out.


As usual Alicia pulled the big lie card on the kids again about what she does when they are away, the look on Graces face told it all she know mom was lying. The Will meeting Zach part was just as I had hoped for, he didn't like the way Will tried to pussy foot around (Zach and Grace both know about the college thing).
When are the writers going to put a show together that makes sense of where this office BS is going and put it to an end. It is getting sickening every week watching a soap opera on who is with who. Put Peter in more episodes and spice it up where alot of people get very nervous.

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