EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Monday, February 20, 2017

In My Opinion: My Review of "The Good Fight" Premiere

Early in the first episode of "The Good Fight," Maia Rindell (Rose Leslie) asks Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), "Are we on the right side of this?" The two are defending Cook County in a lawsuit alleging police brutality against an African-American man. Rindell's career is just starting; Baranski's career is just ending. But when Rindell's hedge fund father is busted for facilitating a Ponzi scheme, both find themselves beginning anew at the African-American law firm they had just been fighting against. And, as the first episode makes clear, the question for both women is suggested by the series title: What does it mean to fight the good fight?

Good Fight

"The Good Fight" is a spinoff from "The Good Wife," which I rank as the best legal TV show of all time. In much of the show's last season, Lockhart, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, found herself ostracizing many of her clients by litigating test cases for conservative billionaire client Reese Dipple. But that's nothing compared to the blackballing she receives in "The Good Fight" premiere when progressives lose millions of dollars after investing in the failed hedge fund at her suggestion.  

Lockhart

Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart

Lockhart had also spent much of the last season of "The Good Wife" trying to create a female headed firm, a legacy she seeks to continue early in "The Good Fight" pilot by giving Rindell a portfolio belonging to Pearl M. Hart, the first female public defender in Chicago's Morals Court, who was often called "the 'Guardian Angel of Chicago's Gay Community' for her diligent fight against police harassment." Rindell is herself a lesbian, a fact that might either become important as the series progresses or be treated matter of factly, as was the case with Kalinda Sharma's bisexuality on "The Good Wife."

Rindell

Rose Leslie as Maia Rindell

What's clearer is that Rindell will have to overcome the scorn of the masses due to her status as "the good daughter" to a Bernie Madoff-esque figure, placing her in a similar position to Alicia Florrick in "The Good Wife." This point is driven home in the pilot's best scene, with Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) telling Rindell to "never let them see you cry."

Quinn
 Cush Jumbo as Luca Quinn

Quinn, who was briefly part of Lockhart's firm after bonding with Alicia Florrick in bond court,* is now an associate at the African-American law firm that takes in both Lockhart and Rindell after the now male-dominated remnant of Lockhart/Gardner cuts them loose. This new firm is headed by Delroy Lindo ("Crooklyn") and Erica Tazel ("Justified"), and creators Michelle and Robert King have promised that the show will focus on the unique benefits and burdens bestowed on majority African-American law firms.

Lindo Tazel

Delroy Lindo and Erica Tazel head Reddick, Boseman and Kolstad

They promise an idealistic and cynical look at the machinations of the firm, which has always been the King m.o. Whether it be politics or religion, on both "The Good Wife" and "BrainDead," the Kings have always given both sides of the aisle a good deal of ridicule, but also a fair shake. I expect nothing different in this series.

Kings

Michelle and Robert King created "The Good Wife" & "The Good Fight"

I also came into "The Good Fight" expecting incisive writing, acting, and directing, and the pilot delivers all three in spades. But where the Kings really shine is in pacing and topicality, and, with a premiere that flies by and tackles issues of gender, race, and police brutality, it's clear we're in good hands. 

_______________________

*This was possibly the best series of episodes of "The Good Wife" and anticipated the current sea change with how we view bail.

-CM

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Comments

Totally agree Colin - TGW was a great show and I have loved the first 2 eps of The Good Fight! I *do* hope Alicia makes a guest appearance though!

Posted by: Kass Hall | Feb 20, 2017 6:52:05 PM

I am well into the second season of TGF and because of how much I enjoyed season one, having never seen TGW I decided to watch that from the pilot and am now on season 4. But, I have noticed recently, and it may only be me that has but....why does Diane Lockhart's phone in season 2 display an iPhone/iOS interface....when it is clearly a Samsung phone?

Posted by: ceri pearce | Apr 22, 2018 3:28:40 PM

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