Americans love their lawyers and they love their legal dramas – if there’s one category of people more numerous than real lawyers in the States it’s probably their fictional counterparts.
On the face of it The Good Wife is just another American legal drama and when I first came across it at 30,000 feet somewhere over India I was not anticipating anything more than an undemanding way to kill an hour of a very long flight to Australia.
However, I was pleasantly surprised because, while the main character Alicia (played by Juliana Margulies of ER fame) is everything that Americans would like their lawyers to be – smart, principled, physically attractive etc. – and the plots invariably involve a victory for truth and justice, it’s the story going on in the background that holds the show together.
Because the reason that Alicia has gone back to practising law is her husband (played by Chris Noth of Sex And The City Mr Big fame), the former state’s attorney, has been caught up in a sex scandal and sent to prison for accepting bribes.
The story was apparently inspired by the sex scandals in American politics – and it is the tension between the husband and wife and the question of whether the husband has been set up or not that drives the plot forward.
I certainly am hooked – the box set of the first series contains 23 episodes and we’re trying to limit ourselves to a couple a night so that we don’t finish them all in a week are rested enough to go to work in the morning!
If you caught it earlier in the year on Channel 4, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about. If not, the box set costs about £25 but that’s only £1 a night – or £3 the way we’re going through them…