Tag Archives: Archie Panjabi

Letting it Go on The Good Wife

11 May

In The Good Wife finale Alicia talks about how losing the election finally allowed her the chance to let go of anger, jealousy and not caring about what other people think. The latter is not so set in stone as she spent part of the last episode wearing a hat as a way to go incognito and there are several things this week that point very much in the direction of caring. It is an important sentiment nonetheless as the impact of the election scandal has given Alicia the chance to reassess where she is with her career and how she feels about the scrutiny of being in the public eye.

The Good Wife  6.22 Alicia and PeterThe latter comes into play when Peter tells Alicia he is going to run for president – which is met with laughter from Alicia until she realizes he is being serious – not as a viable candidate for this position, instead vying for the veep spot. The big family conference about this has Zach reacting in the same way, but his chuckles are far friendlier towards his father with Grace taking on a more concerned approach while also asking the big question about this now pretend marriage. The camera lingers on Alicia as she takes in her daughter’s reaction noting how it instantly makes Grace uncomfortable. Peter points out they aren’t pretending as they are still married and yet Alicia is quick to acknowledge the charade.

This prompts her to pull Peter to one side telling him she can see through this whole thing; he has already decided and really this is all pomp and ceremony asking for approval from his wife and children. He claims otherwise so Alicia tells him she doesn’t approve of this run for political office as it is just inviting the press in once again (how many times is this now?) to tear them to shreds and put unnecessary pressure on their kids (and especially Grace).

The Good Wife 6.22 Alicia and KalindaOne thing Alicia does on multiple occasions is tell people how she really feels in a super calm fashion from Peter to Lemond Bishop’s lawyer Lester as he tries to intimidate her – Wallace Shawn is so terrific in this role – and we even get the big chat with Kalinda; in a bar and with the long ago tradition of tequila shots. I spoke about the leather clad elephant in the room last week and it is impossible to talk about this scene without mentioning how something seemed off and by off it has a certain Orphan Black quality in both the wide and over the camera angles. It sucks that a scene as important as this in a relationship that at one point was the heart of the show has come down to this and that behind the scene rumblings mean this whole moment was underscored with external distraction. Please Good Wife oral history fill us in on what really happened. I didn’t want to have to address this stuff again and yet it is impossible when the sight lines don’t quite match up. But I do want to discuss the sentiment of the scene because it is important to who these characters are/were.

Kalinda’s final season storyline has been all over the place with her involvement with Bishop as her exit arc. It has also been clear they have struggled with this character for some time now, dating back to the introduction of her awful ex Nick. Alicia has never really had that many friends as she tends to be pretty closed off and protective of herself. Some of this stems from how those closest to her turned their backs when the whole Peter scandal happened, but there have been some exceptions. These close relationships have included the romantic (Will, maybe Finn), ones that were for political strategizing (looking at you Maura Tierney), others have been hampered by romance (oh hey Amanda Peet) or have been more about work (Diane and Cary). With Kalinda it was different and Alicia let her guard down over shots of tequila in bars and drinking beer in bed; this makes the whole thing all the more bittersweet.

In this bar scene Alicia discusses how it is nice not to care since the scandal and ultimately how she misses spending time in bars with Kalinda. Kalinda also uses this moment to point out how their time together was the best she had and she messed it up. The way this is discussed is like exes coming back together to talk about the good times and where it went wrong; as I have mentioned on several occasions friendship breakups can be more devastating than romantic ones. With Alicia and Kalinda it was a double whammy as it involved a romantic betrayal of sorts and killed two relationships for Alicia. Even though they are sharing the same space I found the previous version of their goodbye to have a greater tear filled impact on me, maybe because there were less distractions present.

The Good Wife 6.22 KalindaSo long Kalinda, you deserved better. But you still look fantastic in leather and sunglasses. Make sure you take a baseball bat with you.

Alicia’s position of not caring about what other people think is put into question in relation to getting sucked back into the political sphere again with Peter’s presidential bid and the memoir commissioned as a way to soften Alicia’s public persona. The concern from Alicia is that she is being remade as a homemaker or rather as ‘the good wife’ and this is far from something she is comfortable or even a little okay with. Alicia is calm and steadfast in how she refuses to give Eli anything that he wants from her or wants her to be setting up one conflict for next season.

Another comes in the form of Alicia’s new firm and after Finn accepts her partnership offer he later recants after they have successfully won their first case together. They make an excellent team in court and over drinks; work is one thing but the sexual tension is too much and Finn can see something bad happening. By bad he means something very good, right? Okay he is being professional and he also happens to be trying things again with his ex-wife so spending this much time with Alicia in bars, alone in her car or at her apartment is maybe not the best way to aid this reconciliation or even start a professional partnership. But it still doesn’t stop me from yelling “KISS HIM” at the screen as he continually makes his excuses to go. I am only human after all. The back and forth between them has been pretty consistent and Finn references this when he explains why they can’t work together; hopefully Matthew Goode will be back next season to explore the notion of “not always do or don’t.”

The Good Wife 6.22 Alicia and FinnAlicia explains that she doesn’t want to work alone and she doesn’t have to as Louis Canning is there at the end to offer partnership; a partnership fueled by anger at Cary, Diane and David Lee because they fired his wife from their firm. Simone got a job by using her maiden name and while Diane is more than fine with her working there both Cary and David Lee raise concerns and their majority wins. In a heartbreaking scene Simone tearfully tries to get Diane to reconsider (she isn’t the issue) with “I did this on my own. This was me.” Simone like Alicia has a surname which comes with preconceived ideas.

In the finale Diane doesn’t really have a great deal to do except purse her lips in frustration at her partners. Hopefully there will be far more for her next year (same goes for Cary), but in the meantime here is one final Diane Lockhart costume parade for the season.

The Good Wife 6.22  Diane and CaryGiving good ‘what?!’ face with Cary in striking white and bold red lip color.

The Good Wife 6.22 DianeThe power necklace offers no support in her argument to keep Simone. Maybe stick to the chunky chain link ones in the future when fighting these kinds of battles.

The Good Wife 6.22 Diane LockhartExcellent lip color and jacket combination but none of this is helping against Louis Canning’s threats to pull this firm apart. I think Diane is regretting her partner choice.

All signs point to Canning teaming up with Alicia and considering how she left the firm she created there is a chance she will get on board with his scheme, except I can’t see her wanting to destroy either Cary or Diane. While this finale isn’t as strong as previous ones (and as the season was so all over the place it would have been very hard to deliver a slam dunk episode) it does do a good job of tying up the loose ends while also setting up conflicts for next year. Now the Kalinda storyline has been wrapped up we might get a more streamlined (maybe final) season as we continue the education of Alicia Florrick.

Going Back to Basics on The Good Wife

4 May

Alicia returned to court in “Don’t Fail” after spending her post election scandal days sharing a whole lot of nothing to help her ghost writer with the structure of her memoir while waiting for 5 o’clock to hit so she could crack open a bottle of wine. An old case (one we have not seen before from Alicia and Cary’s first year at the firm is the shot in the arm Alicia needs to re-evaluate exactly what she wants to do with her career now that her political one is in tatters. If the election was intended to get Alicia into this position it is a shame that it took most of the season to get here and really Alicia’s doubts about her profession started just after Will died.

What the law means, whether it is good or bad are some of the preoccupations of this episode and of The Good Wife in general and “Don’t Fail” looks back to the past to inform the present. The Alicia on the tapes is different to the Alicia listening to them, but there are plenty of similarities between the person she was then and who she now is; scandal is still dominating her life.

The Good Wife 6.21On the 2009 tapes the Peter comments are still rife, but even in the present day Peter’s indiscretions get the same amount of attention as her own recent issues at the polls. Aya Cash guest stars as a new lawyer Amber (much to my delight) and not only is Amber a massive fan, but her mother loves how she stood by her husband. This echoes the Lexi tape from the investigation as she also mentions how cool it is that Alicia is standing by Peter. The past and the present are forever entwined with matching opinions. Matan even puts in a Peter reference as a dig rather than a compliment and he essentially pushes Alicia into taking the case with these suggestive taunts. Much in the same way Castro needled Alicia enough into starting the whole SA race in the first place and this is pretty much the equivalent of calling Marty McFly a chicken; Alicia will not back down after a moment like this.

The Good Wife 6.21 Finn and AliciaAlicia’s scandal is very PG in comparison to her husband’s and as Finn points out in the grand scheme of things “you’re not that important.” Prostitutes and jail time is far more likely to stick in the minds of the public so just ignore the stink eye the dude in hardware store is giving you Alicia. Maybe he just doesn’t like your terrible hat. Finn is the drinking buddy everyone needs as he is the voice of reason and super dreamy to boot. He also happens to stop by court at the exact right time to realize he has the piece of information that could stop this case from going to trial. In this instance he takes on the magical case solving unicorn role Kalinda inhabited on a weekly basis so it makes complete sense that Alicia would name Kalinda as her source. And she makes the perfect patsy since she has now left the jurisdiction. For Finn, Alicia extends an offer; sadly it is only business related and that sound you hear is me yelling KISS HIM and then realizing this is going to be unlikely if they start a firm together. Finn doesn’t give an answer to Alicia’s offer and while it would put a dampener on any romantic action, they do work well together.

The Good Wife 6.21 Alicia and Cary“Don’t Fail” also reminds of us of the era in which Cary and Alicia didn’t really like each other all that much, no I’m not talking about now but when they were in competition with each other during the first season. A lot has changed since then with several different jobs and plenty of contentious moments in-between; however despite recent events their bond is still strong. Cary is at first dismissive and slightly hostile over the phone giving Alicia ample opportunity to flex her already incredible eye rolling skills, but later on things soften between the pair over wine and memories. Cary brings evidence files to Alicia’s apartment; files she hasn’t seen before as they used her line of defense the first time they tackled this case. Kalinda’s departure comes up and there is so much history here that no matter how much shit has gone on between them there is still a strong sense of compassion with an appropriate amount of arm squeezing.

Experience is one thread that binds the episode from how Alicia is a seasoned veteran of the political scandal circuit to how much better they are as lawyers. On the other end there is this idea of being completely green to a situation so while Alicia is used to scrutiny it is new for her to be the one front and center of accusations. In court Alicia is commanding and dominant; it is like she has come home and it is glorious to see her in full lawyer mode where as Amber plays the role of novice as she stammers and finds it hard to have her voice heard over Matan. At the end of the episode Amber says she wants to learn from you and Alicia is pretty friendly but firm when she tells her “no you don’t.” Alicia isn’t one for mentoring and yet I would be more than happy to see Amber return and be part of the potential new firm (as long as it doesn’t interfere with You’re the Worst).

Alicia misses “looking at the law as something good” as now she sees it as being neutral. Her idealism has been tainted along the way as she pretty much lives in the murky grey; has she compromised herself too much? Can a new firm reignite her passion as it does in this episode? I am pretty excited to find out and hopefully The Good Wife can get over this messy bump of a season to deliver an excellent and quite possibly final outing next year.

The Good Wife 6.21 Alicia and KalindaLet’s talk about the leather clad elephant in the room and the way this episode meshes memory pops with flashbacks using the taped conversations is the usual high standard when playing with narrative devices. Until we get to Kalinda and as with most things Kalinda related this season it has been effected by whatever is going on behind the scenes. First of all the flash of Alicia and Kalinda drinking and in the same shot is not a new scene filmed for this episode. Instead it comes from “Hybristophilia” and Alicia’s celebration drinks with Kalinda after she won the competition against Cary in season 1. This scene is pretty much burned into my brain so when that brief shot flashed up it was instantly recognizable. Later on we do get a brand new Kalinda and Alicia scene where they are in the same room, but not really as their coverage could have been filmed at different times and I wouldn’t bring up the behind the scenes ‘whatever’ except it is incredibly distracting. And this certainly doesn’t make up for Kalinda’s departure last week, but there is still one more outing and one more chance for satisfying closure. Don’t fuck this up show.

That’s the meat of the episode as we see Alicia regaining her confidence after such a huge professional setback by taking on a case which reminds her why she loves this job and at the same time it gives us the chance to bask in nostalgia with both the flashbacks and seeing Alicia in court. Last week I offered up a Diane Lockhart jacket picture parade as a way to make up for the sadness; this week’s general picture offerings are here so we can soak up the joy of this episode. And it is only appropriate that I start with Diane.

The Good Wife 6.21 DianeDiane only shows up via 2009 and her brooch collection was just as strong back then.

The Good Wife 6.21 Cary and Alicia flashbackFlashing back to 2009 means revisiting this Cary haircut or at least the approximation of this haircut. Their coat game is excellent.

The Good Wife 6.21 AmberSpeaking of fantastic outerwear as Amber’s blue coat is both striking and matches Alicia’s scarf (this is me taking it as a sign that they should definitely work together again). In the present day this is one of the only instances where Alicia wears bold color as she is in mostly black and dark purple in court in an attempt to blend in rather opting for the red which symbolizes her confidence.

The Good Wife 6.21Most accurate representation of what I would look like in this moment. Also in terms of Amber’s court costuming all of her outfits look slightly off with either jackets that age her up far too much or polka dots which are too distracting. It makes sense that a novice lawyer would not necessarily have it all put together in this department yet and Alicia’s s style has definitely evolved over the last six years.

The Good Wife 6.21 hoodieThe hoodie of sudden crying makes an appearance as part of Alicia’s restless wardrobe. This gets ditched for a nice cream sweater later on when she is more settled with her career plan.

The Good Wife 6.21 new officeA plan which involves a new home office. Hope you like a door for a bed, Zach.

The Good Wife 6.21 ZachSpeaking of Zach and some costume continuity as this striped top is also what he is wearing in “Hybristophilia” so this is a pretty good memory of what Zach wore around that time (he has a different color long sleeve tee underneath in that episode).

Next week is the season finale and if it manages to deliver the same quality and narrative development then maybe the election storyline will have served some purpose.  Oh and hopefully Kalinda will make one final appearance.


Misunderstandings, Heartbreak and a Diane Lockhart Jacket Parade on The Good Wife

27 Apr

The Good Wife has a tendency to swing left when you expected it to zig right and while this season has been on the messy side at times, I can certainly say I did not expect to be left with Alicia in a crumpled heap with just two episodes to go. The Saint Alicia brand has been destroyed by the election scandal and she is now out of a job at the firm she helped start in the heart of her home. “The Deconstruction” also features the apparent departure of Kalinda and despite a lumpy final story for her I was left in a teary mess by her silent goodbye to Alicia. This is not the farewell Kalinda deserved after several seasons of storyline limbo and it is disappointing to not get a face to face encounter between long ago confidants. To try and make up for the lack of Alicia/Kalinda shared screen time there will be a Diane Lockhart jacket parade at the end because there are plenty of marvels on display.

The Good Wife 6.20 AliciaMemory pop of the week belongs to Kalinda surveying Alicia’s collection of photos on the mantel; most are of family and the pain of seeing Peter and everything that represents is still strong. A happier memory comes in the form of Alicia holding up a handwritten sign of her own and it is a photo Kalinda took. Considering Stern is still in the title of the firm it must be from season one and a time when Kalinda and Alicia were super close. Regardless of whatever has or has not been going on behind the scenes the loss of the Alicia/Kalinda friendship comes with the same feelings as a romantic breakup and the Kings have repeatedly asserted the betrayal is so strong they could never go back to being the tequila drinking buddies they once were. Instead what we are left with is a hoodie and jean wearing Alicia reading Kalinda’s goodbye note and responding as if she has been sucker punched. As far as outfits go it isn’t the sadness sweats and yet it is unlike Alicia’s typical polished appearance.

The Good Wife 6.20 KalindaMy tears flowed freely when Kalinda left Alicia’s apartment without seeing her former friend followed by Alicia’s gut punch reaction to whatever Kalinda wrote in her note – Kalinda’s amazing stationary game is one of my favorite things about her – and this is in part a reaction to the overall loss of this friendship even if the initial event took place forever ago.

When it was announced that Archie Panjabi would be leaving at the end of this season I wrote about why this made sense for Panjabi as the writers have been finding it hard to utilize her beyond her magical unicorn case solving ways (she does this in this episode too). I also discussed the Alicia/Kalinda dynamic and this show has been at its most sob worthy (aside from the obvious devastation last season) when this pair have been involved. Kalinda’s elevator breakdown stands out as one of these moments and even though Kalinda’s departure has been common knowledge/they haven’t killed her off I am still left feeling super shitty about it. Part of this is down to her lack of agency in the clusterfuck of a storyline she has been involved in as she became a glorified babysitter and pawn in a much bigger game. All of the sighs.

There is some Cary and Kalinda stuff going on as he tries to take the fall for her; instead he just clues Dexter in on what Kalinda had done with the pen drive. It’s not your fault Cary, but the white knight routine was never going to work here. They get a goodbye and to be honest I was far more emotionally affected by Kalinda’s phone call farewell to Diane and her non-goodbye to Alicia. Sorry, Cary.

At the firm which has a new, new name – it is hard to keep up but now they are Lockhart, Agos & Lee – there is a whole lot of misunderstandings going on with Alicia coming back. Diane and Cary want Alicia back and Alicia wants to come back; instead we end up with an episode of them thinking the other is stabbing them in the back. If they took a moment to actually talk to each other then it would all get sorted out very quickly, instead they all play a game of ‘secure the clients’ with David Lee taking the helm. There’s an upsetting “how dare you” moment between Diane and Alicia with me crying out for more martini drinking between these amazing ladies (there is a friendship drinking theme).

Kalinda plays mediator pointing out the mix-up to both sides and even though everything gets resolved Alicia still ends up on the outs and with no clients. This is thanks to Oliver Platt’s RD sticking his oar in pointing out what a joke the Florrick name is as a result of yet another scandal. It is a little disconcerting seeing Diane put so much faith in RD’s opinion, but he does bring a whole lot of money to the firm. Maybe now Finn can get a decent exit package for Alicia.

The Good Wife 6.20 kitchenRed wine drinking has mostly been a solo experience for Alicia swilling a goblet in the kitchen of her apartment. Since the election scandal Peter has joined her making it a much more social experience showing how far Peter and Alicia have come; the constant bickering and backbiting has ceased and this is the first huge press conference where they are united both in front of the cameras and behind them. There is nothing romantic between them at the moment and Alicia ruled that out a few weeks ago, however this scandal has brought them together rather than tearing them apart as the one that started the show did. Peter is an expert in how to deal with negative press and he suggests she writes a book. As long as it is better quality than those emails then I would read it.

Alicia likes order and now she is completely untethered; earlier she asks “What do I do now?” and this question still presents itself at the end of the episode. The book idea is fine and yet this doesn’t feel very Alicia; the uncertainty about where we will be when season six comes to a close is exciting, but I also don’t feel as confidant as I have been with The Good Wife in the past. This year has been ambitious and yet it has also stumbled along the way. So as a way to break the tension here is the Diane Lockhart jacket parade as promised.

The Good Wife 6.20 Diane jacketThe zips! That ring! Diane means business.

The Good Wife 6.20 Diane statementNot a good sign when your statement necklace blends in with your jacket. The statement is lost and this is when the initial Alicia misunderstanding takes place. That lipstick choice is A+ though.

The Good Wife 6.20 purpleToning it down in deep purple for a visit to Joy, the court appointed officer but you can’t hide a chain necklace that big.

The Good Wife 6.20 gold jacquardAnd back to Diane Lockhart power jacket choice in gold jacquard. No statement necklace or brooch in sight so Diane is not completely on top of her game.

The Good Wife 6.20 black jacketLater on when Diane returns to see Joy she once again completely tones it down covering her bold gold with a black coat, but you can still see it peaking out the top.

The Good Wife 6.20 double chainAnother gold patterned jacket and a double chain necklace which feels like it is part of this jacket rather than blending in, as the chain necklace did earlier on when she was stumbling a little. There is also something a little 70s sci-fi space admiral about this whole ensemble and I’m digging it. Diane got a win for her client and while she failed in the Alicia department her relationship with Alicia remains intact.

The Good Wife, Unethical Shortcomings and Simply Being a Lawyer

5 Jan

The Good Wife sure knows how to start the year with a flurry of emotions and it looked like Cary’s future would involve swapping pocket squares and suits for a jumpsuit. Before watching “Hail Mary” I was pretty sure I wanted The Good Wife to see this story through; not because I want to see Cary in prison for a crime he didn’t commit (far from it), but it felt like a bold story choice and I had concerns the easy less interesting route would be another case of Kalinda finding a magical piece of evidence in the eleventh hour. Instead it has created an entirely different tangled mess for Kalinda and one which will probably play a big part in Archie Panjabi’s well publicized exit arc.

Cary’s predicament allows for self-reflection and his future is this big blurry mess of nothing; what do you do when the one thing you were sure of is taken away?

The Good Wife 6.11 Hail MaryAlicia is prepping for her imminent debate with Prady meaning she is once again absent from the majority of the Cary race against the clock – episodes which involve a tight time deadline like this are always a favorite of mine – but she is more involved than she has previously been much to Eli’s annoyance. Alicia still remains out of the loop and because everything is taking place over the phone (like every call with Kalinda since season 4) she does unknowingly slip up when she mentions to Cary that all hope is not lost.

Corruption is a shared theme between these two storylines as Alicia’s debate focuses on the unethical shortcomings of the current and past SA office. Yep, Alicia isn’t holding back on Peter’s shortcomings. Kalinda meanwhile is pulling every move she can to try and save Cary from going to jail including tampering and changing evidence to make it look like an email had been read, when in fact it had been sent to a spam folder and deleted without ever being seen. It’s not like Kalinda hasn’t ever broken the law or gone to extremes but there is something about this move which has me very worried for where she is heading.

Bishop’s kitchen shouldn’t be terrifying but it has been the center of many heated conversations and Kalinda pushed him too far in the last episode; just look at how small and nervous she looks in this location. Kalinda has a couple of pressing concerns as not only is she in Bishop’s favor debt and awaiting a phone call all episode to say what said favor is, but she has now hacked a police officer’s email account to exonerate Cary. And she didn’t need to do either. Well, maybe the Bishop favor for finding Cary a jail friend isn’t needed, but that phone call is the catalyst for realizing there was an import/export error in the first place so that one can stand. It is the other part that really wasn’t necessary.

The Good Wife 6.11 kalindaKalinda is usually the evidence finding unicorn of The Good Wife and instead the honor of this prize this week goes to the other Carey as he infers from the transcript there is someone else who was part of the Trey Wagner interrogation. This evidence comes late and Diane has already delivered the other Hail Mary of email fakeness and the look on Kalinda’s face when she realizes she is too late is full on gut punch. Now is the time to praise the face parts acting of all involved with Judge Cuesta overturning Cary’s charges and setting him free as Matt Czuchry once again delivers face crumple perfection along with Christine Baranski. Destroyed all over again and for my worries that Cary would get off due to a technicality I can’t be mad when it delivers performances like this. Plus this isn’t a simple case of evidence equals acquittal as Kalinda’s conflicted reaction all too clearly shows (amazing face parts acting from Archie Panjabi here too).

Teary relief is what happens in the courtroom; when Alicia finds out a rare broad smile is etched all over her face and she lets out an unbridled “WOOH” at what she thinks is an empty parking garage. Turns out Johnny is there and she takes her joy one step further by planting a smooch on his mouth. How much we are meant to read into this moment is unclear as the earlier close up and whispered encouragement definitely cranked up the sexual tension, but it also feels like a spur of the moment emotional release and Johnny just happened to be standing there. No, Alicia is not the kind of person to just randomly kiss anyone and I wonder if Finn had been there whether if she had done the same the power strut that followed would have taken place. I am inclined to believe that it would have been far more than a brief on the lips kiss if it had been the case especially as their debate prep sparring was fully charged in a playful flirty manner even with the mudslinging. They really appeared to be relishing this back and forth until Peter showed up and cockblocked the whole thing, because of course he did. One thing is clear; as chief Alicia/Peter shipper Eli is going to be super pissed at Johnny if he finds out about this parking garage interaction.

Ah yes Peter, and Alicia gets to work her full controlled anger on him as she takes him to task making it clear that she isn’t going to be portrayed as an extension of his current or past administration; Alicia is very much her own woman. It is never not boring to watch Alicia go at Peter like this and I kinda wish she was debating her husband instead of Prady next week. Going into the why of this decision to go for State’s Attorney and Alicia strips it down to the basics mirroring the reason why she likes the law; it is all about control and she believes that she can put the job before self-interests. Of course she doesn’t mention the real more base levels as to why she is running – Gloria Steinem encouragement and Castro’s goading – and this idea of simply being a lawyer when stacked up against all the political machinations that come with this job could be a pipe dream.

Mirroring Alicia’s “simply a lawyer” notion from another angle is Cary as he ponders what his life will look like after all of this; all he has ever wanted to be is a lawyer and now he can’t figure anything out. I think we are meant to wonder if Cary is going to take Bishop’s Spain offer but Bill, his prison consultant (The Wire’s Domenick Lombardozzi) has already pointed out the obvious regarding how terrible Cary would be as an outlaw. Even if that is a very healthy looking bank account.

The ethical line is constantly shifting on The Good Wife particularly when the stakes are huge and there is no way this isn’t going to come back to haunt Kalinda in one way or another, which could also impact Cary in a devastating manner.

Bonus style time and I couldn’t end this first Good Wife post of 2015 without mentioning the red coat Alicia wore in her parking garage smooch and stomp of glory:

The Good Wife 6.11 DVF coatThis coat looks familiar and that’s because it is from the same coat family as one of my ultimate costume pieces; the Diane von Furstenberg Cosima coat from Orphan Black. Alicia’s has a different collar design and is the ‘Mikhaila.’ It is not surprising to see Alicia wearing this color when she pulls this defiant move.

Best of TV Costuming 2014: The Year of the Leather Jacket

22 Dec

Welcome to TV Ate My Wardrobe’s “Best of 2014″ costuming series and rather than doing a straightforward countdown we’re going to do a variety of posts that look at which costumes and shows have made a huge impact this year. From items that we want in our own wardrobe to pieces that got everyone talking, we want to look at this year’s TV through the prism of costume.

Clothing confession time – I have never owned a leather jacket; in fact I don’t think I have ever tried one on. Or anything made of leather aside from bags or shoes. It is one of those items (much like my fear of jumpsuits, which is a story for another day) that has always intimidated me because my style is more Sandy pre makeover than post (the leather jumpsuit in Grease is the perfect combination of my clothing fears). Leather jackets have been so ubiquitous on TV this year that Vulture compiled a slideshow of all the women who had worn them at the start of the fall season. We’re going back a little further and compiling a list of the Top 5 leather jacket wearers this year and maybe 2015 will be the year I try one on. I will probably settle for a leather pleated skirt.

In no particular order here are the women who make me want to wear leather and what is really great about this list is it covers sitcom, drama and genre shows. Leather is not bound by one type of storytelling.

The Good Wife 5.18 Kalinda and DianeKalinda Sharma wears several shades of leather on The Good Wife including this stunning collarless zipped peplum oxblood number (from episode 5.18 “All Tapped Out) and I’d say a good 93% of her wardrobe includes some form of leather. Even her dresses that aren’t all leather have leather accents.

Abbie leather jacketLeather jackets are to Abbie Mills’ attire as Ichabod’s trusty colonial coat (and his new replicas) is to his wardrobe on Sleepy Hollow. Abbie’s costuming is relatively fuss free; it is both practical and it is still classically stylish. There is also an air of authority when wearing this type of outerwear and gives the impression of someone who is not easily intimidated, which is why characters from law enforcement have a tendency to rock this look.

Diaz leather jacketSuch as Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It is a trope of sorts to have a character like Diaz in this attire and it is also used to distinguish her look from Amy Santiago’s softer, tailored wardrobe but the show has fun with what could become a cliche.

Kitty leather jacketOn Elementary, Kitty is wearing the same All Saints biker jacket as Diaz’s one from the shot above and while her character isn’t strictly a police officer she does work in this arena. Kitty’s attire is nothing like Joan’s for a reason; she is not simply a Joan carbon copy Sherlock is trying to recreate. Instead her penchant for leather (including her Doc Marten boots) is a way to project an image of strength after everything she has been through.

The Americans 2.13 Elizabeth leather jacketElizabeth doesn’t look all that thrilled by her coat choice considering the way her hands are stuffed into the pockets and the snow on the ground behind her. From the season 2 finale of The Americans Elizabeth is dressed in the way I think she is most comfortable in (aside from the weather) as she appears as herself and not in her mom attire or work clothes. This is spy Elizabeth. And what do we have here, but a new shot from the season 3 promo shoot revealing that leather comes in both his and hers:

IMG_1156Any other favorite leather jacket wearers from 2014?

These Boots Were Made for Walking: A Few Thoughts on The Good Wife’s Departure News

16 Oct

Yesterday was pretty much the everything entertainment news days – HBO announcing plans for a standalone service, all of Friends on Netflix, NPH hosting the 2015 Oscars – but the one item that prompted the biggest response from me personally is the news that Archie Panjabi won’t be renewing her contract on The Good Wife. Rather than going the Josh Charles ‘secret exit even though we knew his contract was up for negotiation at the end of the season’ route, Panjabi has signed a development deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television which means it is time to announce her Good Wife exit.

This is a good move for Panjabi and hopefully whatever project she ends up with will serve her well. For me this news was met with an array of conflicted feelings ranging from well this makes sense considering how little Kalinda has had to do over the past few seasons to sadness that this character has really been left flailing for so long and it’s a shame they never really figured out what to do with her. It also means The Good Wife cast has got a whole lot less diverse.

The Good Wife 5.21 KalindaKalinda has been reduced to the magical case solving unicorn on The Good Wife and the person who can seduce anyone of either sex. She knows everyone and is generally the solution to narrative issues generally regarding whatever case of the week they are dealing with. Kalinda’s personal life was stomped all over when they introduced her ex-husband Nick in season 4 and while the Kings were quick to realize how much pretty much everyone who watched this show hated this character/storyline (and I still have the image of Nick smashing eggs on Kalinda’s chest etched into my mind) the damage was done. Everything after this has come across as clutching at straws with Kalinda including her several romantic relationships which tend to lean on getting some kind of professional leverage in the form of seduction. Cary is perhaps the only one who doesn’t fit this pattern; however she did use her closeness with him to get information for Will about Cary and Alicia’s exit from Lockhart Gardner resulting in trust issues between the pair.

The two people Kalinda has been closest to in a non-sexual capacity are Will and Alicia; Will is gone and Kalinda and Alicia haven’t shared a scene (other than over the phone) in 34 episodes. The latter friendship was destroyed when Alicia found out Kalinda had slept with Peter before they had met and while Robert and Michelle King were more than happy to dispose of Nick in a swift manner, they haven’t succumbed to the calls for Alicia and Kalinda to reconcile. Just look how good they were together.

kalinda and aliciaA complex, close friendship can be just as compelling as a romantic connection and the breakdown of platonic love can be just as heart ripping out sad as the end of a passionate union. Lady friendships that don’t include petty jealousy or arguments over dudes are still too far and few between on television and even though this one ended because of a guy, prior to this it included all the tequila/beer drinking and the kind of strong rapport that makes this kind of pairing so special. Kalinda is part of the reason why Alicia grew more self-assured and confident in her abilities. The dissolution of their friendship also goes some ways to explain why both of them are pretty prickly and wary when it comes to getting close to someone new; they let down their guard with each other and got hurt in the process. Just thinking about Kalinda’s elevator sobbing after Alicia found out breaks me. Without Will or Alicia, Kalinda has been set adrift in a sea of flirtation and trying to figure out whether there is an ulterior motive to the actions of the person she is interacting with.

Alicia has also lost Will and Kalinda, but instead of reducing her to one aspect of her character she has thrived since (although I still think she needs more friends) and she does have a few drinking buddies she can trust on hand. Plus Alicia is never going find herself as a story afterthought; she is the title character after all.

The Good Wife 5.21 Diane and KalindaLeather jackets, knee high boots and a notebook at hand (okay the above photo only has two out of three) are the Kalinda signature; however a character needs much more than costuming and props to be a fully formed thing and there’s been this constant struggle to find the right fit for her. So yes I am sad Archie Panjabi is departing, but I hope this means they will give her a kickass story to end on and hopefully one last shot of tequila with her former best friend (even if she disagrees with the ‘best’ part).


Julie Hammerle

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