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[livejournal.com profile] fledmusic asked me about The Good Wife.

TGW is one of the best shows on television right now, and if you took away the cable shows' advantage of having to only produce 13 episodes a season, I think it could be considered THE best show on television right now. It's certainly the best show for women on television right now, in terms of having a wide variety of women who are all fascinating, well-developed, strong, and flawed - and also not defined by their relationships with men, while having interesting and complex relationships with other women. So I guess I've decided to make this post about the women of The Good Wife.

Alicia is so hard to read. Even halfway through the fifth season, I feel like she is so hard to know. She plays things so close to her chest that I'm not sure I believe there is anyone on the show that actually truly knows Alicia, except maybe her brother, who isn't really around enough to have a huge impact, although he seems to be brought out when the show needs to kind of ... force Alicia into showing her hand or to have someone state something about Alicia's feelings that she's unwilling or unable to say. I love Alicia's steely strength. She is so unshakable and reserved that when something makes that exterior break and she cries or yells, it's a huge shock to the audience. I respect the writers for sticking to that consistently for so long. It must be hard to only be able to allow your main character to get really openly emotional so rarely. Of course, JM is such a fantastic actress that she can portray a great depth of emotion very subtly. I know it frustrates some fans (including me, on occasion) how she keeps going back to Peter, but I think that's just the kind of person Alicia is. She doesn't give up easily, she doesn't accept change easily (or she can only take one big change at a time), she is so wary of the possible consequences of her actions. The show never dumbs her down or has her make a decision she would never make for plot or shipping (ugh) reasons. She is a woman with her own particular brand of integrity that somehow persists even as she defends drug dealers and wife-killers.

If Alicia is a mystery, Kalinda is maybe even more of one. Or does Kalinda kind of wear her heart on her sleeve? When it comes to Alicia, she sure does. It's obvious they both care for each other deeply, or Kalinda's affair with Peter pre-knowing Alicia wouldn't have been the nuclear bomb it was. Sadly I think Alicia is extremely straight, so even though I think Kalinda might be IN love with Alicia in addition to loving her as a friend, I don't think it would ever go anywhere. Which is a super sad reading of their relationship, so maybe I will just not think of it that way. (Although I would love to read a really long, slow burn fic that sold me on romantic Alicia/Kalinda. Just putting that out into the world.) Alicia and Kalinda's relationship is actually something that I've been missing hugely this season. I understand the decision to have Kalinda remain with LG, but I'm hoping they find some way to have Alicia and Kalinda (and Cary) reunited somehow soon. Even just to go out for drinks again. Even though Kalinda was hurt by them and she tricked Cary. Ugh. JUST BE FRIENDS AGAIN GUYS. Anyway, I love Kalinda's power to seduce any woman within a few feet of her (except Alicia apparently SADFACE). And her love of baseball bats.

Diane! I have such conflicted feelings about Diane, because I respect her and think she's a badass and fantastic, but I am so firmly on team Alicia and Cary that I can't help but kind of feel a distance from her right now. I LOVE her relationship with Will - it's probably one of the best things on the show. I love that she's a woman over 60 (if she's the same age as CB) who is intelligent, confident, beautiful. I love her feminism and how much bullshit she calls men on.



Okay, since that's just the women, I may have to do The Good Wife pt. 2 for [livejournal.com profile] mistakency one of these days, talking about the men.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-08 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alethialia.livejournal.com
LOVE the women of TGW! The thing that struck me early on in the show, and has stuck with me ever since, was how accurately Eli summed her up: You're cautious. To me, that is one of the most defining characteristics of Alicia and explains so much of why she does what she does.

I, too, have been missing the Alicia/Kalinda friendship this season. The Alicia/Cary is lovely...but Kalinda!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-09 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarkastic.livejournal.com
You're cautious. To me, that is one of the most defining characteristics of Alicia and explains so much of why she does what she does.
Yes! So true. Which made it all the more crazy exciting last season when she accepted Cary's offer.

I really need them to find some way to get Alicia and Kalinda some time together again.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-08 05:54 pm (UTC)
poisontaster: America Fererra laughing (America Laughs)
From: [personal profile] poisontaster
I agree so much with everything you say here.

I'm really liking Robyn too, both on her own merits and as a new kind of character: young, uncertain, just starting out in her career but without the life experience that Alicia already had at the beginning of the series. I also really like the back door friendship between her and Kalinda, where you get to see Kalinda being a mentor as Diane was for Alicia. I have to say that, in general, the show is AMAZING at showing women giving other woman a hand or boost or just encouragement in a way you don't see in a lot of other shows.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-09 12:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarkastic.livejournal.com
Yes, Robyn has been surprisingly great! I say surprising just because it took me a little bit to warm to her. She was a little too quirky in the beginning, but she's really been fleshed out especially this season.

I have to say that, in general, the show is AMAZING at showing women giving other woman a hand or boost or just encouragement in a way you don't see in a lot of other shows.
Yes, so much! I love how little women hating on women happens on this show. I mean, it does, but it's rarely because of a man. Even Alicia and Kalinda's friendship breakup was ostensibly about Peter but was really about a betrayal of trust.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-09 02:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nuit-belle.livejournal.com
I really enjoyed this! I too am pretty firmly Team Florrick Agos.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-10 11:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarkastic.livejournal.com
Thank you! Glad you liked it.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-10 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fledmusic.livejournal.com
I'm not on a side. I love everyone too much to choose.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-10 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarkastic.livejournal.com
That's a very legit stance to take. What I love about this show is that it's equally plausible and legit to take no sides or be firmly for either of the sides.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-11 05:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fledmusic.livejournal.com
I'm so mad I caught up right as the last episode before the hiatus aired, ugh. Now I have to wait.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-30 06:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mistakency.livejournal.com
+1 to everything here, especially your thoughts on Alicia. I LOVE her how demeanor is treated so matter-of-factly as something that can be beneficial (because she doesn't get shaken easily) and hurtful (because she doesn't let people in). I'm very much Team Florrick Agos in the sense that I don't think Alicia should be vilified for her decision to leave LG or stay with Peter, but the last episode I was really amazed by how much getting to see Will's perspective of her actions got me to empathize with him because I hadn't considered that he had no way of knowing how invested she was. But I don't think less of her, and it's clear that the writers don't want me to, either. I can't think of another main character that is so internal and.....allowed to live out as wide a range of what that means. The show still wants to give her the world even when she is selfish, or lying to herself, or unwilling to make a move.

Although I would love to read a really long, slow burn fic that sold me on romantic Alicia/Kalinda. Just putting that out into the world.

This has GOT to exist because, like, 98% of the TGW fic on AO3 is Alicia/Kalinda that's as long as The Odyssey. I've only read a few of them and sadly don't have any recs (Alicia has always come off as super-straight to me as well and so far no one's exceeded my disbelief threshold), but it has to be out there!!!

I am so firmly on team Alicia and Cary that I can't help but kind of feel a distance from her right now.

I felt this too until they started painting Diane as the only sane linchpin at the firm whose every waking hour now must be spent keeping Will from going bonkers and keeping Howard Lyman's pants on. She has all my sympathy right now.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-03 12:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarkastic.livejournal.com
I can't think of another main character that is so internal and.....allowed to live out as wide a range of what that means. The show still wants to give her the world even when she is selfish, or lying to herself, or unwilling to make a move.
Yes! Other shows would punish their main (female) character for acting the way Alicia does, but TGW just lets her make her choices without judging her.

I've only read a few of them and sadly don't have any recs (Alicia has always come off as super-straight to me as well and so far no one's exceeded my disbelief threshold), but it has to be out there!!!
God, I hope so. Maybe I'll go looking around and see if I can find anything good.

She has all my sympathy right now.
Diane definitely has my sympathy, and she's always had my respect. I guess I just don't feel that invested in her. I don't have the same fondness for her that I do for the other characters on the show.

Also, I know I was supposed to do a second TGW post for you, but I have totally pooped out on in-depth TGW thoughts for now. I am making a resolution to post more thoughtful meta about my shows though this year, rather than just, wheee I like this or booo I hate this!

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