Talking TV: Why ‘The Good Wife’ keeps getting better

<i>This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.</i>

When it debuted on CBS four years ago, “The Good Wife” was a dazzling ray of light in a landscape blighted by the 2007-08 writers strike and the voracious swarm of reality programming. Many inside the industry and out thought the hourlong scripted drama would soon be available only on premium cable; NBC had given up hope, turning its 10 p.m. hour over to the doomed-to-fail “Jay Leno Show.”

Then we met Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), betrayed wife, loving mother and nascent lawyer who was about to take a second stab at life. Having watched an assortment of real-life women forced to stand grim-faced by the podium while their political husbands confessed to adultery, America was eager to see what happened next.

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Creators Michelle King and Robert King did more than answer that question; they built an astonishingly elegant hybrid of character drama and legal procedural, with a cast to swoon for and an understanding of dramatic control that is unparalleled on broadcast or cable.

It’s impossible to imagine another show that would dare to tease a game-changing moment almost midway through its fourth season, but that’s what “The Good Wife” did a few weeks ago, when Alicia walked away from the firm, and the man, who hired her to strike out on her own.

Now everything and everyone is being reconsidered, reimagined and revitalized. “The Good Wife” is proof that prestige drama is not limited to cable.

On Monday at noon PST, we’ll be talking all things “Good Wife,” the “we” being host Stacey Leasca, TV critic Mary McNamara, media reporter and columnist Joe Flint, along with a fan or two.

Feel free to tweet us your questions or comments using the hashtag #asklatimes.

[For the Record, 8:43 a.m. PST Nov. 11: An earlier version of this post referred to a co-creator of “The Good Wife” as Peter King. His name is Robert King.]


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