Christine Baranski, Cush Jumbo, and Delroy Lindo star in The Good Fight.

The Good Fight, Season 4

Dept. of Top Class Television


I’ve always struggled to describe just what The Good Fight is. Over the last 4 years, I’ve been preaching the gospel of the Kings – Robert and Michelle, that is – to anyone who would listen, trying to get as many people as possible to watch what is, if not the best thing on television right now, then at least the most important. But I’ll get back to this in a bit.

The Good Wife, of which this series was spun out of, was far easier to distill. It was the story of a woman having to go back to work in order to provide for her family after her politician husband is jailed following an embarrassing sex scandal. Yes, the series became far more complex over the course of its 156 episodes, but it was always centred around Alicia Florrick’s conflicted relationship with her husband, Peter.

The Good Fight began as a seemingly straightforward spin-off, inspired by similar beats to that of The Good Wife, featuring yet another strong, independent woman whose life is upended by circumstances outside her control. Here, Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart is forced to postpone her retirement – a decision she makes after the trauma of watching Donald Trump be inaugurated President – when all of her savings are lost to an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart on The Good Fight.

When The Good Fight began, I thought we’d be following the lives of its three female leads: Diane, Maia, and Luca. What we got instead was unlike anything else on television. An intricately plotted drama that is laser focussed on our current present, on the wild and noisy disorder that is Donald Trump’s America. This thing gives “ripped-from-the-headlines” a whole new meaning. (I swear to God, some of these episodes feel like they are written the week they come out.) This is a show that isn’t afraid to take big, massive, huge, Brobdingnagian swings. This is a show that doesn’t limit itself to a prescribed format.

It probably had to do with the fact that The Good Fight premiered on CBS’s streaming platform, CBS All Access. It was their first “original” so to speak, and, at the time, there was nothing else there that justified their $5.99 subscription fee. At least until Star Trek: Discovery came along. And since they didn’t have to worry as much about streaming numbers or network ratings, they had some leeway to experiment. To mess around. To give the show the time in needed to find its voice.

And what a voice it found.

Once again, The Good Fight isn’t your typical legal procedural. This show goes places. To insane – LSD-fuelled, Trump-baiting, Michael Sheen-as-a-manic-Roy-Cohn-proxy – places. Complete with animated musical interludes. Yes. You heard me. Animated. Musical. Interludes.

Delroy Lindo as Adrian Boseman on The Good Fight.

With everything that has happened in America between seasons three and four – quid-pro-quo, 29 Democratic candidates for president, a failed attempt to impeach Donald Trump, the trial and conviction of Harvey Weinstein – I was worried that a show all about our stormy present would be left behind. That it might feel a little out of touch.

But boy, was I wrong. As witnessed by the opening salvo of Season 4, The Good Fight has one of the best writers rooms in television. They take a what-if scenario that has long gone stale and twist it in a way that, while unsurprising, is the welcome dose of reality that the series has always excelled in.

The episode opens and Diane finds herself in a world where Trump loses in 2016. Her liberal glee, however, is incredibly short-lived as the sad reality of a Hillary presidency begins to sink in. There was no Women’s March. #MeToo never happened. Harvey Weinstein is touted as a hero for women’s rights. And Clinton’s tax policy is driving Diane’s law firm, Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart, to bankruptcy. Elizabeth Warren on the Supreme Court provides cold comfort in the face of such consequences.

The most thrilling part about this episode (which, by calling itself “The Gang Deals With Alternate Reality”, also pays homage to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is that I had no idea how it was going to play out. Having watched so much television over the course of my life, I figured that this was all just an elaborate dream sequence, played out as a metaphor for Diane’s struggles throughout the previous season. When we last left our hero, she had decided that sacrificing her own principles to take down Donald Trump was too high a price.

Then again, knowing The Good Fight, it was just as likely that Diane, along with her partners at Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart, were abducted by the government and forced to live out their lives in some manufactured reality. Or it could be that we’re all living in some weird dream and they’ve finally woken up. Or it could be aliens. You just never know with this show.

The gang faces an alternate reality in The Good Fight.

Now, I haven’t seen anything other than the season premiere, but if I know anything about The Good Fight, it’s that there is no “normal” to return to. And that is precisely what excites me about this series. I tune in week-on-week not knowing what to expect. Not just with regards to how batshit crazy it can sometimes get, but also with how the show deals with the issues it chooses to tackle. Whether it’s freedom of speech in the age of social media, or sexual harassment in the context of the black community, or political correctness run amuck. There are no easy answers and this is a show that never just shrugs its shoulders or rolls its eyes.

As for why is The Good Fight is so important? I for one can’t think of anything else on television that provides as good a coping mechanism for everything that’s happening in the world today. The Good Fight does. It is not overly optimistic and doesn’t get lost in its own idealism. Neither is it cynical. Its approach is nuanced. It is balanced. It doesn’t lazily give in to outrage. It is, much like the incredible Diane Lockhart, pragmatic.

The Good Fight
CBS All Access, Season 4, 10 Episodes
Showrunners: Robert King, Michelle King, and Phil Alden Robinson
Cast: Christine Baranski, Cush Jumbo, Delroy Lindo, Sarah Steele, Nyambi Nyambi, Michael Boatman and Audra McDonald

Watch the first episode of The Good Fight, Season 4 on FOX Life, Astro CH703, or stream it on demand via Astro GO. The second episode will be available on April 17, after which the show will go on a one-week hiatus, returning May 1 with additional episodes.

Uma has been reviewing things for most of his life: movies, television shows, books, video games, his mum's cooking, Bahir's fashion sense. He is a firm believer that the answer to most questions can be found within the cinematic canon. In fact, most of what he knows about life he learned from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He still hasn't forgiven Christopher Nolan for the travesties that are Interstellar and The Dark Knight Rises.

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