The world was already ending last year on Good Fight, night sky lit blood red, emergency sirens echoing down empty streets. Lawyers sheltered in place in the offices of Reddick, Boseman, & Lockhart. Adrian (Delroy Lindo) sipped his whiskey and pondered the void. “I used to think that something would save us,” he said. “Now, I don’t see anything.” Lucca (Cush Jumbo) dropped acid toward a different conclusion: “The end times are beautiful.”
Showrunners Robert and Michelle King are network mainstreamers with a taste for the avant-garde. Their brand of chatty weirdness turned CBS’ freshman series into a genuine broadcast success, and now they’ve returned to their Good Wife spin-off with all the guardrails removed. The season premiere is an outright hallucination, sending Diane (Christine Baranski) into a parallel universe where everything is wonderfully, terribly different.
The twist comes fast and furious. In Hillary Clinton’s America, Harvey Weinstein is a popular power-monger, an Oscar-winning Hollywood legend (Diane loves his movies!) whose record of Democratic Party support is makes him a D.C. bigwig, too. Allegations against him are hushed up with nasty conjecture about past-their-prime actresses. #MeToo and the Women’s March never happened. Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose are still smiling on NBC and CBS mornings.
There’s a plot thing happening that is surprisingly tense given the dream logic involved. And the larger conversation the premiere is engaging in opens up all sorts of arguments and refutations. What I admire, though, is the sense that Good Fight is challenging its own skewed perspective, and suggesting a road forward for the mass of humanity still bruised from 2016. It’s a tricky thing to suggest even when citizens aren’t pondering viral death and economic collapse, and I don’t want to butcher the message into something stupid like “Was Trump secretly good for liberal feminism?” The road being paved here is more complicated: “Are there terrible things we are resolving now that would’ve just stayed terrible if Hillary Clinton were president?”