Plot: Diane (Christine Baranski) has built an incredible reputation as a skilled, passionate lawyer and after a long, legendary career, she is about to retire and focus on herself for a while. Her career has afforded her a retirement most could only dream of, but just before she can begin her new luxurious lifestyle, some devastating news comes down the pike. She had invested a good deal of money with the Rindell group, while also referring countless friends and clients to do the same, but now she learns Rindell was just a ponzi scheme. As she tries to cope with this tragic turn of events, Maia (Rose Leslie) also finds herself in the middle of the scandal, as she just started as Diane’s firm and is the daughter of the man charged with the fraud claims. Both women find themselves banished from their positions and treated like poison, despite being sharp legal minds with massive talent. Can Diane and Maia find a path after this horrific chain of events or will the scandal cost them everything?
Entertainment Value: This legal drama is quite fun to watch, with a lot of “ripped from the headlines” narratives and a remarkable cast. The show does include a strong political slant, one that might wave off some potential viewers, but it makes an effort mid-season to be less of a soapbox. I appreciate the inclusion of political and social issues, but I don’t need to be force fed, so I am glad The Good Fight toned down the ham fisted approach a few episodes in. These topics are explored a little, but not in depth, just enough to spark some light discussion and move to the next. So if you want hard hitting, this might not be in depth enough, but it is still nice to see some topical narratives, even if the show is content to avoid a deep dive. The cases in this season all hinge on those kind of in the headlines stories, as the law firm involved is focused on those social concerns, which ensures it mostly authentic and rarely forced. Even so, The Good Fight has a clear and distinct political and social agenda, so if you want less biased entertainment, this might not be your kind of show.
This show invests a lot of time in the legal drama side of the material, with court scenes and the research process, but it also follows a number of more personal stories. This includes the central narratives of Diane and Maia, which are interesting and well handled, but I think the show shines in the smaller moments. The cast here is deep and diverse, so seeing all the various threads weave together is fun. I appreciate that these supporting stories are all part of the larger picture, not just disposable threads to give people screen time. This allows the show to have no weak links, even the smallest characters are the focus and that is impressive. The cast includes Christine Baranski, Rose Leslie, Cush Jumbo, Delroy Lindo, Sarah Steele, Matthew Perry, and Audra McDonald, among others. The Good Fight is a spin-off of sorts from The Good Wife, so fans of that show will see some common threads here, but it never feels like it is chained to that show, just some ties that bind at times. I had fun with this first season and if you appreciate legal dramas with a focus on “ripped from the headlines” narratives, give this show a chance.