The Good Wife Review: Red Cups Runneth Over

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The Good Wife can sometimes try to be too hip for its own good. Such was the case on "Affairs of State."

I have no idea if stoplight parties, a site like After Death Space or rape apps exist (I'm guessing some form of them do) but trying to shove them all into one episode made the show come across like Amy Poehler's character in Mean Girls. You know, the mother who thinks she can still hang with her teenage kids.

Parker Posey on The Good Wife

Granted, I've often praised The Good Wife for being one of the few programs whose characters talk like actual people, often by referencing current events, but there's a fine line. I draw it when those references take place in the course of conversation - e.g. Eli throwing "Rahm" into a point about running for office in Chicago - as opposed to building an entire case around the technological advancement du jour.

Or an entire storyline out of an attempt to shock. Seriously, Eli's ex-wife slept with a Bin Laden?!? Again, I see what the series is trying to do here (as it was trying to do with Will as MLB Commissioner, or Peter giving the DNC speech); it's simply trying to drop these characters into the real world, where the Presidential election is certainly a hot topic and where, well, Osama Bin Laden has second cousins.

But it's distracting. I enjoyed this look into Eli's past, and I've always been a fan of Parker Posey, but I laughed out loud when Vanessa's fling was named. I doubt that was the emotion the show was aiming for in this attempt to shed light on Eli's romantic history.

On a sidenote, one we'll likely tackle in this week's The Good Wife Round Table: should Kalinda have told Eli the truth? Absolutely. It's her job and it's true to her character as a straight-shooting professional.

Finally, two more complaints about an episode that didn't do very much for me:

  1. Setting up Caitlin to crush on Will just seems below The Good Wife. The young office blonde has a thing for her boss? It's not original and there are only a few ways for this to end: they hook up (ridiculous), Caitlin stalks him somehow (ridiculous), Caitlin outs Will and Alicia to the firm (my guess).
  2. Too much time was spent this week on characters we didn't know very well. Caitlin. Dana. Matan. I didn't feel invested in most of the hour's developments.

So, yes, a bad grade for The Good Wife for a change. It had its moments - Will awkwardly meeting Zach and Alicia not wanting Will to meet her kids, out of fear or a lack of love, it's unclear - and I'm proud of Cary both for his promotion and his bedding of his beautiful co-worker, but I'll be happy to never attend a spotlight party again.


Editor Rating: 3.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (116 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


I was floored to realize that Will has never met (or even seen) Alicia's children. As long as she has worked there and as close as her family has been to her job, it's unimaginable that there would have been NO event where the kids weren't at least introduced to co-workers, especially the managing partners. All the scenes involving the kids in this episode seemed forced and unnatural - especially the way they were grilling their mother about what she does with her time (and with whom) when they aren't around. For one thing, teenagers don't really think about their parents having a personal life and, for another, well-bred kids would never pry that way. The writers tried to cover by implying they were concerned that she was lonely, but that doesn't fly. My first thought was they had been prompted by their father or grandmother to tell what they knew about Alicia's life - after all there is a divorce settlement and custody agreement waiting in the wings - and that made me think less of the kids.


I liked the focus on Cary and Matan. I've always liked Carey (really wanted him to hook up with Kalinda.) I think a good show has many stories and not just teh one, Alica and Will. Correct observation about Carey and 'ethnic' women. (Just good taste?) I was a nervous for Alicia though when her children start questioning what she did when they were away. I think she was too. And also when Will and Zack met and he hesitated about their meeting, only to say he really wanted a car. I could see the relief in her face.


This is the first episode that I was rooting for Cary. Usually I am suspicious of his motives but here he was being a good soldier and getting dumped on at every turn. Then when he achieved the Name on the Door I couldn't help but grin for him.
Agree with the general reaction on this site that this was the show's lamest episode. It didn't really advance the long-term story or provide much suspense.


This wasn't my favorite episode but I don't agree with the review that is was horrible either. I like seeing what makes the other characters tick so it doesn't bother me to see them focus more on the others. I love Parker Posey and was delighted with her turn although I agree the whole Bin Laden thing was a stretch. Hopefully she will recur. I thought the Will and Zack conversation was painfully hilarious. I keep getting mixed signals from Alicia in regards to how serious she is with Will. She didn't want him to meet her kids but I definitely got the sense when Caitlin was talking to Will, she steered her away quickly with a sort of "Get away from my man" demeanor about her. Did anyone else think that? It is clear that Will wants more from her than she is giving, but I agree the
reason is unclear. I don't think (or don't want to think:) it is about lack of love, but more fear of acknowledging the relationship. I hope they address this soon cause, for me at least, the lack of clarity is bothersome. And I am hoping Caitlin grows on me cause right now I just find her annoying.


This was one of the worst episodes of this show yet. Poor Matt Czuchry can't carry the hour, so to speak. The only high point of his scenes were Monica Raymund, who would actually be a much better fit for the show. Her character actually seemed to have some intelligence and the wherewithal to be a prosecutor.


"How many times have you seen even a third generation Chinese American guy with a white woman on a date" What rock do you live under? I know couples that did better than just date, they got married...


It's a stoplight party, not a spotlight party. The cup are the colors and meaning of the colors on a stoplight.


Do not like A Good Wife anyway--overrated!!


Too much time was spent this week on characters we didn't know very well. Caitlin. Dana. Matan. I didn't feel invested in most of the hour's developments.
Totally agree!Do they have no story yet compiled?


Just watched the Zach & Will scene - so awkward! Loved it!

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