If you’re looking for something good to watch on TV — and who isn’t these days, what with us all being on home confinement — don’t overlook the CBS All Access streaming service.
I know, I know. Netflix and Disney+ each have about 11 billion shows. And a lot of them are good. Not all of them, of course. The apparent popularity of Netflix’s “Tiger King” speaks, perhaps, to some sort of national psychosis.
But if you haven’t watched “The Good Fight” yet, take the opportunity to do so now. It’s amazing. “The Good Wife” was one of the best things on TV during its seven-season run (2009-2016). I was obsessed with that show. And, I’m telling you, the spinoff is better.
“The Good Fight” took one of the best supporting characters from the original show, Diane Lockhart (the divine Christine Baranski), and built a show around her. The series began with Diane sitting dumbfounded and distraught by the news that Donald Trump had been elected president … setting a tone for the show.
In Season 1, Diane is in the process of retiring from her law firm when she learns that she’s lost all her money in a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by a Bernie Madoff-like friend of hers. She’s got to go back to work, but the partners at her firm don’t want her back — so she signs on as the only white partner at an all-African American firm. And we’re off and running.
“The Good Fight” combines great characters, great writing and a spin on current events. Yes, it’s a legal drama … but that doesn’t adequately describe it. It’s drama. It’s comedy. It’s satire. It’s surprising, thought-provoking, hilarious and wildly entertaining.
If you’ve never watched the show, there are three seasons — 33 episodes — for you to stream. I envy you the opportunity to watch them for the first time.
And if you’re a fan of “The Good Fight,” there’s good news for you, too: Season 4 starts streaming Thursday, April 9. (One episode per week; that’s how they generally do it on CBS All Access.)
The first new episode quickly resolves the cliffhanger we were left with at the end of Season 3. (I’m not going to remind you what that was, because I don’t want to spoil anything for people I’m trying to talk into watching the show for the first time.)
When last we saw the lawyers at Riddick, Bozeman & Lockhart, things weren’t going all that well. (I’m trying to be vague here to avoid spoilers.) So they accept a buyout from a huge multinational law firm that “kind of wants to buy diversity,” said co-creator/executive producer Robert King.
The new owners quickly become known as “the overlords” and the Riddick, Bozeman & Lockhart team become “underdogs, being controlled by other people,” King said.
Showrunners Robert and Michelle King (“Evil”) were inspired by high-profile corporate mergers — Disney/Fox, AT&T/Time-Warner, CBS/Viacom — and, as always, they have a decided point of view.
“What’s described as synergy just means you are f----d. You are laid off,” said Robert King. “I think we are all kind of agitated by this gathering together of large, Amazon-like forces that control what we say and do and teach.”
Season 4 focuses less on Trump himself and more on what has happened to the legal system since he took office. Now that the “guardrails are off,” some of the rules “have broken down with regards to the law and how things that we always expected, like not perjuring yourself, are being sort of bent a little bit. Especially if you’re rich or powerful,” Robert King said.
And expect to see more unqualified, Trump-appointed judges. Oh, did I mention that if you’re a devoted follower of the current occupant of the White House, you might not be all that enamored with “The Good Fight”?
Cast members Cush Jumbo, Audra McDonald, Sarah Steele, Michael Boatman, Nyambi Nyambi and Delroy Lindo are all back for Season 4; John Larroquette and Hugh Dancy come aboard as lawyers from the “overlords” firm. And Michael J. Fox reprises his “Good Wife” guest role as love-him/hate-him lawyer Louis Canning. It’s great stuff.
And, by the way, CBS All Access is also home to every episode of every “Star Trek” series ever made. Including “Picard,” which I liked a lot. That is not a view universally held, but I don’t care. I still pretty much loved it.
That’s 10 more episodes of TV to fill your life while you’re staying at home.