‘The Good Fight’ Is Flawless This Season. How Do I Convince You Idiots to Watch?

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The Good Combat Is on an Unbelievable Run Proper Now

It was heartening all through the pandemic to listen to from family and friends how many individuals had been bingeing The Good Wife. And I understood why anybody who sampled it turned obsessed. The politician’s spouse dealing with his scandal was a juicy hook. Kalinda was TV’s greatest character, till she was the worst. Alicia and Will’s sexual chemistry had me virtually residing in a chilly bathe.

I can’t bear in mind the final time I used to be as shocked by an episode of television as I used to be by season 5’s “Dramatics, Your Honor,” an hour of tv trauma my therapist and I are nonetheless working by means of. Then there was the present’s superhero in a wise assertion blazer, the regal Diane Lockhart, played by Christine Baranski—and the series-ending slap I felt alone rattling face.

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At any time when given the chance to thrill in somebody’s excited conversations about The Good Spouse, a sequence that in all probability ranks in my prime 10 favorites, I finish with the logical query: So did you begin watching The Good Combat subsequent?

Inevitably and bafflingly, the reply is nearly at all times no. Make it make sense. A sequel sequence to the present you simply binged and cherished exists, and critics have been screaming reward about it for the final 5 years at such a quantity that there’s an epidemic of TV journalists whose vocal cords have ejected from their throats.

Why on the earth isn’t all people watching?

I point out this now as a result of The Good Combat, a sequence that ought to have received Finest Drama on the Emmys twice by now, is having what could also be its greatest season ever. The seventh episode of the fifth season premiered this week on Paramount+, persevering with what counts among the many most thrilling stretch of episodes in a TV sequence this 12 months.

No sequence engages with the actual world with such ballsiness. We’re not speaking these cheesy, ripped-from-the-headlines storylines on Legislation & Order: SVU that everybody insists are campy and enjoyable when actually they’re largely exploitative, tacky, and borderline unwatchable. Previous seasons of The Good Combat have tackled the whole lot from Trump’s shock 2016 victory to the pee tape, and highbrow-lowbrow information headlines spanning the Bachelor in Paradise alleged sexual assault, the infamous Shitty Males record, the insufferability of Milo Yiannapoulos, and the placement of Jeffrey Epstein’s, um… penis.

It’s not simply that the sequence finds stunning, clever angles into discourses that will already appear saturated. It’s that in some way, and in a means that I’ve by no means seen on one other TV present, it manages to stage every episode with one thing of an emotional mirror. It manages to mirror the spectrum of emotions you might have as somebody who has lived by means of these information tales however won’t have had the house to course of them. It sounds hokey, but it surely’s so vivid and neatly finished.

That’s been very true of this season. It launched with an episode that sprinted by means of the trauma of the 12 months for the reason that sequence final aired: the pandemic, Black Lives Matter, the demise of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Trump’s election threats.

After enduring an upsetting variety of different sequence that each one faltered with their ambitions to cowl the identical subjects, the thought of one other TV drama doing a surface-level, patronizing string of episodes about COVID-19 was about as engaging as going right into a bar full of unmasked patrons whereas a scary, vaccine-resistant variant of the virus saunters by means of the nation. (Oh wait…)

In fact The Good Combat tackled the pandemic in a means that was each highly effective and creative, sure. But it surely additionally employed that emotional mirror to hanging impact.

You realize that feeling of the previous couple of years, the place the worry and dread mutate into the anxiety-inducing suspicion that both everybody else has misplaced their minds or you might have? It’s like there was as soon as some kind of security line that tethered you to actuality, however somebody minimize it once you weren’t trying and now you’re spinning off into house, watching sanity, grace, and dignity disappear into the gap as you ping-pong in opposition to different people who find themselves going by means of the identical unsettling expertise.

One way or the other, the sequence has captured that. It’s additionally extraordinarily enjoyable.

Latest episodes function a storyline through which Mandy Patinkin runs a kangaroo courtroom referred to as Courtroom 9 ¾ out of the again of a replica retailer that turns into common as a result of he rejects the legal guidelines and statutes that shield the highly effective and sometimes make actual justice unattainable. In a world the place a state governor will show a slideshow of himself touching dozens of males’s faces as a protection in opposition to sexual harassment, Courtroom 9 ¾ leans into the insanity however with a message: Each plaintiff and defendant should look one another within the eye and say “I respect and love you” after a ruling. Respect? Love? On this local weather?


There was an episode that portrayed what life was like inside a hospital in spring 2020 for a COVID-19 affected person that burrowed into me in a means I won’t ever shake. A number of episodes litigating folks’s involvement—or not—within the Jan. 6 riot had been fascinating. The present made headlines final week when a imaginative and prescient of RBG, played by all-time legend Elaine May, arrived to supply counsel to Diane. It wasn’t a gimmick or crass, as it would sound. It was superb and shifting.

This week’s new episode opened with a slideshow of photographs of the likes of Kevin Spacey, Louis C.Okay., Scott Rudin, and R. Kelly set to “Ave Maria,” nearly just like the world’s most repugnant “in memoriam” reel honoring dangerous jackasses. Then the characters began discussing the small print of Armie Hammer’s alleged cannibalism in relation to cancel tradition and I nearly screamed. It’s wild {that a} present exists that will dare contact that.

No present has the swagger of The Good Combat, whether or not it’s not too long ago daring to show the viewers in opposition to Diane, the protagonist, or typically ready 20 minutes into the episode to launch the opening credit (actually a baller transfer). Now there’s only one factor it must do to essentially impress: Get you to freaking watch it. | ‘The Good Combat’ Is Flawless This Season. How Do I Persuade You Idiots to Watch?


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