Saturday 2 June 2018 12.22am
‘The Good Wife’s Journey’ 2018
I know what you’re going to say! I’m giving too much credibility for a television series which – like most other shows – is a soap opera wrapped in clothing which distracts you from seeing what it actually is.
How appropriate that I’ve just seen Barry Lyndon which has achieved exactly the same thing. The adventures of this Irish lad are as tawdry and monumentally unbelievable as the arc that phrases the first episode with the last episode of The Good Wife.
It was overall a very good series for the first five seasons. Then it became a bit ridiculous. [What’s a word for something that isn’t entirely stupid but is a little bit stupid? Surely, it’s either stupid or it isn’t.]
Plot developments occurred in Season 6 which almost made me almost lose complete interest in the series. I didn’t think the events that transpired made sense given the gravity of what was at stake. Season 7 redeemed itself – but only after thirteen episodes – to such a degree that I actually enjoyed the playing-out of the last five episodes which my wife and I binge-watched tonight.
Better to be done and dusted with this series and move on to something else was where my headspace was on the first of June 2018. I thought the last episode made sense of everything created in the last season.
My wife was dissatisfied with how it ended. I thought it was as satisfying as I could ever hope for.
“I want to know what happened to everyone. You handle incomplete endings a lot better than me,” she said.
I said, “Everything is there for you to see what may or may not happen next.”
“But Jason walked away!”
“Yes, but not necessarily from her. Anything could happen.”
“But Diane and Alicia are against each other, now.”
“Maybe. Maybe not.”
In the year of watching the hundred greatest films ever made I’ve also watched seven seasons of The Good Wife with my very good wife. I didn’t think I’d be writing about a tv show on my blog but here I am and here it is.
Alicia is on a journey. She’s not the person she was in episode one and she’s probably not even a good wife anymore – to anyone. Everything is resolved and yet none of it is. The beauty of storytelling – the height, breadth and width of the canvas it has to paint a picture on – and ending a book or a film or a tv show – is that unless it ends with the death of any or several of the main characters – anything can happen – except for resurrection. Will can’t be Jason, and neither of them can be Peter.
If there is anything in life which my wife should be able to understand it is the fact that every action, every event, can be accepted or rejected, or accepted, rejected, accepted, rejected, forgiven, unforgiven and accepted or rejected and forgiven. Nothing in life is absolute except for death.
Which brings us back to Barry Lyndon. As the final intertitle says, “‘It was in the reign of King George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor they are all equal now.'”
The ugly truth of life is that when we are dead all the things that we did to the living – and the dead – ourselves included – can never be undone. The reassuring truth of a serial and its main character, Barry Lyndon or Alicia Florrick, is that as long as the writer can writer another instalment or episode, other than death, anything can be undone or corrected. How believable that can be managed, as a fiction, depends on the credibility the writer (or writers) can dream up for their character, or find a way to explain. If they’re brilliant, then they can make anyone believe anything.