Review: 'The Good Wife' - 'Net Work': Ripped from the Sorkin
A few thoughts on last night's "The Good Wife" coming up just as soon as I take off my shoe...
The "Law & Order" franchise popularized the idea of doing episodes that are "ripped from the headlines," but Dick Wolf and company's approach was to always start with something that was clearly a fictionalized version of a tabloid story and then quickly take a sharp left turn into something that bore only a passing resemblance to the real story. That approach always seemed to make sense, both from a "protect yourself from being sued for defamation" standpoint and from a creativity standpoint. If you take a well-known story and change the names but none of the other details, where's the suspense? What's the point?
Last night's "Good Wife," on the other hand, presented the Mark Zuckerberg/Aaron Sorkin/"Social Network" story more or less as it happened in the headlines from which it was ripped. The only tweak was the lawsuit itself, but the firm's client was clearly Zuckerberg, the douchebag screenwriter was clearly Sorkin, etc. The show tried to get around that by having a character compare their client to Zuckerberg, which was just silly; a universe in which this guy and Zuckerberg co-exist makes as much sense as a universe in which the fictional "Studio 60" and "Saturday Night Live" co-exist. It's there as an attempt to place some distance between you and what you're imitating, but it's a distance nobody buys.
So because there was no real change, the whole thing played out like the show both trying to glom onto the success of "The Social Network" and just bashing Sorkin for an hour. I've bashed Sorkin a time or 20 in the past (go read my old "Studio 60" reviews), but it got to the point where I was wondering exactly who on the show hated Sorkin this much. (Other than Josh Charles, has anyone in the cast or crew worked on a Sorkin show or movie?) So unless you just enjoy Sorkin being called out for his less endearing qualities, I found the whole A-story an example of how not to do this particular trick.
As for the rest of the episode? Clearly, Julianna Margulies needed a light schedule that week, and the Kings also wanted to keep drawing out the whole voicemail business as long as they possibly can. And while Kalinda is definitely the show's most entertaining character, I thought the whole strip interrogation scene between her and Blake was both ridiculous and maybe not the best approach to a scene in which two characters are explaining key details of the show's most complicated story arc. Putting two characters in their underwear is an easy way to make an expository scene seem more interesting, but in this case it also made the exposition so beside the point as to be instantly forgettable.
What did everybody else think of this one? And since I only write about the show on occasion, how are you finding season 2 at this point?
2008 | Drama | NRSummary: An inside look at Italy's modern-day crime families, the Camorra in Naples and Caserta. Based on a book by Roberto Saviano. Power, money and blood: these are the "values" that the residents of the Province of Naples and Caserta, have to face every day. They hardly ever have a choice, and are forc...Director: Matteo Garrone
Cast: Salvatore Abruzzese, Simone Sacchettino, Salvatore Ruocco, Vincenzo Fabricino
1985 | Comedy | PGSummary: Paul Reubens and his boyish, oddball alter-ego Pee-Wee Herman make the leap to the big screen in this cartoonish and vivid adventure from director Tim Burton.Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1941 | Animation | GSummary: Humorist Robert Benchley attempts to find Walt Disney to ask him to adapt a short story about a gentle dragon who would rather recite poetry than be ferocious. Along the way, he is given a tour of Walt Disney Studios, and learns about the animation process.Director: Hamilton Luske
Cast: Robert Benchley, Frances Gifford, Buddy Pepper, Nana Bryant
1986 | Crime | RSummary: A high school kid kills his girlfriend, but when the crime is revealed to his friends, they decide not to tell the cops. Keanu Reeves has an early role in this dark and sometimes blackly comic teen tale.Director: Tim Hunter
Cast: Crispin Glover, Keanu Reeves, Ione Skye
1970 | Family | GSummary: Disney tale in which a woman’s cats inherit her millions, and therefore become the targets of a dastardly scheme by the man desperate to get his hands on the money.Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Cast: Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway
2014 | Drama | NRSummary: A rogue businessman, a middle-aged designer and a hotshot young programmer conspire to build a computer to rival IBM's early dominance.Director: Christopher Cantwell, Christopher C. Rogers
Cast: Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis
1989 | War | RSummary: Robert Gould Shaw leads the US Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates.Director: Edward Zwick
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman
1986 | Drama | PG-13Summary: High-schooler Ferris Bueller knows everyone -- and every trick to faking an illness. So with the entire school convinced he's at death's door, Bueller grabs his girlfriend and best friend and hits the streets of Chicago for a well-deserved day off. Fed-up principal Ed Rooney is determined to catc...Director: John Hughes
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones
Let Streaming Genie help you.