Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Good Wife 2.2: Lou Dobbs, Joe Trippi, and Obama Girl

A superb Good Wife 2.2 on CBS this week, at turns riveting, delightful, and all together captivating.

The legal drama part was about as powerful as you'll find on the best lawyer show.  Will and Alicia represent an accused murderer who is acquitted, mainly because they smartly moved to exclude questionable evidence.  As Will says to Alicia, cases are won on the success of attempted exclusions.  But Cary for the prosecution is furious.  He's sure the client is guilty, and feeds a friend in the military some of the excluded evidence that makes the client look guilty.  What does the military have to do with this?   Turns out the acquitted Randy Simmons was in the military at the time the crime was committed, so they have jurisdiction - and another bite of the apple, because double jeopardy does not apply from civilian to military courts (just as it didn't with OJ from criminal to civil courts).

The military trial was outstanding, as good in its maneuvering as the kind of trial seen in A Few Good Men.   Will and Alicia face a tough judge, but they manage to out-maneuver and win her over in the end.  That was the serious part of the show.

The fun part involved the real Lou Dobbs and the real Joe Trippi as conflicting clients with the firm - conflicting because Trippi is Diane's client, Dobbs is being brought in by Derrick (Mr. Bond), and Trippi and Dobbs have bad political blood between them.   It's great to see real people woven so well into a fictional television show.

But in many ways the most fun part of the evening - with serious bite as well - concerns an Obama Girl-like video made by Florrick's former prostitute, Amber Madison.   I don't who wrote or sang the song, but it sounds exactly like the excellent hilarious work of Leah Kauffman, responsible for the writing and singing in Obama Girl.  And the production is a dead-on perfect satiric take on the original Obama Girl video produced by Ben Relles.   It's also worth noting that Amber Lee Ettinger played the original Obama Girl, and, well, as mentioned above, Florrick's prostitute is named Amber.

In our real world, outside of television, the Obama Girl video helped humanize Obama at a time when he needed to get known by Americans (see New New Media for more on the impact of the Obama Girl video on the Obama campaign).  But along with this serious impact, the Obama Girl video was fun - it was comedic satire.   The Florrick Girl video was delightful for we the viewers to see, but in the context of the show that was little funny about it.   Rather, it was created by Childs as a way of hurting Peter.   It's a Nixonian dirty trick, tailored for our viral video age, and Becca may be trying to retaliate by setting up a bogus Facebook-like page for Childs' son, where he will say bad things about his father.

I can't think of a better mix of real and fictional politics on a television show which breaks new ground with just about every episode.

See also Obama Girl Applauded in my Class at Fordham ... An Interview with Obama Girl Producer Ben Relles ... The Barely Political Revolution

and The Good Wife Starts Second Season on CBS

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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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