Tuned In

The Morning After: Back to Square One?

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I’m back from vacation, which you may have surmised from the fact that, well, I’m posting things on this blog. As usual, that means a lot of catching up, so I’ll turn over this Morning After post to invite your thoughts on an increasingly crowded Sunday night of programming. (Including, besides Mad Men, Game of Thrones and Girls, the so-far-strong fourth-season return of Nurse Jackie–and, next week, the debut of Veep.) I’ll kick things off with a few quick thoughts about last night’s The Good Wife.

On the one hand, I have to enjoy how Jackie Florrick is gradually transforming into full-on Livia Soprano mode, right down to the manipulation of her son and the incapacitating “stroke.” (I sort of want to see her end up buying Peter and Alicia’s old house, just so she can customize it with a Livia-style wheelchair-lift.) And though the season got there by a roundabout method, I’m glad to see Peter throw his hat back in the political ring, in part to give Eli a more active and direct role in the series again.

As for the conclusion of the episode, I was both impressed and concerned by that final scene and image. Returning the show visually to where it began—Alicia standing by Peter, as flashbulbs go off—is a striking gesture (a little like returning to Jack’s close-up eye at the end of Lost). But I don’t want to see The Good Wife come completely full circle: one thing that I liked about the past season or so is that it showed that it could have Alicia move on from her marriage while keeping both her and Peter interesting. I don’t know that the show needs the tension of will-she-keep-standing-by-him, and I don’t want it to stretch to force an alliance between the two of them simply to re-create the tensions of the state’s attorney’s race, again and again.

That said, Peter’s run for governor could be dramatically interesting if it plays out in ways that reflect how different Alicia’s life is now, because The Good Wife has shown us it can move on from the can-this-marriage-be-saved storyline and stay fascinating. I’m hoping, in other words, that last night’s conclusion was only deja vu on the surface.

Your thoughts are welcome as always, as well as your opinions on the rest of a crowded Sunday. (Which also included NYC 22, a well-cast cop procedural whose stories are not yet as interesting as the characters.) Is your DVR full? How many days will it take you to catch up?