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The second, and most recent, season of CBS All Access’ critically acclaimed legal series The Good Fight tackled numerous ripped-from-the-headlines issues including immigration policy under the Trump administration, the nuances of the #MeToo movement, fake news and even the potential impeachment and assassination of the president.
And for the third season of The Good Wife spinoff, production on which begins next week, the writers will delve even further into the current political and cultural reality, exploring how broader social issues affect the characters personally.
“I think that season three is going to focus a little more on the personal relationships and how living in the Trump age is affecting intimacy,” star Christine Baranski told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of a Paleyfest NY panel with the Good Fight team earlier this week, adding that viewers would see more of Diane and her husband Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole). “I think the show is going to address this big gender moment that we’re experiencing now with the #MeToo movement — how it’s affecting the workplace and the marriages and relationships and how men and women talk to each other. It’s a very prickly time.”
Later, during the panel discussion, co-creator and showrunner Robert King said the upcoming season would explore the resistance to the Trump administration, which Diane (Baranski) and Liz (Audra McDonald) would join, and racial strife within the show’s primarily African-American law firm.
“It’s about the idea of the resistance,” King said. “What is the resistance? The writers over the summer read The Prince. How much is it Machiavelli? How much is it [Michael] Avenatti? The line is when they go low, we kick them in the balls. Is it that or do you lose yourself? The Good Wife was ironic, too, because she was good the way the public saw her, but there was always a badness in her. The question is with The Good Fight, is is it going to have an element of badness?”
He added, “With regard to the firm, there’s racial strife. This has always been a bit of a happy … musical. But the bottom line is when race raises its head, can you close that Pandora’s box in the firm. … Some of the fun with The Good Wife was breaking apart happy family because sometimes people in tension are more fun than they are in love. So I think we’re going to see that a lot this year, a breakup. One of the interesting things about the show is the racial divide, and is it something among liberals where liberals think they’ve handled the racial question when really they have not?”
With respect to Liz and Diane, McDonald told THR that she wanted to see her and Baranski’s characters continue to work together as they had at the end of season two, after overcoming friction between the two of them at the beginning of the season.
King also teased that, in a Shakespearean development, “all of the characters have soliloquies.”
“They’re all motivated in some ways, but we’re trying to free up the structure,” he said.
And the show will draw inspiration from the recent Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation, with King revealing that pro-life, “culturally conservative” Trump supporter Julius Cain (Michael Boatman) would be courted by the Federalist Society to become a judge.
“We want to see how the Federalist Society grooms judges, because it’s actually fascinating.” King explained. “The Democrats sometimes make fun of what they crave. … A grooming system for judges is interesting. To see Julius have to go through what you’re allowed to say and what you will not allow yourself to say to get through the process — that’s what’s interesting.”
Boatman also shared some insights as to how he was able to understand Julius’ politics after initially being shocked to learn that his character was a Trump supporter.
“Initially I was horrified, but an actor’s job — you never want to not relate to your character, so what has been therapeutic for me is every time I have that reflexive moment of watching someone on MSNBC who might share Julius’ politics as they’ve been developed, I’d normally go, ‘I can’t,’ and just turn the channel. Now I’m like, ‘OK, let’s see what [this person has to say].’ Because it has to be real. In a strange way, it has been somewhat therapeutic and it has solidified me, Michael Boatman, my own beliefs about what I think is right and what we should be doing as a nation.”
Boatman also drew upon his own family, specifically a group from New Orleans who came up to Chicago in the Great Migration, who were conservative Baptists and a lot of whom had served in the military.
“I was sort of interested in finding, what’s changed about conservative, because the conservative family members that I remember weren’t crazy,” he said. “I wanted to find a way in that was relatable to me into whatever. … [Julius] could be someone who fully voted for Obama and now there are other reasons why he’s a conservative. … So, for me, I wanted to stay away from the craziness and understand it.”
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