I’m Running Away with ‘The Good Wife’

Photo: David M. Russell ©2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

Photo: David M. Russell ©2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

After watching the “Hitting the Fan” episode of The Good Wife early last week, I tweeted “I want to whisk next Sunday’s episode of #TheGoodWife off to a romantic weekend in Paris. I love it that much.”

Sunday’s episode of the CBS drama was easily its best. But it was also one of the best hours of television this year and, I’ll just go ahead and say it, one of the best hours of television ever. It combined nail-biting suspense with humor and, most shockingly, the lead character’s decision to turn her back on her inner moral compass.

Not only is it rare for a series to hit such a creative high in its fifth season, but who would have thought the show would be in this position at this time last year when Kalinda was mired in a Fifty Shades of Food Products story line with her sneering ex-husband. Is this what the term October surprise really means?

The genius of the show is that it successfully mixes the courtroom drama with the work place drama with the political drama with the romantic drama with the family drama. And it’s doing that brilliantly this season. Here’s what’s going so right:

The Moral Downfall of Alicia
Alicia not only allowed Peter to threaten Neil Gross. She celebrated the fact that he did (and I’m not convinced that she didn’t explicitly ask him to make that speech). She was drinking champagne. Alicia started the series in horror of her husband’s transgressions. Now she’s embracing them. Alicia has always been a fascinatingly complex character but it’s so rare that a network show allows their main protagonist – their title character! — to break bad.

You can read the rest of this post at Antenna Free TV.

How are you feeling about The Good Wife this season? Talk about it below.

Staging an Intervention for ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS © 2013

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS © 2013

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

When I talked to Carter Bays at TCA Press Tour (you can read that interview here), I told him that I only criticize How I Met Your Mother because I love the show so much. And it’s true. If I’m indifferent towards a show, you won’t hear me talk about it.

My affection for HIMYM runs deep. I’ve watched the show since the pilot and was an early champion of the series. True story – my husband and I talked about our love for HIMYM on our first date.  And let’s be honest, whatever happens this season and no matter how frustrated I get, I’ll be watching until the very last frame. (By the way, I remain very concerned that The Mother is dead in the future. And my interview with Bays did not assuage those fears.)

Bays and HIMYM co-creator Craig Thomas are two of my favorite people in the industry. They love talking about their show as much as we love watching it. I so admire what they’ve done with HIMYM – has any other comedy run for nine seasons on a central mystery? A mystery that was announced in the title? The intricate way they’ve told the story of five friends navigating their lives and romances in New York City truly is like nothing else on television. Over the years the show has provided me with some of my favorite laughs (I still crack up about Lily asking Marshall, “Do you want to finish your bacon first?” in “Not a Father’s Day.”), favorite scenes (I love Ted’s two minute date with Stella in “Ten Sessions”), favorite catch phrases (The show will always be legendary to me.) and favorite recurring jokes (The gang can stage an intervention for me any time). I love Bays and Thomas’ love of pop culture. Marshall’s diatribe last week about Princess Bride was the best.

But the show is testing my loyalty. After a strong premiere, these last two episodes have been ROUGH. Maybe the show is trying to distract me from worrying about Winston on New Girl or how I still can’t care about any of the interns on Grey’s Anatomy. Because this week I am consumed with concern for HIMYM.

Let’s talk about my issues:

  1. Not enough flash forwards. My anxiety about the entire season taking place over the wedding weekend was placated by the promise that the action would frequently flash forward to show Ted and The Mother’s burgeoning romance. And I loved the scene at the end of the season premiere that showed the happy couple returning to the hotel a year into their romance. There was an easy, believable rapport between Ted (Josh Radnor) and The Mother (Christin Milioti). Their chemistry was palpable. I totally believed I was watching two people in love and I was happy for Ted. Which leads to the next problem . . .
  2. Not enough of the Mother: Milioti has been missing from the last two episodes. Where is she? Didn’t The Mother arrive to play at the wedding? Wouldn’t she be staying at the hotel? I (perhaps naively) assumed that since Milioti was made a series regular this season, we would be seeing her in every episode. As Adam Vitcavage pointed out in his review of this week’s episode, Robin’s diatribe about how she doesn’t like other women would have been the perfect opportunity for the camera to at least flash to The Mother. We’ve waited eight years for The Mother. Don’t keep her from us now.
  3. Remote Marshall: We all knew this story line was going to be a concern but it’s turned out to be worse than I anticipated.  As so many of you have pointed out, maybe limited screen time was part of Jason Segel’s deal if he agreed to come back for the final season. Who knows? But the whole story line is so awkward. Marshall needs to be back with the gang and fast. And is anyone else worried about who is watching baby Marvin during all of this? He never seems to need to eat or have a diaper change or cry. Honestly the only thing that would make this story line more annoying is if Marshall and Daphne picked up Jimmy and Ellis from Smash and took them along for the ride.
  4. The show is spinning its wheels: As much as I do like the recurring joke of “Thank you Linus,” and as happy as I was to see Patrice again, these last two episodes have felt like complete fillers. Nothing is happening to move the story line forward. NOTHING.

How are you feeling about HIMYM so far? Talk about it below.