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The Good Fight - Season 2 (CBS All Access) (1 Viewer)

Adam Lenhardt

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Now that the season's over, my rush to squeeze the entire season into a friend's one week free trial begins!

Episode 2x01 - "Day 408"
It’s not a surprise that Erica Tazel is being written out, because one of the weaknesses of the first season is that the show never figured out what to do with Barbara Kolstad. Marissa, when she’s trying to prove to Diane that she’d make a good investigator for the firm, sums the character up as follows: “She’s territorial. She thinks Bozeman prefers you.” In seven words, she sums up the entirety of Kolstad’s character development over the show’s first ten episodes. Tazel gets more to work with in this one episode than she did in all of her first season screen time combined. And her exit note is absolutely perfect; after spending so long positioned as rivals, Kolstad changes the narrative and her circumstances in a really smart way.

Rose Leslie brought a little bit more of that Ygritte to Maia Rindell in this premiere. I still think having the fallout of her father’s Ponzi scheme in the foreground rather than the background is a mistake. Alicia was always a great lawyer first, and scandal-adjacent second. Because this show has four protagonists instead of one, we don’t get to see that side of Maia and it makes her position at the firm seem untenable.

Glad to see Nyambi Nyambi and Michael Boatman promoted to series regulars. The framing device of the camera panning from car to car in the funeral procession was an elegant stylistic choice. I continue to love the back and forth between Jay and Marissa. And now that Boatman’s aboard full-time, they’re starting to utilize Julius Cain better.

Now that they’re not trying to pull one over on us with Jane Lynch’s character, she’s a lot of fun.

Audra McDonald is a big get for the series, one of the top tier of Broadway royalty at the moment. It’s interesting that she’s reprising a one-off character from season two of the mothership. The retcon of her being Adrian’s ex-wife and Carl Reddick’s daughter create fertile storytelling opportunities. The one thing that doesn’t quite line up is that the character went by Liz Lawrence in her “Good Wife” appearance, “Lawrence” presumably being her new husband’s last name. But the whole reason to recruit her as name partner is to keep “Reddick” in the firm’s name.
The Shakespearean flourish of the real estate agent’s outburst after running his divorce attorney down with his car was fun: “…kill all the lawyers.”

Episode 2x02 - "Day 415"
This outing was better than I might have expected, given that it centers around my least favorite subplot: Maia’s legal troubles. I still feel like I need a sign at the start of these little reviews: “It has been __ episodes since Maia actually performed some legal services on behalf of Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart”, but it does what “The Good Wife” did in its prime so well: showcase a court case as a chess match, with lots of moves taking place off the board.

I particularly appreciated the way the episode used the prosecution’s case to paint a portrait of Maia that was not especially flattering; she might not have been knowing participant in the Ponzi scheme, but she benefited heavily from its largess. She was supported by her parents to the tune of $300 thousand a year, more than five times the median household salary in the United States, and well over four times the average salary in the Chicago metropolitan area. This financial support included a luxurious apartment in a desirable neighborhood and extravagant vacations around the world. Alicia, at least, had experienced middle class life before she married Peter and became a politician’s life. Maia was never even introduced to the real world until her parents’ scandal, and even now has support in powerful places that can be traced back to her years of being the beneficiary of wealth and privilege.

The scene at the children’s party between Marissa and the tennis instructor’s sister was one of those scenes that you only get in a show from the Kings. The way Marissa insinuates herself into this woman’s immediate proximity, the extremely half-hearted attempt to establish one of the kids in the bouncy house as hers (and the kids’ WTF reaction), and then the quick escalation into international conspiracy, complete with burner phones was far and away the highlight of the episode. Her father would be proud.

I don’t know what Diane said to Maia’s mom in that ten minutes, but the payoff in court the next day is wonderful. We are so accustomed in this universe to seeing people do selfish things for selfish reasons that it was genuinely surprising and energizing to see Maia’s mom torpedo her deal with the feds to protect her daughter. Great bit of acting from Bernadette Peters, who seems on the fence right up until the final moment. And a great reaction from Rose Leslie in response; Maia is shocked by this turn of events, but very grateful.

The culmination of the episode, the reveal that Maia set up the phone call not to extract documents from her father that could exonerate her but to hand him over to the feds on a silver platter, was a wonderful payoff. Maia’s father is a bad man who deserves what it is coming. And she has to get into the muck a bit to make it happen.

Not sure what to make of Liz yet. She spent most of the episode helping Maia when didn’t have to. But then, at the end, she seemingly schemes to undermine Diane with Adrian.
 

Matt Hough

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I have just finished watching season two of The Good Fight. I agree it is among the most literate, intelligent, and now political shows on television. I really do love it.

And season two trumped (no pun intended) the first by not stretching out the tedious Maia/Ponzi scheme dad storyline for the entire season. For me, that was the weak element of season one (it was so obvious he and his wife were guilty, and the writers tried to institute doubt about that constantly which just didn't work), and I was glad to be rid of it. She spent the rest of the season basically being Lucca's best friend but without much legal presence on the show.

If I had one criticism it's that they're really resorting to profanity too profusely. Sure, they're free to use it in the streaming world, but its overuse makes it much less effective when it is used.

But the legal issues the shows open up and explore simply amaze each week, and the presentation of the storylines with alternating sequences in different courtrooms or various characters arguing points in different venues is so smart and exhilarating. No other show balances such complex issues in such entertaining fashion.

The Television Academy should hang its head in shame for not showering this show with nominations.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Michael Sheen joins cast as series regular:
CBS said:
11.07.2018

MICHAEL SHEEN JOINS CBS ALL ACCESS’ “THE GOOD FIGHT”


c4ce09be1d3ba63fd509a5ab9570db04.jpg


Seasons One and Two of “The Good Fight” Are
Available to Binge Now, Exclusively on
CBS All Access

Nov. 7, 2018 – CBS All Access announced today that Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominee Michael Sheen (“Masters of Sex”) has joined the cast of THE GOOD FIGHT for its upcoming third season. Season three of CBS All Access’ hit original drama series is set to premiere in early 2019, and seasons one and two of THE GOOD FIGHT are available to binge now, exclusively on CBS All Access.

Sheen will play Roland Blum, a brilliant, charismatic and Machiavellian lawyer. He is a man of appetites – drugs, sex, you name it – who’s far more interested in winning than the niceties of following the law.

Sheen is known for his starring roles in the Academy Award-nominated films “The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon” and “Midnight in Paris.” Other film credits include “The Twilight Saga” films, the “Underworld” franchise and the recent Netflix film “Apostle.” He recently completed filming opposite Robert Downey Jr. in “The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle.”

On television, Sheen has earned multiple awards and nominations for his performances in “Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!” and “Dirty Filthy Love,” as well as his portrayal of Tony Blair in HBO’s “The Special Relationship” and of Dr. Bill Masters in four seasons of the acclaimed SHOWTIME series “Masters of Sex,” of which he was also a producer. In addition, he has created memorable characterizations for NBC’s “30 Rock,” HBO’s mockumentary “7 Days In Hell,” the IFC miniseries spoof “Spoils of Babylon” and Michael Bolton’s “Big Sexy Valentine’s Day Special” for Netflix. He will next appear in Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens” for Amazon.

Season three will also include series regulars Christine Baranski, Cush Jumbo, Rose Leslie, Audra McDonald, Sarah Steele, Michael Boatman, Nyambi Nyambi and Delroy Lindo.

The world went crazy in the THE GOOD FIGHT’s second season, and now, in season three, the resistance does. Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) tries to figure out whether you can resist a crazy administration without going crazy yourself, while Adrian Boseman (Delroy Lindo) and Liz Reddick-Lawrence (Audra McDonald) struggle with a new post-factual world where the lawyer who tells the best story triumphs over the lawyer with the best facts. Meanwhile, Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) balances a new baby with a new love, and Maia Rindell (Rose Leslie) finds a new Mephistopheles in Roland Blum (Michael Sheen), a Roy Cohn-like lawyer who is corruption incarnate.

Robert and Michelle King serve as showrunners and executive producers of the series, which they co-created with Phil Alden Robinson. Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, Liz Glotzer, Brooke Kennedy and William Finkelstein also serve as executive producers. The series is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions. The series is distributed worldwide by CBS Studios International.

***​

CBS All Access Press Contacts:
Morgan Seal 646-424-4321 [email protected]
Nikki Kozel 646-472-3948 [email protected]

CBS Television Studios Press Contacts:
Elizabeth Rolnik 212-975-1553 [email protected]
Arpi Ketendjian 818-655-7221 [email protected]
 

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