When Donald Trump ascended to the White House in 2017, the creators of CBS’s The Good Fight were unable to continue his feel-good vision of an “upbeat” second season. “The current administration infected so much of the culture that it felt like people were fed up with it,” said creators Robert and Michelle King told Diversity.
And so they let it infect the show as well.
As the flagship of CBS All Access (now called Paramount+), the network’s foray into premium streaming service, the show is an exceptional presence in the American television industry. Blending gripping legal melodrama with the trenchant style of King’s hard-hitting satire of American politics, The Good Fight takes the weariness and exhaustion that accompanied the Trump presidency and turns moments of outrage and confusion into dramatic tidbits that provoke in equal parts. inform and entertain.
A spin-off of the seminal The Good Wife, the show stars Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, a veteran Hillary Clinton Democrat attorney who is forced to come out of retirement after falling victim to a malicious pyramid scheme is. To restart her career, she joins a black company in Chicago that offered her a “diversity hire” as a junior partner. Baranski is paired with a potent ensemble cast of exquisitely built, individual characters: from Marissa Gold (Sarah Steele), Diane’s unorthodox assistant, to Felix Staples (John Cameron Mitchell), the flamboyant alt-right troll born of the exact Mold is made by Milo Yiannopoulos. The show outdoes the trolls at every turn.
With its absurd satire, the plot is doused in issues of racial justice, civil rights, and most importantly, the striking realities of Trumpism. Involving virtually every public scandal of the Trump presidency, from the pee tape to the nominee judge struggling to define the Younger abstention doctrine, nothing is small enough to escape the Kings’ creative turn. The result: a fictional legal process so timely, and so radically creative compared to its Suits counterparts or even its predecessor, The Good Wife, that knowing the news is rewarded with indelible viewing pleasure.
Season 2’s “Day 485” (this season’s episodes are named chronologically after the days of the Trump presidency) sees “The Good Fight” at one of its most compelling points. With a tone of immigration justice, the show tries to expose the failures of the justice system with its satire. The company maneuvers between federal and state courts in a last-ditch effort to save their investigator, Jay Dipersia (Nyambi Nyambi), from ICE’s deportation. In this eclectic, hour-long episode, we see a procession of marshals caught between loyalties, Trump-appointed judges, sprawling bureaucracy, and scheming ICE agents who insist on the virtue of “just following the law.”
Accompanied by a brilliant soundtrack by David Buckley, even the show’s provocative opening credits are among the best I’ve seen in terms of creativity and aesthetics. It showsliterally, the explosion a litany of office utensils, vases, Chanel bags, glasses and symbols of justice. This coy storytelling and insinuations run like a thread through the show – the attention to detail and symbolism has served the show well.
A dynamic work that applies post-modern satire to a “post-truth” era, The Good Fight is embodied in many ways by its suspenseful opening credits. This latest installment of Trump-era entertainment is decimating the old to pieces and wants you to embrace the hidden gems on this tumultuous ride.
The Good Fight (Seasons 1-5) streams on Paramount+.