Sometimes, what you see is what you get. In the case of CBS’ new drama THE GOOD WIFE, what CBS showed us in the endless promos leading up to its debut wasn’t at all what actually aired last night.
The promos sold WIFE as a story about political scandal and its impact on a marriage when, in fact, the show is little more than a female-empowerment legal procedural. To be sure, it is a well-written, strongly-cast procedural, but a procedural none the less. The political scandal which took center stage during 95 percent of the ads took place in the first minute — which, by the way, many people missed if not tuned in for the preceding NCIS: LOS ANGELES, in a move CBS should be ashamed of — before we fast-forwarded six months to find Julianna Margulies’ Alicia starting work at a law firm. She is, of course, competing against a younger attorney (GILMORE GIRLS’ Matt Czuchry) for a spot, and the firm is ruled over by a strong woman (Christine Baranski’s ball-busting Diane) who it seems is not fond of other females with backbones. Josh Charles (SPORTS NIGHT) plays classmate-turned-coworker Will, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that he’s a potential love interest for our heroine.
One can’t blame CBS for advertising this as a “ripped-from-the-headlines” political drama given that we live in an age where senators are brought down by illicit trysts and congressmen feel free to heckle the president.
And while the cast is top-notch and the writing better than average for this type of offering, the big question remains whether people who tuned for a “stand by your lyin’, cheatin’ man” drama will stand by what THE GOOD WIFE actually has to offer.