Tag Archives: Julianna Margulies

Parenthood and The Good Wife Feature Compelling Family Dynamics

Parenthood wasn’t on last night and I was bummed…I like hanging out with the Braverman’s partly to avoid my own family’s dysfunction but also because the NBC family isn’t perfect, either. Certainly, their troubles aren’t as wild as Kalinda’s (Archie Panjabi) on CBS’ The Good Wife, another of my must-watch television shows, but it’s those day to day moments of a family, that Parenthood offers, that are special. In contrast, The Good Wife is often all mirrors and illusions in terms of the political scene and the law firm…and the domestic life of both Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Kalinda is totally out of the realm of reality for most people. But still the character’s personal lives are what ground the show and allow for all the intrigue and high jinks on the job.

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Odds-n-Ends — Big Love, Californication and The Good Wife.

Ok…first off I have been very sick for a long time…but I’ve also been a couch potato too and watching lots of television. Let me say that watching the Sex in the City reruns, even on E, which butchers them and bleeps the curse words out…that show still holds up…is so well written and was always about the relationship between friends.

Speaking of sisterhood. I’m still reeling from the series finale of HBO’s Big Love. While I kept thinking that Bill (Bill Paxton) was definitely going to be punished for his hubris but more for trying to make his lifestyle accepted in the state, to say it was a shock that he was killed by his neighbor is an understatement. But he paid the ultimate price for his faith…like Jesus dying on the cross? I don’t know if that symbolism was present for the writers or more of the suppressed anger and rage so many people have these days that they try to solve with a bullet. 

As much as I loved the show, it was inevitable that Bill would have to be brought down as much for his wanting to go public with their lifestyle as for trying to destroy the compound. What always interested me more though and what the show was really about was the relationship between the sister wives. And that’s what the creators left us with.three very different, and often flawed women who still love each other and will keep the family together.  Was it a satisfying payoff…I am still not sure but when the show ends with the wives together with their children in a send off to Margene (Gennifer Godwin), it seemed right that the “little girl” who has grown up went out to explore the world, while Barb (Jeanne Triplehorn became a  priest holder and the empowered woman she has always been and Nicki (Chole Sevigny, who will continue to act out and represent the wounds of the radical polygamist agenda. What she said to her daughter still haunts me and it’s that part of Nicki that is very hard for me to reconcile…in an era where sister wives are on a reality show and some appeared on Oprah polgamy has gone a bit more mainstream. And that’s what the show really pulled off was that as much as that lifestyle seems so strange to me, I was always drawn to the relationships between the women…how they dealt with marriage, sex while trying to grow and develop in their own right. That they definitely did…much more I think than Bill who ended up seeming much more naive and clinging to a way of life that no longer made as much sense to the members of his own family.

On to Showtime’s Californication’s season finale last night. As I’ve grown a little sick of Hank…even though he was afraid of the prospect of going to jail (funny that both he and Bill on Big Love were facing time for statutory rape)  it seems to have made no impact on him. Or maybe it will next season. But I am really tiring of the rampant sex…and him making the same mistakes over and over. Is it realistic, yes to some degree as we humans seem to do that…but as a writer I guess I assumed that he would be more reflective.

While Rob Lowe’s character has been hilarious…and the whole movie industry and Hollywood satirized to extreme…I am sick of sex being the way the characters communicate. Hank’s relationship with his daughter is the most rewarding to watch…always has been but it would seem that he would do anything to redeem himself in her eyes.  If he’s going after them as he drives into the sunset, the question I have is why is he always chasing them but when he has them in his grasp he always messes it up. It’s time for some tough love Hank and for you to grow up.

 The Good Wife revealed a zinger, too.  Of course I’m talking about Kalinda (Archie Panjabi). Early on in the CBS drama, I suspected that she knew something about Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), that there was some secret they shared but definitely didn’t suspect it was a sexual encounter. Guess a tryst should have crossed my mind since Kalinda uses her sexuality just like she uses people so what she really wants or who she really is has always been a bit up for grabs. But now maybe we will see the real Kalinda stand up and deal with Alicia (Julianna Margulies), someone who she seems to respect. So now we wait…hopefully not too long and please creators don’t make Alicia finding out part of the cliff hanger! But please do let her see another side of Will Gardner (Josh Charles) that may give her pause and fuel her realization that he may not be that different from her husband, after all. In the end, perhaps Alicia will let both go and just be on her own…the good wife no more.

 Looking forward to watching the new episode on Tuesday.

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CBS’ THE GOOD WIFE MAY NOT BE SO “GOOD”

 Last night’s episode of The Good Wife shows lead character, Alicia Florrick (played to perfection by Julianna Margulies)  as a true competitor who fights hard to keep her job.  But she definitely has gotten herself into something with her husband’s political consultant. And she has made an enemy although I’m a bit surprised (given the trailer for next week’s episode) that  Cary (Matt Czuchry)  will go to bat to destroy her and her husband (Chris Noth).  While Cary would be mad, that storyline lacks credibility. Sure, he went on his own campaign to be kept on as the junior associate, making cracks about her age, etc. but really?

Believe me, I love that Alicia is no push-over and quietly oozes strength and independence but if you get in bed with the devil…be prepared!!! And I don’t mean devil in any Biblical sense or fire and brimstone…I mean ethically and morally.

This show explores those gray areas and doesn’t deal in strictly good and bad, black and white….like with the mysterious Kalinda (the scene stealer Archie Panjabi)…thought her attraction was to women but last night the chemistry with the detective sizzled…love that subplot!!! Does she kiss him because she’s attracted…yes, mabye…but does she want the flow of information to keep coming to help out her law firm…yes.

I do have one complaint, though. Tread carefully showrunners if you were trying to make Alicia more likeable. I’ve got to believe that even though Noth has been jailed and is not working for a long time that there was some savings in their bank accounts, investments…that she could cash out to help the family’s finances. It seems though that  the creators wanted to show her paying her bills and being frustrated or anxious so we (the viewers) would sympathetic to her actions…as cutthroat as any man.

Come on creators — don’t throw in the towel now on this great character and try to make her more likeable…PLEASE.  She is flawed, multi-faceted, vulnerable yet tough, a mother yet a career woman…a survivor — in short a real flesh and blood woman on the small screen. Amen.

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