New year, new you, right? Gone are the days when you have to hear your friends talking about a show that you're already hopelessly behind on. With that in mind, the one show to get excited about in the new year is The Good Fight. And I do mean get excited about. I have a feeling you already are excited about stuff like The Handmaid's Tale, which has such eerie parallels to our modern day politics, or the dark version of The Wizard of Oz, which sounds just creepy enough to be great. But The Good Fight is the 2017 show you should be on the edge of your seat for, even if you don't realize it yet. It takes the best parts of one of the greatest shows on television and it's helmed by a cast of talented ladies who are ready to kick ass and take names.
The Good Fight is the spin-off of The Good Wife, which just aired its finale on CBS in May 2016 after seven glorious seasons. Unfortunately, by the time it was over, The Good Wife was more notable for the amount of rumored drama than it was for any particular plot point — a far cry from the way it started out. At its height, I firmly believe that The Good Wife was the best show on TV. But then, there were all those rumors about a feud between Archie Panjabi and Julianna Margulies, who starred as Kalinda Sharma and Alicia Florrick, respectively. After that, everybody got distracted counting the number of episodes it had been since the former best friends had even shot a scene together.
So I wasn't as devastated as you might expect to learn that the show was wrapping up. Disappointed, certainly, but that all disappeared when I learned that CBS was scooping up the best character in The Good Wife — Diane Lockhart, of course, played to perfection by Christine Baranski — and plopping her into a spin-off. Plus, she'd be starring alongside Cush Jumbo, who'd joined The Good Wife in its final season as Lucca Quinn, and Rose Leslie, who may be a newcomer to this show, but has already earned my love in Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey. In the new series, Baranski and Jumbo will keep their roles from the original, which begins a year after The Good Wife ended.
Leslie plays Diane Lockhart's goddaughter Maia, who's also a lawyer. The Good Fight picks up just as Diane is leaving Lockhart, Agos & Lee, which was rocked by a financial scam that simultaneously "destroys Maia's reputation" and decimates Diane's savings, according to a synopsis on Entertainment Weekly. She joins Lucca Quinn at a Chicago law firm where I'm betting — gasp! — neither is a name partner, and we as an audience get to see the familiar character of Diane essentially remake herself, starting from square one. This is huge. This is basically what I've wanted since the beginning, because Diane was one of my favorite characters, and I was always thirsty for more backstory. So now we're going to get it, in an environment suffused with recurring favorites of mine like Sarah Steele as Marisa Gold and Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tasconi, as well as new characters played by a host of talented actors — from Leslie, of course, to Justin Bartha, to Bernadette Peters, to Delroy Lindo, who will play an opposing lawyer.
So if you've been keeping track, The Good Fight takes all the best elements of its show inspiration — the legal drama, Christine Effing Baranski, the backdrop of Chicago, the strong female characters — and infuses it into a new format with a healthy dose of political drama added, where they can really shine, free of the rumored on-set drama. I haven't even seen an episode yet, but what's not to love? Do yourself a favor and get a CBS All Access pass, so you can delight in this new show when it premieres on Feb. 19, exclusively on the channel's streaming network.