‘The Good Fight’ creators: ‘There are a lot of dragon shows out there, but few that talk about the politics people are talking about’ | television

A civil war is about to break out in the United States. Political radicalization spread among citizens and the situation reached unbearable levels. This is the starting point of the sixth season of the good fight which starts on Thursday the 8th on Movistar Plus+. The one that begins now will be the latest group of chapters in a series of lawyers that ended up being far more political than originally intended. And much more than its mother series, The good wife (2009-2016).

When the creators of The good fight, the couple Robert and Michelle King together with Phil Alden Robinson, began working on the script for the first episode in the story, which will tell about the professional and personal adventures of the lawyer Diane Lockhart (Kristin Baranski) after finally separating her path from that of Alicia Florrick (Juliana Margulies) and join a predominantly black law firm in Chicago, the writers believe they will be working in a world where Hillary Clinton will be the first female president of the United States. However, when they were shooting for a few days, in 2016, Donald Trump won the election and the script for The good fight I turned around. Now the series ends with Trump leaving office and Democrat Joe Biden taking office, but with an even greater radicalization of the political landscape.

Robert King reminds EL PAÍS of this change in the series in a video conversation held a week before the premiere of the last season: “Michelle and I had to rewrite a new beginning, which ultimately gave the identity of the series. . That’s what the title says The good fight [la buena lucha]which at first was only an echo of The good wife, but suddenly it took on a new meaning for these liberal and progressive people. How do you combat the growing insanity and surrealism affecting the courts from such a radical president and administration? Then Trump was voted out and the events of January 6th came [el asalto al Capitolio de Estados Unidos en 2021]with the radicalization of political differences”.

Audra McDonald and Christine Baranski in The Good Fight.

A) Yes, The good fight it became a much more political series than it was originally intended to be. “It was clear that because our characters were interested in politics, that would be their obsession. And it was ours too,” says Michelle King. Also, there weren’t many series that dealt with current affairs. You know, there are a lot of shows with elves and dragons and stuff. But there aren’t many where the characters talk about political issues that the audience is talking about. Of course, this is a complicated job because you will always be overwhelmed by reality. But we found it much more interesting,” adds Robert King.

In this context, both the characters and the plots of the series drifted towards madness with a surreal touch that tries to reflect the absurdity of the modern world. Satire is the tool that Michelle and Robert King use best to depict reality, as they showed not only in The good fightalso in his predecessor and in his other creations, by thriller supernatural evil to pandemic horror satire The bite or politics brain death. “We just can’t help but use satire,” says Michelle King. Her husband expands on the answer: “Obviously, that’s the best way to deal with what’s going on. There are a lot of shady people on Twitter everywhere. And the more relevant you give them and the more seriously you take them, the more the madness increases. Sometimes the best way to cut it is to use humor. That’s why they combine drama and comedy in their series. “This season we wanted to reflect the idea of ​​the workplace in the middle of a war zone,” says Robert King. “But we also allow ourselves lighter episodes, like with Elsbeth Tashoni [la excéntrica abogada que interpreta Carrie Preston]. Sometimes you want to deal with big issues, and other times you want things to be a little silly.”

Robert and Michelle King, creators of The Good Fight.
Robert and Michelle King, creators of The Good Fight.Elizabeth Fisher (CBS)

The absurd and at the same time real world it depicts The good fight and the extreme political tension affecting the characters meant that the writers decided the fates of the characters and plots as the series progressed, with no preconceived plan for the ending, unlike what they say they did with The good wife. “We wanted to react to what the news brought us. For example, we were starting season five when the events of January 6, 2021 happened, so we changed everything. For this season, we read several books about what an American civil war might look like and decided to redefine things in that direction.”

And how do you make a series reflect the craziness of the real world without making it seem unbelievable? “It’s just, unfortunately, there’s nothing in the news right now that seems credible, so it’s not something we’re worried about,” says Michelle King, accompanied by her husband’s laugh. “We worry about dealing with news that might seem old when the series airs,” she adds, and he adds, “We’re focusing on timeless issues. For example, this year one of the themes will be the tension between Israel and Palestine, something that will never go away.”

Alan Cummings and Sarah Steele in a photo from the sixth season of
Alan Cummings and Sarah Steele in a photo from the sixth season of “The Good Fight”.

The political situation and the problems their characters face at work also affect them in their personal lives. Therefore, it is not surprising that The good fight revealed to the viewer a Diane Lockhart very different from the one he met The good wife. “She’s been affected more than she expected by the Trump presidency and how radical the political right has become, that was very troubling for her,” Michelle King reflected. “It’s also worrying for their marriage,” says Robert King. “She is married to a right-wing, conservative man who is very pro-Second Amendment. [que protege el derecho a portar armas]. Diane saw how politics got involved in her marriage.” And that will be another of the issues the series’ final season touches on.

universe of The good wife It has been on the air since 2009. Some characters from the parent series will return in the final episodes of its sequel to add to the sense of closure of the entire universe. Eli Gold, the political adviser played by Alan Cumming, returns to the scene and brings news of the fate of Alicia Florrick and her husband Peter, although Juliana Margulies and Chris Knott are not expected to appear. Will this be the final end of this world of lawyers? “I consider it closed right now,” says Michelle King. Her husband agrees: “We’re exhausted, we need a break. We love these characters and will probably write about them until the end of the world. But there comes a time when you have to recharge your batteries before you take on new things.”

Andre Braugher and Christine Baranski, in season six of The Good Fight.
Andre Braugher and Christine Baranski, in season six of The Good Fight.

One last question that compromises the writers: which series are they most proud of, The good wife or The good fight? “That’s a completely unfair question and I refuse to answer,” Michelle says to her husband’s laughter. “I’m in charge,” he interjects. “I’m very proud that we were able to do 22 chapters a year The good wife as long as we have. And I’m even more proud The good fight because it’s the latest. The performances in both are great. Julianna Margulies and Kristin Baranski will be tied in the competition to compare acting skills. I think it’s best for the audience to choose.”

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