In the last two months, I have binge watched the first five seasons of The Good Wife. (I am now begrudgingly paying Amazon 2 bucks an episode to catch up on Season 6.) I have become immersed in the world of Alicia Florrick as she navigates through her family scandal, raises her kids, negotiates and fights for her clients, and her own survival. I have cheered when she wins, cringed when she makes a shady deal, and literally wept for joy the first time she finally kissed Will Gardner. (I have loved Josh Charles since Dead Poets Society and truly fell in love with him in college as my roomie and I watched Threesome more times than can be counted. #musicmother)
Having had no previous knowledge of anything about The Good Wife other than knowing it was Emmy winning and well-received, I had no idea what was coming in Season 5, Episode 15. (*If you don’t know, stop reading, right now.) I also had no idea that a television show would become a short term companion on coming to grips with death, grief, and ptsd.
When the tragedy of this episode occurred, I found myself gasping for air. The tragic, gruesome, and sudden death of my favorite character (Will) left me anxious, my heart palpitating, and my brain swirling with memories of the worst day. I had to look away and cover the screen in the mortuary scenes. It was too real. This was the first time in my life where I have struggled to keep the fourth wall. I am an educated person; why does this feel like it is more than a television drama?
As I watched the few episodes that followed, I found myself grieving with Alicia. Her process of confusion, anger, sadness, unexpected breakdowns, exhaustion, and consumption of wine all mirror my own process grief. One night, I had to turn off the show and turn to another (thanks Josh and Toby) because it just seemed all too close. Yet, I kept watching and somehow, as she walked through the mire, I felt a sense of hope. While my grief is far from healed and I can’t wrap up all the pain in a 46 minute episode, I still feel like I know I’ll find light at some point. I can’t predict when or where or how, but I know it is there.
And while I can now watch TGW with less angst and more criticism (seriously, the Cary/Kalinda thing…I just don’t get it. Also, Alan Cumming is always perfection), I feel a bit of gratitude. Somehow I was meant to watch this show at this time and recognize my own issues through this well-crafted character. And for that, I thank St. Alicia.
PS-Here is some Matt Czuchry eye candy. You’re welcome.