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September 29, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-09-29

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, September 29, 2014 - 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, September 29, 2014 -

You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
Viola Davis gets
away with 'Murer'

Cony is the new black.
'The Good Wife'
continues streak

Daily Arts Writer
There's nothing nice about
Any time we dive into the
characters and plot in a murder

mystery we
enter into
a world of
secrets, lies,
passion and
as Raymond
once wrote

How To Get
Away With

CBS drama focuses
on supporting cast in
season sixpremiere
There is no easy way to
follow up season five of "The
Good Wife." We sat riveted as
Alicia broke
off from A
Gardner and
successfully Wife
built a Sundays9pm
warehouse CBS
law firm with
her trusty
sidekick Cary. We were floored,
devastated by the death of
our hero Will Gardner (Josh
Charles), and then quakingly
proud as Diane and Alicia
began % to 'rebuild their, livesi a
It was a flawless 'season of
television, including the last
moment, when Eli Gold (Alan
Cumming, "Web Therapy")
turned with curious eyes to
Alicia and asked her to run
for state's attorney - the very
position her husband held at
the beginning of the series.
This kind of subtle symmetry is
why "The Good Wife" has been
able to improve for five straight
seasons - and the sixth season
premiere is no different.
"The Line" proves that even
six seasons and some major
plots twists in, showrunners
Robert and Michelle King
know exactly what their line
is. The sixth season dives right
back into the scene between
Eli and his Saint Alicia, with
Alicia casually brushing off
any possible chance of her
candidacy, glass of red wine in
hand. Already there is a quiet
shift in character significance
- the show flashes next to
Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry,
! "Gilmore Girls") as he is
walking out of Florrick/Agos,

on the phone with his star-
crossed love. Suddenly, he is
shoved to the ground by two
police officers and taken to
a holding cell, not given a
phone call despite his lawyerly
protestations. Through the
clever reintroduction of A.S.A.
Finn Polmar, the man who was
with Will in his final breaths,
(a tragically shorn Matthew
Goode, "Belle") it comes to
light that Cary is in a bad spot
- arrested for aspisting in the
sale of 900 grams of heroin,
which earns him a bail of $1.3
And then the opening credits
begin. The classically "Good
Wife" extended intro quietly
repositions the men in Alicia's
life. What once was a show
surrounding Alicia's inner
conflict between Will and her
husband Peter, now focuses
on these three men: Eli the
irksome "meheerleader, Cary-
friend and partner and the sly
promise of something more
with enigmatic Finn, friend
and rival. It's a testament to
Alicia's character that despite
the intense loyalty fans felt
towards Will, the crackling
chemistry between her and
Finn is exciting rather than
Though jailed (and at one
point gratuitously shirtless)
Cary is the focus of. the
episode, in particular during a
moment of shocking, suspense-
less violence instigated by
terrifyingly suave drug lord
Lemond Bishop (Mike Colter),
once again he is just a backdrop
for things to happen to. Despite
Czuchry's talents, Cary has yet
to really be given a chance to do
something, instead functioning
as the underplayed Will to
Alicia's Diane. Hopefully with
the new era of Florrick/Agos/
Lockhart he can take on the
more proactive role that Will
once held.
A major question at the end
of season five - will Diane join

the new firm? - is
pushed to the bai
in light of Cary's
Considering Diane's
at the end of the last
her new role seemed in
and the King's wise
building up the me
matter-of-factly r
her decision to leave
and Lee behind. Thor
have little interactior
premiere, the prospect
and Diane working
once again is highly pr
especially considering
most poignant scenesc
five were between th
Despite the few i
of surprising violenc
Line," like most w
"Good Wife" episodes,
build. At this point, tl
are confident in the st
their characters, andc
'choose their nuggets o
never flooding the epis
moments that shock.
the premiere is sur
funny, much of thi
relief coming from E
sardonic daughter
(Sarah Steele "Spa
who pokes fun at Peter
reliable gravitation
If the promos
indication, upcoming
will be action-pack
to the premiere's
introduction. With C
in jail, and Diane na
her break from thec
"The Good Wife" c
again prove its ve
quiet ambiguity and h
drama, quippy come
full-throttle melodr
compelling c
development and in
court battles. Alicia
a wife in name only,
relative goodness is<
but as proven in "Th
"The Good Wife" con
grow even six years in.

t season,
ly avoid
ugh they
n in the
'of Alicia
that the
of season
e two of
e, "The
is a slow
he Kings
rength of
f drama,
ode with
e comic

in his essay
"The Simple Art of Murder," "the
frustration of the individual, and
hence afrustrationofthe race."
We've played these games
before. We've watched the shows,
read the books and played games of
guess-who until the final third-act
The point is that viewers have
much higher standards for crime
shows than they used to. They
need to be surprised, enamored,
disturbed, entertained, intrigued
and drawn in until the very last
scene. We know the game, and we
know the rulesto play itby. Creator
Peter Nowalk and executive
producer Shonda Rhimes have
played as well, and like the
enigmatic Professor Annalise
Keating (Viola Davis, "The Help"),
they play much better than we do.
The show begins with four law
students at a prestigious university,
panicking. They are in the woods

somewhere, trying to figure out
how best to hide all of the evidence
linking them to someone's murder
- the identity of whom is withheld
untilthe very end of the episode.
Then flash back three months
earlier. New student Wes Gibbins
(Alfred Enoch, the "Harry Potter"
series) walks into a class with
legendary law professor and
defense attorney Annalise Keating.
You have to imagine Annalise
and Olivia Pope from "Scandal"
having a Kenobi-Luke Skywalker
relationship once upon a time,
though this doesn't take place in
the same arena as Pope's Gladiators
(so far as we know). Annalise,
however, is far more dubious than
Rhimes's anti-heroine. It's also
what makes her dangerous. She
might have come from the same
house that made "Grey's Anatomy"
but Keating would find her wits
far more matched by the likes of
Claire Underwood from "House of
Cards" than Meredith Grey. Or for
that matter, even OliviaPope.
Onescene involves Weswalking
in on Professor Keating in quite
possibly the' most awkward.
situation you could imagine for
any student. He finds out that
his professor is having an affair
with another man. When she
confronts him about it, she shows
justhowslyshe canbe, convincing
both Wes and the viewer of her
struggling marriage. It's later in
the courtroom, however, when we
find out the affair might very well
be just another tool Keating was

using to manipulate the case to her
favor, exploiting her lover, a cop,
by undermining his testimony and
ruiningthe case ofthe prosecution.
"I want to be her," one of the
students proclaims.
Needless to say, Davis steals the
show. Keating definitely looks to
be one of the breakout characters
of the fall and Davis brings the
performance you'd expect from
an actress of her caliber. Davis
manages to craft a character that's
charismatic, admirable, flawed,
'tough, manipulative, brilliant, sly
and everything else you've ever
felt about that favorite professor of
yours who knows a little too much
to be nice.
The show's still young and has
a lot of room for improvement.
Hopefully, the show chooses to
focus more on Keating than the
However the minor plot
issues aside, Rhimes, Norwalk
and company definitely seem
to have found a great vessel for
the stylized soap and pulp that
Rhimes is a master of forming
into high entertainment. Like
the days of Agatha Christie and
Raymond Chandler himself, this
seems to be a series focused not
on simple whodunnits but on the
underlying foundations for why
and how people commit murder:
love, jealousy, passion and revenge.
As Miss Marple once said, "there's
never anything simple about
murder." Professor Keating would
more than agree.

li Gold's
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toward E MIi I !Call: #734-418-4115
Email: dallydisplay@gmaltcom
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