Saturday, May 18, 2024

“The Good Wife” Creators Write Letter to Fans: The “Gut Punch” of Actor’s Decision

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Robert and Michelle King, creators of “The Good Wife,” posted this letter on cbs.com last night. It was to explain the shocking twist at the end of last night’s episode. They made up a word (“irredeemability”) but otherwise were straightforward about their actions. Hey: they do this on soap operas all the time. Maybe Josh Charles can come back as his lookalike cousin.

A Letter From Robert & Michelle King: Episode 515

Dear Loyal Good Wife Fans,

We, like you, mourn the loss of Will Gardner. And while Will is gone, our beloved Josh Charles is very much alive and remains an integral part of our family.

The Good Wife, at its heart, is the “Education of Alicia Florrick.” To us, there always was a tragedy at the center of Will and Alicia’s relationship: the tragedy of bad timing. And when faced with the gut punch of Josh’s decision, made over a year ago, to move on to other creative endeavors, we had a major choice to make.

We could “send him off to Seattle,” he could be disbarred, or get married, or go off to Borneo to do good works. But there was something in the passion that Will and Alicia shared that made distance a meager hurdle. The brutal honesty and reality of death speaks to the truth and tragedy of bad timing for these two characters. Will’s death propels Alicia into her newest incarnation.

Death also created a new dramatic “hub” for the show. We’re always looking for these turning points—some event midway through the season that will spin everybody’s lives in new directions. These turning points keep the show from slipping into a numbing sameness, and keep the characters fresh: because you see how they react to a completely new status quo. Will’s death in many ways becomes a hub for the whole series, violently spinning everybody in new directions.

Finally, we chose the tragic route for Will’s send-off for personal reasons. We’ve all experienced the sudden death of a loved one in our lives. It’s terrifying how a perfectly normal and sunny day can suddenly explode with tragedy. Television, in our opinion, doesn’t deal with this enough: the irredeemability [sic] of death. Your last time with the loved one will always remain your last time. The Good Wife is a show about human behavior and emotion, and death, as sad and unfair as it can be, is a part of the human experience that we want to share.

Thank you for listening…and watching and caring and inspiring us to rise to the level of your passion and intelligence. There are seven wonderful episodes to follow this season and Josh will be directing one of them. We think you will enjoy them. It’s not all tears — there is comedy too. Michael J. Fox is back for four episodes. Dylan Baker. Dallas Roberts. Stockard Channing, as well as amazing new guest actors. And of course, Julianna does some of the best work of her life. Archie, Christine, Alan, Chris and Matt as well. Life does go on.

We’ve always taken as a guiding principle of this show that drama isn’t in the event; it’s in the aftermath of the event. We think you’ll find that true of this episode

Thank you for your devotion to the show – we are continually grateful.

With all our thanks,

Robert & Michelle King

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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