Public Service Announcement 10 of 2015: The Good Wife, Fortitude, Catastrophe

I think Unpopcult’s love for The Good Wife has been well-documented: ferociously intelligent, well-plotted, brilliantly acted, and often very funny, it’s the best network drama around. One could make a case for it being arguably the best pound-for-pound show of any sort on TV just now, and with every season its status increases. In its fifth season, The Good Wife – which won Best Drama in our end-of-year poll, with Juli, Josh, Walicia, and even Damian scoring as well – managed to successfully negotiate the loss of a crucial and much-loved character with dignity and grace, possibly emerging even stronger at the other end. As in previous years UK viewers are getting it in January, which leaves us a few weeks behind. But it’s always worth waiting for, and CJ will be back on the week-by-week reviews (tonight, More4, 9pm)

We’re more equivocal about big new Sky Atlantic production Fortitude, showing on Pivot (?) in America round about now as well. On the face of it there’s no reason not to watch. It’s a crime thriller set in Svalbard, Norway – a place which is fascinating in itself – in a community so rural that polar bears are an ever-present threat. It has a remarkable cast, including Christopher Eccleston, Michael Gambon, Sofie Gråbøl, and the wonderful Stanley Tucci. And the advance word suggests it’s good. But can we be bothered? The decision is made more difficult by Sky borrowing a leaf from the BBC’s playbook-for-idiots and starting with a two-hour episode (tonight, Sky Atlantic, 9pm).

And finally a sort of retrospective PSA. New British comedy Catastrophe, created, written by, and starring Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, is currently performing minor miracles on Monday nights, pulling off the trick of being adorably sweet, filthy, and funny all at the same time. The first two episodes are still available on 4OD; meantime, Horgan and Delaney can start clearing some mantelpiece space in anticipation of the awards with which they’re going to be showered. And it’s already been renewed for a second season, by someone who recognises TV gold when they see it (Mondays, Channel 4, 10pm).

Also on: part 2 of the first season of Scorpion (Thursday, ITV2, 9pm). And coming soon: Nurse Jackie, The Mentalist, NCIS: New Orleans, Looking, H50, The Blacklist, and more.

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12 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement 10 of 2015: The Good Wife, Fortitude, Catastrophe

  1. CPS January 29, 2015 / 4:52 pm

    I’m not loving season 6 of The Good Wife. Most of it has seemed implausible to me. The legal stuff has always been TV lawyering for the shock value but it kind of jumped the shark for me with the Cary case. You’ll see it for yourself.

    Then they have Alicia doing something which I just can’t buy into as storyline and her being clueless as to the process.

    Poor Kalinda is still being treated like a stepchild (rinse and repeat) on the show. I’m glad Archie Panjabi is leaving for her own show. She deserves a better role.

  2. e January 29, 2015 / 11:13 pm

    I loved the first ep of the season with the Cary case. And then it lost me. Very, very quickly.

  3. CJ Cregg January 29, 2015 / 11:36 pm

    Catastrophe is ADORBS. I’m totally on board the Rob/Sharon ship – their relationship is lovely.

    • Jed Bartlet January 30, 2015 / 8:05 am

      Technical point – can we ship them if he’s knocked her up and they’re living together? Has that, um, ship not sailed?

      • CJ Cregg February 1, 2015 / 8:54 pm

        As self-appointed arbiter, I have considered this and am of the view that since, at the moment, they are ostensibly *mainly* getting married because of the baby rather than it being a confirmed love match (although it totally is), we can still ship them. It’s like all those historical romance novels where the marriage of convenience turns into true love 4eva.

        Also – dude, we NEED to ship somebody round here, don’t take this one away from me!

        • Jed Bartlet February 1, 2015 / 11:30 pm

          *puffs on pipe, looks thoughtful, ponders*

          So until they say they love each other, we can ship them? Hm. Not convinced.

          • CJ Cregg February 2, 2015 / 7:45 pm

            Dude, that is totally the shipping litmus test! And even if it isn’t, I refer you to the final line of my previous comment. Do not take this one away from me!

  4. Snoskred January 30, 2015 / 2:25 am

    While the storylines might be annoying, they have stepped it up a notch fashion wise this year. Diane wears an amazing leopard print coat at one point that had my jaw on the floor, it was that gorgeous. 🙂

  5. e January 10, 2016 / 11:50 pm

    So just watched Fortitude. Some very good actors. Some beautiful locations. Kind of a stupid story, with people carrying the “idiot ball”, and unnecessary soap opera hijinks. Liked the pacing, the direction, but…the story just didn’t do it for me.

    By the way, if you haven’t watched Detectorists, please do so.

    • Jed Bartlet January 11, 2016 / 1:19 pm

      I’ve never yet watched it, although the weight of word-of-mouth suggests I’m missing out.

  6. Snoskred January 12, 2016 / 2:48 am

    And I thought season 6 of The Good Wife was not great.. season 7 is Not Great At All. It is like two or three shows cobbled together – you rarely see Alicia with the other cast members anymore, there is a silly presidential storyline.. it is all very meh.. disappointing.. especially when you happen to catch an older episode with Will in it and the cast interacting together the way they used to.. 😦

    • Jed Bartlet January 12, 2016 / 7:51 am

      Coming to the UK before the end of January, Snoskred – we’ll be reviewing as ever.

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