I can remember hearing people chatter about The Good Wife before I began watching it. Another Netflix black hole I don’t have time for, I thought. More Americans being very dramatic about something or other while having Really Good Hair. Not for me, I scoffed.
I was Michael-Fish-in-1986 levels of wrong.
When I was finally persuaded to dip my toe in, 10 hours later (nine episodes) I was literally still there. Alicia Florrick, wife of disgraced sex scandal politician, mother of two and trained lawyer (sound familiar?) had stepped into my life and I was utterly captivated.
Sadly this week the makers of the show have revealed that The Good Wife will come to an end. (The sixth series has just landed on Netflix and the final series is currently airing on More4). The internet is brilliant at using hyperbole to tell you YOU MUST DO EVERYTHING IMMEDIATELY, but I promise you, find the time and watch The Good Wife. Having Alicia Florrick to fall back on has been like discovering a brilliant new flatmate to share secrets and open another bottle with.
Here’s why she is one of my favourite women.
1. She likes a drink
If there’s two things that Alicia Florrick always carries around, it is the heavy weight of a love that never was and a large glass of red. The minute she’s in her kitchen, a wine glass the size of a small sink is produced and filled generously. Even her children comment on her drinking. And when not drinking at home, she’s at the bar with her boss or colleague knocking back whiskey. Oh, how I identify.
2. She’s ridiculously good at her job
Alicia returns to work after a decade off raising kids. And it’s not easy – a fortysomething woman competing with jumped up twentysomething law grads for jobs. But as she climbs higher and higher, we are endlessly reminded how smart and how capable she is. And we are also reminded how rare it is to watch a woman just be brilliant at what she does for 40 minutes. An episode of Alicia is worth 1,000 motivational Instagram quotes or any How to Ask for a Pay Rise seminar. The answer is simple: #BeMoreAlicia.
3. She’s not afraid to take on her mother-in-law
If you’ve ever had a mother-in-law you don’t like (who hasn’t?), watch for this alone. All the things I wish I’d ever said to my ex’s mother come into fruition. In fact, I might start take notes for future reference.
If there’s two things that Alicia Florrick always carries around, it is the heavy weight of a love that never was and a large glass of red
4. She’s not afraid of anyone, for that matter
Drug dealers, politicians, owners of multibillion-dollar companies, serial killers, her cheating husband, his cunning aid, her son’s scheming girlfriend. It doesn’t matter who. Alicia will say what needs saying. (Apart, of course, from when it’s to tell the man she loves that she loves him).
5. She’s got some stories to tell about men
The men in Alicia Florrick’s life are handsome, wear great tailoring, run Chicago and give the kind of intense stares that if happened to you in real life would make you think you were moments away from being buried alive. I can’t say anything because spoilers are like trolls on the internet; unwanted and nasty, but I can say this; for a honest, raw account of a power struggles in marital life; for a depiction of love and lust and fantasy; for the story of sacrifice and thinking what we should do over what we want to do; Alicia Florrick’s stories of the heart are of War and Peace epic proportions.
6. She thinks she’s a terrible mother, but she’s not
What is so great about Alicia is that she is a mother but she’s not defined by being a mother. She’s torn between not being with her kids enough and not being at work enough. She wonders if her marriage has impacted on how they’ve turned out. But as with all things Alicia, her parenting comes with a sincerity that simply says we can only do our best – even if we fuck things up.
7. She reminds us that no matter how complicated life becomes, we shouldn’t let anything stand in the way of what we want
Of course, Alicia earns megabucks, her hair is actually perfect, and good looking men circle her like most of us do a Cos sale. But what I so love about Alicia is that despite the fact she finds life hard, that things go wrong (and lord knows she needs a drink), she is a fighter.
Alicia is a modern woman – and I don’t mean in a 1980s Have It All way – but in a 2016 Life is Often A Shit Show But It Has Good Moments Too And We’ve Just Got to Dust Ourselves Off And Keep Going way. Alicia is firefighting a thousand things and she’s often the last thing on the list but she never completely forgets herself. And in turn, Alicia allows us to remember ourselves. Modern women aren’t just busy, they’re refusing to be ignored or forgotten. And there’s no way you'd forget Alicia Florrick.