April 23rd, 2010 by thetvchick
On Wednesday night, I had the privilege of attending The Good Wife panel at the Paley Center. The Good Wife was a favorite of mine in the fall and consistently beats out its competition. I find it very different from other procedural dramas because I really care about the characters. The cases are important too, but that’s not the main focus. At the beginning, guests were treated to a screening of the next new episode, which I will say is quite riveting. The end made the audience gasp.
Matt Roush from TV Guide moderated the panel and introduced the panelists: Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, Archie Panjabi and Matt Czuchry. (Side note, Matt Czuchry got to the Paley Center really early and sat looking rather bored for a while…oh Logan Huntzberger). There was also an empty chair, which was later occupied by Christine Baranski. The loudest applause was probably for Julianna but Archie was a close second.
Julianna said she was looking to get back into TV, but she was originally looking for a cable show because she was going to be a working mom. When the script came in front of her, she said she had to take it, and it happened to be on network TV. She thought the writing was so good on the show, so she was not surprised it was embraced. She was very pleasantly shocked. When asked about the 10 pm time slot, she said that the choice to put Jay Leno on at 10 took away what 10 pm TV was supposed to be about…disappearing into a drama. She was absolutely thrilled they killed Jay Leno in the ratings. (Go Julianna!) She talked about how in film and theater you can map out someone’s life, but in TV you have to be more spontaneous.
She was then asked a question we have all been wondering about: “Will she crack?” Julianna promises that it’s gonna come! She explained it has to be very tricky because there’s so much she’s been holding together. When asked who she is rooting for, Alicia and Will or Alicia and Peter, she says she has gotten so many different fan reactions. At that point, Matt Czuchry chimed in, joking that they have shirts for Team Will and Team Peter. He was currently wearing a Team Will shirt but will be sleeping in a Team Peter shirt. He also claimed he made the shirts and all proceeds go to him. He joked that he was hoping to ride the success of Twilight with their “Team” memerobilia. The questions then went over to Josh Charles, about Will and Alicia. Josh said that Will is a lonely guy because of his career success. However, Alicia has re-awakened his passion for the law and his heart. He felt the Alicia/Will missed connections episode felt right and organic, and Julianna agreed.
And then Roush asked the question we’d all been waiting for: How does Kalinda swing? Can I just say for a moment how lovely and soft-spoken and wonderful Archie Panjabi is. She’s absolutely nothing like Kalinda (although she did wear similar boots and discussed that a little) but she was truly incredible. I would have loved to hear more from her. When asked this question, Julianna explained to Archie that phrase is American for sexual preference. There was a huge audience gasp as Archie said that in the last episode we will get an idea of Kalinda’s sexual preference. They discussed Kalinda’s boots, which Panjabi said she’d never worn before. Julianna joked that there is a blog just about Kalinda’s boots. Czuchry (full of quips this guy) said he created it. Archie said she was nervous about playing Kalinda in the beginning, because she’s never played a character like that.
It’s at this point that Christine Baranski enters the room to lots of applause. She was filming out in Long Island and that’s why she was late. The Q&A continues when Roush asks about the finale episode and if it changes the series. Julianna talked about how sad they all were after filming the episode, and it’s really sad to find out who wins the Cary/Alicia bake off so to speak. Christine explains it was like losing a member of the family and that the earth kind of moved. She then proceeded to give away a HUGE HUGE spoiler. The audience collectively gasped and she put her head in her hands. I’m not one to spoil something so major, and I doubt anyone at the show wants this getting out, so you’ll just have to wait until the season finale.
When everyone got over this initial shock, the discussion moved along nicely. Christine was asked about the storyline with the ballistic expert and she said that she longs to show different colors and the ballistic expert was such a great gift. The comparison is raised about James Carville and his wife and how do they sit at the same dinner table (I believe it was Julianna who asked that question), to which Christine added no one else will have them. Josh Charles was quick with a witty comeback when he told everyone that James Carville was his cousin. (This cast might be on a drama but they were QUITE hilarious). The topic of writers came up and the cast spoke about how they are brilliant at taking the audience one way and then going the other.
One of my favorite parts of the night was when discussing the future episodes, Josh Charles joked that he was actually going to tell us what happens at the end of Lost. (See what I mean, this cast was so funny). But back to the show discussion. Julianna talked about how they are able to draw from the richest actor pool because they tape in New York and the theater world is right there. She hasn’t reached out to any wives in Alicia’s situation, however, the day after Peter Florrick admitted he wanted to run again, Eliot Spitzer was on the cover of the paper saying the same thing. She said it was no longer art imitating life, but the other way around, and she thinks that’s why the show is such a hit. When the show first started, she said that they can’t cast an Eliot Spitzer, they had to cast a Bill Clinton. And she thought the casting of Chris Noth was genius. When asked about lawyers on staff, Julianna said most lawyers have given up law to become screenwriters and they are on staff.
Besides the rather large slip up that Chrisitne Baranski made, they were very hush-hush about spoilers. They wouldn’t give up much in the Will/Alicia department, but I’d honestly rather be surprised. At the end of the next episode, there is a major thing that happens in that department, but it’s more fun to just watch. The cast was lovely, hilarious and charming. The only one I wanted to hear more from was Archie, but overall, it was a fantastic panel and a great evening. The Paley Center in New York doesn’t get enough credit for the great events they put on, and this was just one of them. I’m so glad The Good Wife is coming back (hopefully for many more seasons) because it is such a great show and it was nice to see that the actors are equally as great.Tweet