How do you rebuild a life?

Rothman-The-Good-Wife-690I’ve been thinking about this New Yorker article about The Good Wife for almost a year now. It is just so incredibly spot on about the challenge of recreating a new life after yours falls apart.

Writer Joshua Rothman discusses how, up until Season 6, The Good Wife “was essentially a humanist show–a drama about acuity, vitality, and resilience…”  But then, the show took a turn toward darkness, as the writers did something unusual: they devoted an entire season to their heroine’s limitations. “[Alicia has] had what amounted to a wasted year,” he says, “a year in which she alienated her friends, neglected herself and her family, and put too much effort into the wrong things….we’ve watched her swimming furiously but getting nowhere.”

Season 6 FRUSTRATED me as a viewer. Rothman’s points made me realize that I (along with most of the rest of us) are BAD at watching this kind of uncertainty, either on television or in real life. I love the possibility of a tidy wrap up with a happy (or at least satisfying) ending. I hate the wait between one life collapsing and the next getting enough air to survive.

Rothman laments Alicia’s lack of a clear vision for her future, as if that’s something one can pick up at Nordstrom’s or Target when your old one has collapsed.  But then he goes on to reveal the fallacy in this thinking, and even offers some ideas for how this show (and we) might move forward. It’s a fabulous read.

Phil Vischer: serious hilarity

cover170x170A friend turned me on to the Phil Vischer podcast, and I’m a fan. He co-hosts with author Skye Jethani, and they strike an amazing balance between serious conversation and humor. I’m listening to episode 195 as I write this, and so far they’ve covered Skye’s trip to Disneyland (where he was racially profiled by security multiple times and somehow made me laugh out loud with his take on it), an April Fool’s joke with a faux press release from the makers of Christian movies repenting for their schlocky products and promising to use real actors and scripts written by professional writers in the future, and the question of whether atheism is a religion. Their guest is “The Friendly Atheist” Hemat Mehta, and the good natured tone of the entire conversation is fantastic. If  you’re looking for entertaining & thought provoking input for your commute (or to take the tedium out of some other aspect of daily life) this is a delight.