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.