The Good Wife – going bad?

The most recent episode (number 18, “Boom”) has Alicia playing a little dirty in the courtroom to rattle opposing counsel Jonas Stern, in order to let his mental deficiencies show to all the world.  She was also rather cavalier towards Peter, and did in fact utter the much played lines from the trailer “I don’t much care what you are…It’s over.” before walking out of the apartment to have dinner with Will…

I hope the writers take note of this – if you make Alicia a less likable character, people won’t want to watch her as much. Yes. Peter has his faults and should come clean with her about everything that’s going on with his case, but even before she saw Peter with Gerald Kozko, a real estate developer with incriminating evidence against Peter, Alicia was already unnecessarily frosty toward Peter’s pastor. Moreover, if she’s not willing to help Peter change when he asks for her help, than what does that say about her?

One thing I like about this episode was Cary’s role this time – he was disloyally loyal. He wined/dined and presumably slept with opposing counsel in order to learn that Jonas Stern wanted to hire Cary away from Lockhart & Gardner, among 11 other people. Cary quickly shared this information with Will, who with Diane called in Julius Cain, an African American attorney at the firm. The two of them matched Stern’s offer to him, in exchange for the names of the other 10 attorneys who were planning to leave Lockhart & Gardner. Diane & Will were planning to fire these ten and hire a few minority attorneys to make good on their promise to Julius. Will rewarded Cary with the loan for a condo.  What’s Cary’s angle? Is he so determined to best Alicia that he won’t leave the firm until he does?

Summary @ WSJ

Summary @ TV Fanatic

What do YOU think ought to happen next??

Nurse Jackie – Meds, Beds, and Weird Heads

Ok. So Jackie slept with Eddie again. Anyone else see the insanity of action (given the notion that Jackie wants Eddie out of her life or at least out of her husband Kevin’s life)? It’s nice to hear her say that she was there because she liked him and not because he has drugs, but  why was she there at all unless the sex between was another kind of drug? It may be this in conjunction with the mere thrill of forbidden fruit; it seems that Jackie loves getting over on and outwitting others, so maybe this is yet another way to get her adrenaline running.

The importance of Eddie’s connection to Jackie’s drugs has been further undercut by the arrival of a bumbling pharmaceutical salesman. I’m sure Jackie will con this poor man out of an endless stream of feel-good medicine…

Kaitlin – this obnoxious little girl shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near Jackie’s children and I really don’t understand why she’s around. Can Grace really be that unpopular that she can only find tormentor who wants to abuse her and her sister Fiona to spend time together?

It’s good that Zoey isn’t pregnant since she didn’t want to be. It would be interesting to meet the guy she likes and/or his brother, which would add depth to her off-screen life and character. I’m still rooting for Lenny, the EMT guy to be her beau.  They’re a cute couple;)

Dr. O’hara is more interesting now that she’s a bisexual on top of being a blase dissolute sophisticate.  Julia Ormond adds oomph to any screen, and it will be intriguing to follow this story arc for the rest of the season.

Dr. Cooper needs another love interest. Or, maybe a crazed stalker who will make him rue the day he decided to have his picture plastered all over town…

Stay tuned, and stay in touch!

What do you think should happen next?

Josie Lou Ratley, Teen Violence, & Gender

Let me start by saying that Josie Lou Ratley sustained serious life-threatening injuries and I hope she makes a full recovery and leads as productive a life as possible. Let me also say that I hope Wayne Treacy gets the mental health counseling he desperately needs and makes something productive of his life.

Many people have expressed the opinion that physical assault is never warranted -regardless of the verbal provocation, a position with which I wholehearted disagree.  Ever hear the expression “them’s fightin’ words”?

From “A word that one uses to provoke a fight or hostility. Often used in the plural: “Fighting words are categorically excluded from the protection of the First Amendment … [because] their content embodies a particularly intolerable and socially unnecessary mode of expressing whatever idea the speaker wishes to convey” (Antonin Scalia).”  See also.

Hate speech is not protected speech. I don’t think anyone has the right to verbal attack anyone any more than they have the right to physically attack someone. If you respond to an angry person’s protest of “he or she said  or called me X” with “I don’t care what so-and-so said or called you…” then what do you expect that angry person to do, if not take matters into his or her own hands? You have made it clear you don’t care about his or her hurt feelings and that you aren’t going to do anything about the offense. What is the appropriate punishment for verbal violence?

Below are some excerpts from my exchanges on the Ratley case with others on various news sites:

I grew up in the New York City area and later taught in the South Bronx. Hearing about one teenager kicking in the head of another was not that unusual. If you dis(respect) the wrong person, you could get killed. Just the way it is in certain neighborhoods on this planet. And please don’t assume that another 15 year old girl is incapable of inflicting just as much damage on another – some make up for lack of physical strength with guns or knives. Maybe this is unusual in this particular school district.

My respondent wrote:

“Then maybe you should go back to the Bronx where you can continue to agree with beating on girls because that is “Just the way it is in certain neighborhoods on this planet”. That is not how it is in our neighborhoods. And if you’re a teacher I feel for the students being taught by someone who would make such a comment and basically agree with this sort or any sort of violence. I guess you’re just used to the ghetto mentality of the Bronx!
This child was waiting for the bus NOT looking to stab or shoot anyone.”

Then wrote” Because you’re just used to the ghetto mentality of the Bronx! Right?” about five times.

Violence may not be right, and I never said it was, but it is distressingly common, and not just in NYC. I don’t think it’s right to speak ill of the dead any more than it’s right to brutally attack someone who’s waiting for a bus, yet both of these things seem to be happening all the more frequently nowadays. He’s 15 yrs old. He should be in juvenile detention until age 18 and have therapy and anger management every day. If he does something like this AGAIN after all that – THEN I would say he needs to go away. We have to give him the chance to turn his life around. There’s no excuse not to do that much. Suppose one of YOUR children, nephews or nieces hurt another child badly? Would you want them to rot in jail forever or hope they would/could be rehabilitated?

It’s true that those of us who have witnessed or heard about violence on a nearly daily basis may not react with the same intensity of shock and horror when hearing about a case such as Ms. Ratley’s, but that doesn’t mean we want our kids to be the victims of violence, either.

He just lost his temper and self-control, which is not unusual for a teenaged boy. Unfortunately, he attacked someone physically weaker and probably less skilled than he. There’s no doubt that he committed the crime, but if you mouth off to the wrong person at the wrong time, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it might cost you.

As poster,yourmartdotnet on, wrote: “…If you poke a rabid dog with a sharp stick, I’m not going to feel too sorry for you when the dog bites.” I completely agree.

I don’t really think gender matters much in acts of extreme violence. Either sex can wield a weapon and inflict serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Does it really matter whether it’s a girl or a boy shooting you or stabbing you or beating you with a crowbar?  I think violence is violence and the relative size and strength of the victim and the perpetrator should be taken into account just as much as the gender.  A short boy of 5 feet 3 who weighs 110 pounds is no match for the tall husky girl who’s 5 feet 8 and 170 pounds, whether they happen to be the same age or not.

See these stories regarding some less than innocent girls:

There are several underlying and unspoken assumptions in this case, namely A)Wayne Treacy wouldn’t have beaten up a boy his own size or larger B) A girl wouldn’t have beaten up Josie Lou Ratley just as badly.  I think both assumptions are wrong. There is no reason to assume that Wayne couldn’t have chosen to attack another boy – his size or even larger with his fists/boots/or another weapon. If he were unable to best his opponent physically, there is no guarantee that he wouldn’t have resorted to a gun or a knife to harm his offender. B) There are plenty of girls capable of kicking and beating another girl into unconsciousness, and I’m sure there are plenty who are more physically powerful than Josie Ratley, and some are even more powerful than Mr. Treacy.

Another poster from CBSnews had sensible things to say about this case:

Smscline March 24, 2010 2:09 PM EDT –
But the point is, is that all these kid’s need to learn a lesson here. All these kids need to learn the definition of COMPASSION. Wayne needs to learn compassion for hurting others physically. The little 13 yr old girlfriend needs to learn what compassion is instead of standing by while Wayne beat up Josie. And I say this, but by no means did Josie deserve to be beaten at all, she also needs to learn what compassion is because she said something very hurtful to Wayne following the suicide of his beloved brother. I am not saying I’m on Wayne’s side or that his actions are right at all. But people need to understand that Wayne’s pain was very new & just because Josie didn’t approve of his relationship with the 13 yr old, what does making a disparaging comment about his dead brother got to do with anything? Wayne is a young, inexperienced boy. He is inexperienced in ways of death and loss, as I’m sure Josie is inexperienced in ways of what is cruel to say to someone that has just lost a loved one and so recently.
All were wrong here. No one deserves to be losing their lives over words that were hurtful. So many peoples lives are changed now. So maybe we, as parents, can teach our children compassion and show it more to each other too.

On, Ajajadude made the excellent point that had Mr. Treacy turned his pain and anger on himself instead of on Ms. Ratley, she would not elicit very much sympathy from the general public; a point which I think many who condemn Mr. Treacy should contemplate.

And what about the reality that one can’t hide behind a phone or a computer anymore? There are ways to track both and someone who’s angry and determined enough can track you down to exact revenge. That’s an unfortunate reality.

It wouldn’t hurt to teach all children:  a) be careful what you say b)think before you speak c)watch out for crazy people d) you never know for sure who’s crazy e) if you receive death threats via text or any other means – tell someone

Newser link to story & comments

Damages – Great beginning, then slowly deteriorated…

I was completely blown away by the first season of this show. Patty Hewes, as superlatively played by Glenn Close, was large and in charge. She had won an award, hired a new associate, and eventually, won a multibillion dollar case against Arthur Frobisher (played by a manic and effective Ted Danson). Mr. Frobisher sold off all his own stock just before his company went belly-up, you see…The acting and writing of that first season was exemplary.  Season two concluded with Patty losing her husband and her teenaged son. Season three finds Patty alone, and at times, seemingly struggling to maintain her sanity.

I have several problems with season three. Firstly, there were too many people were killed in rapid succession. An interesting character would get introduced, then killed off right away.  Secondly, there are just too many subplots.  (Martin Short’s Leonard Winstone/Lester Wiggins character being blackmailed by his father, Ellen’s possible adoption during early childhood and making Carol Tobin the killer of Danielle Marchetti, just to name a few). The strongest of them have been: Tom Shayes story as another of Louis Tobin’s fraud victims, which is interesting and credible, as is the impending parenthood of Patty’s son Michael and his much older girlfriend, Jill. Nonetheless, there have been too many double-crosses, lies, and manipulations for viewers to keep track. Even in a world of cops, robbers, and lawyers, you need to be able to follow the story – if every single character is double-dealing – it makes it hard for the viewer to follow what’s going on, and it seems less and less credible as a narrative.

Another thing I felt was inappropriate was Ellen jumping into the sack with Josh Reston far too quickly. From “I’ll think about it” after he asked for leads for his column at the Manhattan Observer newspaper to them sleeping together in their next scene. I thought Ellen was supposed to be more guarded and reflective after her stint with Patty Hewes?

I also have trouble with some basic details in the script. Patti initially offered Jill $100,000 to “walk away” from Michael, then $200,000. Jill balked at the notion and walked out. In a later episode; however, Jill agreed to $500,000 to disappear.  My criticism? In 2010, in New York City, half a million dollars might be a nice chunk of change, but it’s chump change in terms of setting someone up for life, especially an expectant mother. For that, if you’re not talking at least  the mid-seven figures, then you’re not seriously talking, and someone as worldly-wise as Patty Hewes is very well aware of that…

More screen time for Lily Tomlin and Len Cariou and less for Campbell Scott would have pleased me, too. One of my co-workers thinks it’s because some of these actors are movie stars and I’m used to seeing them in larger parts with more to do that I’m noticing the relative deprivation, which may be part of it, but I honestly don’t find the Joe Tobin character, played by Mr. Scott, to be very interesting.

What is interesting, is to see that the bossier Patty gets, the more people seem to defy her and do just the opposite of what she wants. I was half-expecting Jill to play off the windfall as Patty’s pre-wedding gift to the new couple. This would have been rich over a dinner with Ms. Hewes, I can just imagine her turning about six different shades of red;)  Patty has succeeded in one way; however, she has Jill and Michael lying to each other…

I have to give Jill credit for having moxy to openly deceive Patty, too.

Neither Patty nor Marilyn Tobin will be winning the Grandmother of the Year Award. The former wants to send the grandchild away forever, the latter stood passively by while she was killed.

The finale? We’re supposed to believe that Tom Shayes staggered back to his home bloody in broad daylight through the streets of New York the entire time while  instead of seeking medical attention? And his killer, Joe Tobin, (ugh!) just happens to arrive the very same moment? Why couldn’t Stuart Zedeck’s henchman, Mr. Falco have killed Tom off? That would have been far more credible. But to have Leonard Winstone shoot him, and then have Mr. Falco jump up and seemingly choke Winstone to death a few seconds later seemed absurd. And the way that manila envelope with the proof against the Tobins got passed around like a baton? Come on!!!

And don’t forget the homeless guy who only sleeps in the abandoned loft building -instead of a cardboard box when it’s time for someone staying there to be conveniently frightened for the camera…

This season felt very contrived and derivative of other films/television shows and I was very disappointed with the finale.

All things Damages

Q & A in re the season 3 finale

The Good Wife-A Shot of Reality

This fine drama series got a little more realistic by having a client of Stern, Lockhart, and Gardner accept a plea bargain agreement rather than featuring a last minute rescue, which had been the standard for this series heretofore.

I loved the segment when Kalinda is asking for a gym locker to be opened. “You’re not a cop?” “No.” “You’re not with campus security.” “No.” “Then who are you, again?” “I’m Kalinda.”  And that’s all it took to get the guy to open an employee locker.  LOVE IT!!!

Finally, Diane suspects Will of having an affair with Alicia, and so does Alicia’s daughter, Grace, who just happened to be eavesdropping when Will called Alicia to discuss the non-professional aspect of their relationship.

Summary 1

Kalinda’s Facebook page

Nurse Jackie

This is another show I love – this season has our titular heroine besieged on all fronts. As a mother, she’s finally realizing that Grace does indeed have some psychological problem that needs to be addressed, and finally took the phone number of a good child psychiatrist from Mrs. Akalitus in the last episode.  The latest episode – “Candyland” – had her dealing with the inflated ego of Dr. Cooper, the suspicions of Zoe regarding her access code for the automated drug dispenser, and an oddly migrated set of testicles.

Some people feel that Eddie, Jackie’s lover from last season, should simply move on and get over their break-up. Others may feel that Jackie brought on Eddie’s stalker-like behavior. I’m of mixed opinion. I wish Eddie would find someone new for his own well being, but on the other hand, I think that since Jackie cheated on her husband and broke her lover’s heart, she has to face the consequences. Eddie now is a friend of Jackie’s husband, Kevin, and  in a position to make Jackie squirm. Let the dramatic guilt and deceit games begin anew!

Nurse Jackie link 1

Nurse Jackie link 2

Nurse Jackie Summary 1

Nurse Jackie Summary 2