Creative commentary plus crafty composition

Now in its second season, TV series THE GOOD FIGHT, a spin-off from the seven years’ run of THE GOOD WIFE, seems to be firmly grounded in being topical and controversial.  Moreover, the controversy angle has explored more rarefied plateaus, with numerous references to the twists and stumbles, and worse, of the current U.S. administration.

Its opening title sequence, for many series, increasingly has become an art form, and this one certainly fits the bill.

In the ‘old days’ of limited channels and media, TV universe options for the openings would likely feature a jingle-type theme song, with action shots or close-ups of its stars.  Production values were perfunctory, often incorporating episode clips.

Nowadays, the inclusion of digital technology to optics and music score in the opening theme and titles has meant an ever-widening tangent of variations, quick cuts, and massaged effects.  Sometimes these intros loosely define the concept, sometimes they knead it by adding potent imagery, pieces of the thematic puzzle.

THE GOOD FIGHT, especially in season two, emphasizes more of the latter.

The opening music and titles appear after brief or elongated (this has become the approach of numerous shows) initial scenes, or to lead off the episode.  The sequence conveys the premise of confronting power and the legal system: along with a catchy musical score, the tile sequence both seasons has presented images of fancy lamps, wine bottles, computers, law books, etc., being crushed unceremoniously, against stark backgrounds.  Reflective of its more biting political commentary, season two explodes images of Russian President Putin and U.S. President (for now) Trump, in typically self-inflated portraits, modern day pieces of destruction, before the muted ending fades in.  An approach which both whets your appetite and makes you realize that the show producers are not kidding around with subtlety.

The basic premise in season one originally took a few characters from almost lily-white surroundings of the Chicago law firm in THE GOOD WIFE, and shifted them to a, heretofore all-black, similar if not even more crusading Chicago law firm.  Further, THE GOOD FIGHT takes on the current issue, ethical consciousness of the first show, broadening this to become even more up-to-date (paralleling life in these obsessively immediate, social media times) and confrontational.   It is full of illustrations for reflection on clashes between monetizing conflict and weighing ethical behaviour, so relevant in these highly politicized times.

There are underlying lessons which may be applicable to our lives…

  • While art may be in the eye of the beholder, so may be its destruction be art
  • Retirement as a state of mind might have to suffice for the real thing awhile
  • ‘Good’ is a four-letter word
  • The more valuable information is, the less it can be depended upon
  • Those large offices and chairs contribute to either expanded thinking or less overt avoiding
  • Everyone has an agenda, whether they write anything in it or not
  • The interracial aspect of a relationship adds another unpredictable dimension of flies in the ointment
  • Years of filtering double-talk gives slick professionals a jumping point for adjusting moral behaviour
  • Respect for institutions not only has to be earned, there also needs to be a cloak of humanity
  • Personalities count in the courtroom

One wonders what would happen if the premise was The Bad Fight

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