On Friday the makers and stars of the Paramount + legal drama The good fight gathered for a virtual ATX panel and teased what is coming in Season 5.
As always, the show is shaped by events on the world stage. Some of the most influential ever to co-creators, showrunners and EP Robert King were the events that played out in Washington, D.C. earlier this year. “I think this season is influenced by January 6 more than anything,” he said, “the feeling that the country is a little broken and there is a way to bring it back together?”
The other events that shaped Season 5 were the murder of Minneapolis-born George Floyd last May and the subsequent reckoning of America with its history of systemic racism. Racial issues are being investigated this season after Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart lost two top lawyers, including Adrian (Delroy Lindoy), creating tension between Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and Liz Reddick (Audra McDonald). At a crucial moment for both your company and the country at large, how appropriate it is for Diane to remain one of the most powerful figures in a predominantly African American law firm.
“As soon as Adrian leaves the firm… Liz will have to take on an even bigger leadership position, and as the top black attorney at this firm, she will have to face this delicate matter. I think she really likes the idea that the company is run by women, but she understands the visuals of being dominated by someone white, ”said McDonald. “It’s a difficult dance to do because she also respects Diane very much. They have a complicated but deep friendship and have been through a lot together, so it’s a very difficult part. “
Robert King said during the panel discussion moderated by NPR’s Eric Deggans that the show will not attempt to come up with “simple answers” as this story unfolds.
“I don’t know if we have a solution. I think the show speaks to how intelligent people are trying to find and figure out the language of reconciliation, ”Baranski added. “We live the questions. We have no answers; we go question marks. “
Both Baranski and McDonald praised Robert King and co-creator / showrunner / EP Michelle King for their willingness to examine complex subjects with absolute authenticity. “What I always say about the Kings is they always go on the line … and say, ‘This is what happens’ and shed some light on it,” said McDonald. “You’re not afraid of getting messy, and that’s what’s happening this season: it’s going to be messy.”
While Michelle King said the show’s investigation into “Liz and Diane’s struggle with each other in their partnership” might not have materialized if not last year’s events, she is cautious about its long-term implications for small-screen storytelling. “In terms of the impact on the industry, this will be a great discussion in two years because I think it will [reveal] how much of this talk [of change] is real. Because three years ago people were very interested in #MeToo and what it meant for women, and we don’t hear much about it anymore, “she said. “Although we hope the conversation will continue, it’s a bit ‘we’ll see’.”
The Kings, McDonald and Baranski for the ATX panel were joined by actors Mandy Patinkin and Charmaine Bingwa, who joined the cast this season as Hal Wackner and Carmen Moyo, respectively.
Patinkin was reluctant to reveal the beans about his judging character, though he did talk at length about how much it meant to him to be part of the show. “I’m learning from this guy [Wackner] every minute of every day, ”he teased. “I think we’re all learning about him.”
Bingwa, on the other hand, was ready to describe her young lawyer character in more detail. “Carmen comes from a difficult part of town. I feel like she didn’t have a direct route through Ivy League colleges to her career and grew up with people oppressed by the system. “My favorite thing to think about is that she often plays chess while other checkers are playing. She is unpredictable and definitely an outsider. “
ATX panel on The good fight This was followed by a screening of the season five opener, which was written as a standalone play, similar to the first episode of season 4. In it we see our main characters grapple with the big events of last year, including the murder, Floyd, and death the judge of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Michelle King said the decision to open the season this way, after a season shortened by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, was due to the co-creators’ love for their characters. “We realized, before we could start a story, we needed to know what they’d been through in the last year?” She said. “You know, this pandemic year has been so difficult for everyone. How was it for Liz and Diane and everyone else? We wanted to do that in one episode to catch up with us. “
Co-designed by Phil Alden Robinson, The good fight returns on June 24th for its fifth season Good wife Spin-off also plays Sarah Steele, Michael Boatman, Nyambi Nyambi, Zach Grenier and more. The series is produced by CBS Studios in association with Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions. Executive producers include the Kings, Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, Brooke Kennedy, Liz Glotzer, William Finkelstein, Jonathan Tolins, and Jacquelyn Reingold.