Review: Miss Sloane

Miss Sloane is a story about guns and gun control. Only in the United States could a story like this be told. Every other country in the world has better sense where guns are concerned. Continue reading “Review: Miss Sloane”

3 Reasons Archie Panjabi’s Unforgettable Kalinda Sharma Deserves a Great Send Off

Archie Panjabi sounds ready to hang it up in this tweet.

If I were Archie Panjabi, I’d have mixed emotions about leaving The Good Wife. Archie’s had a landmark role on a great show. Her character Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife was a cultural pioneer in many ways. Yet Archie Panjabi is making news because she’s leaving The Good Wife before its run is finished.

Lately Kalinda has been stuck away in a minor plot line where she plays a terrified baby sitter for Lamond Bishop (Mike Colter). If she’s left in this powerless spot, she will just fade away. Kalinda can’t just fade away.

Here are my 3 top reasons why she deserves a great send off when she leaves the show at the end of season 6.

1. Kalinda brings the diversity

Kalinda in her leather jacket

Before everyone was trying to score diversity points by having a woman of color in their cast, Archie Panjabi was bringing diversity to The Good Wife. This award winning actress wasn’t stereotyped as some ridiculous ethnic character, she was the investigator for a law firm, a multi-layered, complex woman.

Before Shonda Rhimes had 3 shows, before Orange is the New Black brought a rainbow of characters into stardom, Kalinda was there.

2. Kalinda is bisexual

Kalinda looks at the camera

Kalinda was one of very few bisexual characters on TV for a time, and it was no big deal. It was simply Kalinda. She broke ground for other bi characters to follow.

3. Kalinda is THE MOST BADASS

Kalinda and Alicia have a drink

In a cast full of amazing women including her bosses, one of whom was Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), Kalinda takes the badass prize every time.

Diane and Kalinda in an office

Kalinda can out-badass her other badass boss, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski).

Kalinda can find any answer, solve any problem, crack any case in the service of her lawyer bosses. She is brilliant at badass.

And then there’s her badass wardrobe. The leather, the boots. Kalinda Sharma in leather is the iconic badass look. Before Bo (Anna Silk) took leather to sexy heights in Lost Girl, there was Kalinda looking professionally dangerous in leather. Kalinda could stand beside Alicia or Diane in their couture suits and dresses and look like she belonged in an office. She belonged in the office, but she was different: sexier, more dangerous, mysterious. Archie Panjabi owned that leather with her posture, her attitude, her dark-eyed stare.

The Send Off

Creators Michelle King and Robert King have written brilliantly on The Good Wife with an array of complicated characters and pointed plots. I’m hoping they’ve figured out a fantastic way for us to say goodbye to Kalinda – a way that makes us happy she’s leaving and lets the cast give her a lot of love along the way. I hope she has a show or two to take the lead, drive the plot, and finally take her leave for a logical reason.

Lately the names Mulder and Scully have been in the news. Nobody has to explain those names. Everyone knows them. We know who Buffy Summers is. We know who Bette Porter is. We know who Thelma and Louise are. Through some magic of writing and casting, some characters become icons. Archie Panjabi created Kalinda Sharma with such power that she’s reached iconic. Kalinda Sharma is loved by many, and valued by many as a symbol. Kalinda Sharma will not be forgotten.

Many thanks to Michelle and Robert King for writing her to be the badass we love, and many millions of thanks to Archie Panjabi for bringing her to life as an unforgettable character.

She will be missed.

Watch This: Trailer for Into the Woods

Into the Woods opens on Christmas Day. The prospect of seeing another musical directed by Rob Marshall, who directed Chicago, makes me quite excited. And this one has music by Stephen Sondheim!

Into the Woods is based on a Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. It stars Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine. The story is a mash up the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel. These classics are wrapped with an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish for a family and their interaction with a witch who put a curse on them.

I caught a glimpse of Christine Baranski in the previews. Her vocal talents landed her parts in Mamma Mia (with Meryl Streep) and Chicago. This time she’s playing Cinderella’s stepmother.

And, my, doesn’t Johnny Depp look fabulous as The Big Bad Wolf?

A background feature is also available.

I grew up in the heyday of musicals with stars like Gene Kelly, Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, and Shirley Jones. Musicals make me happy! Let’s all sing and dance, shall we?

Images © 2013 – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

CBS Sunday: Madam Secretary & The Good Wife

Madam Secretary promises to be good. What it does not seem to be is some kind of pre election exploration, either good or bad, of Hillary Clinton. It’s more of an underdog story.

Téa Leoni in Madam Secretary
Téa Leoni in Madam Secretary

Téa Leoni as Elizabeth McCord is not a politician. She comes from a background in the CIA. The President (Keith Carradine) came from a background in the CIA himself. When the current Secretary of State dies under mysterious circumstances, the POTUS asks Elizabeth McCord to take over. She does. If the first episode is any indication, she’s a rule breaker who finds ways to do what she knows is right whether the political machine – in the person of the President’s Chief of Staff (Zeljko Ivanek) – likes it or not.

She comes to Washington from a bucolic life on a horse farm. With her are a husband (Tim Daly) and her two teenaged kids (Kathrine Herzer and Evan Roe). The relationship between Elizabeth and Henry McCord seems solid. The family dynamics seem solid. Son Jason has declared himself an anarchist, yet seems awfully interested in politics. We didn’t see much of the daughter in the first episode.

The series is a great concept. We’ve had several female Secretaries of State. It’s not such a shocking idea as a female president. It’s a good place to put a smart woman who can exercise power and write stories around what she does with it.

The Good Wife

Returning for a 6th season, The Good Wife gets off to a rip-roaring start.

Julianna Margulies and Christine Baranski in The Good Wife
Julianna Margulies and Christine Baranski in The Good Wife
  • Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry) is tossed in jail on trumped up charges and the police and the judge seem out to get him
  • Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) decides to join Florrick and Agos
  • Alicia Florrick ( Julianna Margulies) gets pestered to run for State’s Attorney while trying to raise Cary’s bail and bring Diane Lockhart into the firm
  • Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi) misses a date with Cary, but gets hit on by Sophia (Kelli Giddish), who hasn’t been around for two years and whom Kalinda no longer trusts

The fast paced, multiplexed stories go on with this series. I do hope we get to see more of Kalinda. Diane made it a condition of her coming in with Florrick and Agos that Kalinda come too. Much as I love Alicia and Diane, Kalinda is so much more interesting. The possibility of Kelli Giddish coming back is exciting. Kalinda and Sophia were good together and more fun than Kalinda and Cary’s current romance. Having said that, Sophia’s contact with Kalinda in this episode was 100% hidden motivation, so there’s a lot to process before it could happen.

There’s potentially a very interesting turn on The Good Wife because Taye Diggs is joining the cast in the next episode. If he stays around all season I have my fingers crossed that he and Alicia will make sparks. Not sparks. Fireworks. Will is gone. Alicia has stopped boffing her hubby and kicked him out again. Bring on Mr. Diggs!

5 Reasons Why We Need Kalinda Sharma, P.I.

I tweeted this. I meant it as a joke, but after I thought about it a while, I had a real idea. No joke.

What The Good Wife‘s Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi) really needs is a spin-off all her own. It could be named “Kalinda Sharma, P.I.” and would put Kalinda at the center of her own show where she could be fully used.

Even though everyone loves her on The Good Wife, she’s relegated to minor errand running and the occasional spy-bang. With so much woman power on The Good Wife in the form of the show’s actual lead Alicia Florrik (Julianna Margulies) and the powerhouse Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), there just isn’t time to give Kalinda a lot to do.

The awesome Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma

5 Reasons Why

  1. Everyone loves Kalinda. She’d bring an audience with her.
  2. Kalinda is bisexual. She would be the only lead character on network TV who is, a worthy and important milestone to bring to TV. (I hear all you Bo Dennis fans shouting that Lost Girl pioneered this with a bisexual character played by Anna Silk, but I’m talking network TV.)
  3. Archie Panjabi is perfection in this part: secretive, mysterious, powerful, brave, sexy, bold, smart, and awesome with a baseball bat.
  4. Archie Panjabi is not the standard-issue white woman who represents female as the default white. We need diversity and Kalinda brings it.
  5. Archie Panjabi has impeccable acting chops. She’s been in East Is East, Bend It Like Beckham, The Constant Gardener,  A Mighty Heart, Yasmin and much more. All that light needs to shine in a starring role.

Terms and Conditions

There must be some conditions on this proposed spin-off.

  • Kalinda must have the same costume designer who dresses her on The Good Wife. The leather and the boots have to stay.
  • What we already know about the mysterious Kalinda must remain her basic personality.

So, what do you think? Am I right?

[Note: This post was syndicated on BlogHer.com.]