Cyberpunk & The Good Wife
as a postscript to this ask about ~cyberpunk, i just realised that THE most “realistic” mainstream media depiction of our current cyberpunk reality may well be The Good Wife. yes, the law show. obviously it’s one of the best shows on tv when it comes to writing, acting, etc, but it also has a really interesting way of depicting recent developments in technology and social media. typically, tv shows and movies set during the present day fall into two categories in this regard:
- "normal person" movies like romcoms or interpersonal dramas where no one really discusses or thinks critically about social media or technological advancements, but everyone uses facebook and google and cellphones, because it’s the 21st century. this encompasses the vast majority of popular media at the moment.
- crime/adventure movies where the techie characters hack into people’s email or use social media or surveillance networks to track down the Bad Guys, in a fictionalised version of the way governments and law enforcement organisations behave IRL.
both of these categories are fictionalised facets of real life. most people IRL fall into the “normal person” category because they don’t really think about stuff like Facebook/NSA surveillance on a day-to-day basis. whereas some people like Chelsea Manning are living a horrifying version of the world we see in crime and adventure movies like i described above.
the good wife is a rare example of a third option. the protagonist is super smart and quick-witted, but she’s a middle-aged mom and isn’t great with computers. the thing is, her job as a lawyer means that she has to deal with plenty of cases that require her to learn about weird new social media crazes, bitcoin, webcam hacking, or whatever. half the time, she has to get her teenage son to explain what’s going on. so, The Good Wife essentially gives us a view into the realities of the “dark side” of our current grim cyberpunk reality, but told from the perspective of a normal (even slightly luddite-ish) person who isn’t a hacker or a social media addict or an FBI agent. and it’s done in a far smarter and more thoughtful way than you find in most tv shows and movies that fall into the two main categories mentioned above.
Anonymous said: Should I start watching The Good Wife or The Hour?
real answer: this basically depends on how much free time you have. The Hour is magnificent, but ends on something of a cliffhanger thanks to being cancelled after two (British-length) seasons. The Good Wife is incredible and I would recommend it to anyone because it’s just FANTASTIC in every regard, but it’s in its fifth (American-length) season, which is kind of a commitment.
Anonymous said: The Good Wife used masterly and as a pivotal point of the story this week. Are you going to write about that?
i don’t understand what this question means. used… masterly…? um??
bikitchi said: Would you do some costume analysis of The Good Wife one day? I JUST. IT'S ALL SO GOOD. AND OMG THIS SEASON IS TOO INTENSE.
Hmm, well, the costumes in TGW are really good, but the problem is that I’d have to rewatch A LOT of the show to pick up on underlying themes? Otherwise I’d just be writing about pretty obvious stuff, like the characters’ respective taste in clothes, which is already quite easy for viewers to pick up on without my help.
I have written about The Good Wife before though, a couple of years ago. A post about the costumes in an episode in season 3.