• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 22, 2009
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 80
    With all four [actors] bringing their "A" games to the pilot, it looks as if CBS could have another winning 10 o'clock drama.
  2. 60
    Margulies and Noth--both of whom have a similarly dark appeal--are well-matched onscreen. Alas, if you feel a “but’’ or two coming, you would be correct. The problem I have with The Good Wife is something that mars too much TV: telegraphing.
  3. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    88
    Alicia's cases are intriguing, and the background drama would be melodramatic if it weren't such a common story these days.
  4. 88
    One of the best parts of the show is Alicia’s complicated relationship with her husband, who humiliated his family with a sex scandal but also appears to be a pawn in a larger game being played by high-level politicians.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    83
    The Good Wife will settle into a case-of-the-week lawyer show. I'd also bet it'll have a rotating bunch of colorful judges with whom Alicia can debate. And you know what? Given the caliber of the acting and writing, that suits me --and, I'll wager, millions of viewers--just fine.
  6. With the rest of the cast hitting the same high notes as Margulies and the script, The Good Wife promises to be that Holy Grail of television: a good criminal procedural that barely disguises the insightful, multilayered human drama that lies beneath.
  7. 80
    It may not be entirely fair to call a show as complexly layered as The Good Wife a crime drama, though at some basic level it is, with a bleakly luminous Juliana Margulies playing a novice criminal defense attorney who's painfully learning the sport of judicial hardball.
  8. Margulies puts a powerful combination of cold fury, bewilderment and tenacity into Alicia Florrick, the wife of a disgraced Chicago politician in a new series that readily admits it ripped itself from the headlines.
  9. 75
    Good premise, good start.
  10. The Good Wife is confident and polished, and a much better showcase for Margulies than her last legal drama.
  11. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    83
    There are many enjoyable performances by many wonderful actors, including Baranski, Panjabi and, the nicest surprise of all, David Paymer, who plays a judge. But you've seen much of this before.
  12. Slightly harder-edged than "Amy," but just as estrogen-fueled, the best-timed show of the new season is a combination of the crime-centered procedurals CBS favors and a drama about the kind of family most of us have speculated about at one time or another.
  13. Of course she cracks the fascinating weekly case, but it will be her continued efforts to make it again in the world of work, now that she's so old and doddering, and deal with her family, that will make The Good Wife worth watching week after week.
  14. CBS's The Good Wife is both a well-written legal drama and a terrific showcase for actress Julianna Margulies, who elevates the already-good material with her perceptive, open performance.
  15. 50
    Even as this plot pattern bodes ill, Margulies and Panjabi make a formidable team.
  16. 80
    Each week the show is both intriguing and satisfying, as we watch Alicia piece together little victories while comforting her kids and confronting lurking demons from her old life. Despite the usual familiar courtroom shenanigans, the show's full, multilayered episodes keep us interested.
  17. There's nothing inherently wrong with The Good Wife other than it's a legal series with too many close-up shots of knowing glances and "attagirl Alicia" moments of empowerment that you saw coming 20 minutes prior.
  18. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    50
    With the drama so thin, it must be the richness of Alicia's situation that makes 13 million people a week want to enjoy her company.
  19. It is a terrific springboard to a series that is appealing--even compelling--in a variety of ways.
  20. Alicia’s shock and her sense of surreal detachment, is as vivid a depiction of personal crisis as any on television. But after this cleverly written series deconstructs the exact moment when everything falls apart, it imaginatively explores how one scorned spouse struggles to get past a life-shattering scandal.
  21. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    75
    If The Good Wife can maintain the first episode's tone, it will keep an audience even after political sex scandals fade from the news.
  22. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    80
    A smartly conceived and well executed legal drama with a strong star (Julianna Margulies) at its core and, even better, a terrifically timely hook.
  23. 75
    It establishes the main character--and reintroduces us to a totally winning TV star--while creating a multilayered world that gives that character room to maneuver and grow.
  24. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    70
    The Good Wife doesn't win many style points for originality, but nor does it seek to squeeze into unflattering hipster clothes. And on a network where meat-and-potatoes drama has generally performed beyond merit or expectations, that's probably a very good fit, indeed.
  25. There's plenty of life and overall quality to sustain this series for a long time to come.
  26. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    80
    Everything feels exactly right in this drama, to an almost clinical degree, especially Julianna Margulies's tough-but-wounded portrayal of Alicia Florrick.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 203 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 38
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 38
  3. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. kevinb.
    Oct 20, 2009
    10
    Intoxicating series.
  2. Feb 7, 2011
    10
    Love, love, LOVE this show! There aren't many scripted dramas on network television that were worth watching, until The Good Wife showed upLove, love, LOVE this show! There aren't many scripted dramas on network television that were worth watching, until The Good Wife showed up last year. I record the show every week and recommend it to anyone who will listen! Full Review »
  3. Mar 12, 2011
    10
    Great show. I really love the way it deals with current issues and events head on. The characters are interesting and show a great deal ofGreat show. I really love the way it deals with current issues and events head on. The characters are interesting and show a great deal of depth to be explored over the course of multiple seasons. Full Review »