''Obviously crime pays,'' noted plumber-philosopher G. Gordon Liddy once said, ''or there'd be no crime.'' Or television, he might have added. Network TV's fascination with police procedurals may have slowed in the sense that CBS has put plans for CSI: Kalamazoo and CSI: Big Vacant Lot on Southwest Eighth Street on hold, but we've nonetheless got three crime dramas debuting within a span of 60 minutes Tuesday night.
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.
But The Good Wife is also an attempt to map the three-way intersection of politics, criminality and celebrity; a cautionary tale of the yawning chasm between the career track and the mommy track; and a riveting character study of an increasingly common American political icon, that blank-faced woman standing by the politician lugubriously confessing his sexual improprieties. Read my full reviews of The Good Wife, ABC's The Forgotten, and CBS' NCIS: Los Angeles in Tuesday's Miami Herald.