There’s something about losing that lends everything permanence. Victory is fleeting, and leads only to arrogant plans for the next big conquest. Defeat, though, is sobering. Defeat is a small reminder of mortality, a tiny inkling of the biggest battle you’re ever going to lose.
Author Jordan Ferguson
The Good Wife has always been less one show than four or five shows crammed into one. One of the most impressive things about the series is the way that, at its best, it juggles a seemingly impossible number of plotlines with ease.
Status is a slippery thing. It is not something easily gained, nor cleanly maintained. It is not something that can be completely controlled, nor used in exactly the way we might like. Status is a crucial thing for the characters on Game of Thrones, heavily embroiled in their struggles for power and multi-layered manipulations.
The Americans has always been a show that renders the scope of history in deeply personal brushstrokes. It’s the Cold War as American marriage, foreign policy as a matter of leverage, global geopolitics conducted in close quarters, where secrets leak and a knife can slide in before you even notice.
“We know where we’ve been, we know where we are…but it’s gotta get better. It’s supposed to get better.” Life is a series of moving targets. We set goals, we make plans, we have dreams. We achieve those goals, or we don’t; we watch our plans come to fruition or fall apart; our dreams spring to life or wither on the vine.
One of the things that makes Game of Thrones, and A Song of Ice and Fire before it, so compelling is that, for all of its fantastic elements, the show’s politics always feels like it takes place at human scale.
Spycraft is a work of deft improvisation, a combination of careful planning and quick thinking, an ability to adapt quickly as the situation on the ground changes.
Mad Men is transparently a show about illusions, but its also, at its core, a show about how spells tend to be broken, how our best efforts to fool ourselves tend to fail. When Peggy Olsen had her baby and Don Draper visited her in the hospital, he told her “It will shock you how much this never happened,” and, to a certain extent, that’s been true.
Much of season six of The Good Wife has taken place within the mind of Alicia Florrick. Even discounting “Mind’s Eye,” which took this premise literally, this has been a stretch of episodes less concerned with the world in which Alicia lives, and more concerned with how she decides to live in it.
The future is an idea, more than anything. It’s a vague notion, prediction or fantasy, hopes or fears, prophecy or guesswork. The future is an abstract until it becomes the present and, all too quickly the past. Those things exist.