Julianna Margulies v. The Good Fight

The Good Fight on CBS All Access

I have zero inside intel on Julianna Margulies, but she left a bad taste in my mouth during her stint on The Good Wife when she filmed her final scene with Archie Panjabi via green screen because their relationship had apparently grown so contentious they could not be in the same room with one another. As for Archie, she insisted she was ready and willing to film, which suggests the camera trick was at Margulies’ request.

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Julianna Margulies Talks ‘The Good Wife’ Feud: Archie Responds

Despite vigorous efforts by CBS and Juliana Margulies to squash feud rumors, the drama won’t die, and Margulies just added fuel to the fire. In an interview with Vulture, Margulies brushed off any bad blood with Archie Panjabi, saying, the decision to film her last scene with her costar via green screen was simply due to scheduling conflicts, as Panjabi was already committed to another show. For viewers that don’t know, the costars have avoided appearing on screen together for multiple seasons, and the audience has often suggested that their mutual dislike is responsible. Though Margulies wants to keep it quiet, Panjabi was less than pleased with her comment, insisting she was ready to film and no such scheduling conflict existed. While I understand the desire to avoid a public display of displeasure, I can’t help but think it’s extremely unprofessional to let personal problems impact a show’s story. 

Julianna Margulies v. Archie Panjabi: Feud Reaches New Levels

Fans of ‘The Good Wife’ have long suspected a feud between Julianna Margulies (Alicia Florrick) and Archie Panjabi (Kalinda Sharma), and CBS has done a stunning job of controlling any and all press-leaks about what might have caused their chasm. The two characters have not shared a scene together since mid-fourth season, and any contact has occurred over the telephone, which has conveniently kept them apart. When Panjabi announced her exit after season six, fans were elated at the idea of their reunion. Since CBS promised they’d finally share one last scene, viewers naturally assumed they would actually . . . share one last scene. In fact, when creator Robert King was directly asked, he artfully dodged the inquiry, saying, ““I think they’ll be happy with the last episode — the last episode goes there.”

When the much-talked about scene finally aired, social media got to work. Fans noticed the odd lighting and lack of eye contact, and rumors began to circulate that the scene was filmed separately using green screen. When asked, Panjabi gave a cryptic response effectively confirming the suspicion. In response to their lack of screen time, Panjabi has consistently implored the audience to ask the producers, given that she has no creative control (that’s a subtle dig, given that Margulies is a producer).

While there’s no confirmed evidence of any hostility, the answer is obvious. If only I could walk into a desk job and throw down demands as to who I do and do not want to work with, and then ask my entire team to accommodate those demands no matter what the cost or inconvenience. Their vitriol is shocking, and juvenile, and they should be forced to be adults.

The Good Wife Grieves — Alicia Loses Will

the-good-wifeWhile I’m still personally peeved about Josh Charles stage left exit from The Good Wife, it certainly pivoted the show in a new direction, which can be a good thing. On tonight’s episode, the characters grieved for their colleague who was executed at the hands of his client. Alicia was especially mournful, which will likely create distance from her husband, whom she previously cheated on with Will. As for when the show will return to its plot-driven roots instead of this character-heavy excess, that has yet to be seen.

As an aside, if Josh Charles is reading this, let me just send a specific poke in his direction. A 22 episode season on a hit network show is any actor’s dream job. Each season has a summer hiatus, followed by a break nearly every three weeks so the writers can catch up. I cannot understand the choice to leave. And did I mention that most of those “long work days” are spent in the trailer while other actors shoot their scenes? It baffles me that he didn’t want to renegotiate this gravy train. And for the network executives that orchestrated this mess, I have another message. I realize you’re often desperate to sign the star you’re after. Let this be a lesson not to let aggressive agents bamboozle you into allowing a four year contract instead of the standard six. I’m angry with everyone involved.