It was an open secret in the entertainment industry that Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi were not fans of one another on The Good Wife. For a few seasons, their characters worked together frequently, but they didn’t share a single scene in the last three years of Panjabi’s stint on the series until the sixth-season finale (and everyone knows that even that finale scene was faked — the two actresses filmed their scene together separately). When Margulies tried to dismiss talk of a feud, Panjabi basically gave her a passive aggressive f*ck you on Twitter confirming that there was, indeed, a feud.
But what if Panjabi was not the only actor on The Good Wife who had a problem with Margulies? Maybe this wasn’t a case of two actors who disliked each other, and more of a case of an entire cast that dislikes Margulies?
It was actually Joanna that put that bug in my head, and I can’t not see it when I’m watching The Good Wife now. The evidence is staggering. We know about Panjabi. Consider, also, the fact that Josh Charles abruptly left the series while never giving a particularly good reason for doing so. It’s not like he was tired of series television. He quickly jumped in over on Master of Sex, and he also fit in Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp . Why would Charles leave a good gig like that, where his character was beloved, and where he was being paid well?
Then they tried to replace Josh Charles on the series. Twice, really. Steven Pasquale left the series after an extended stint, and Mathew Goode — despite being elevated to a series regular — also left the series with little explanation. The Finn Polmar/Alicia Florrick romance just fizzled away.
It’s not that unusual in a legal drama for characters to frequently come and go with little or no explanation regarding their disappearance, but consider the fact that Jess Weixler (who played an investigator) and Michael Boatman (who was a partner at the firm) both also just kind of vanished.
Also, what the hell happened to Zach Florrick? Graham Phillips hasn’t been seen on the show since May. That’s weird. On top of all the other disappearances, it’s even weirder. Plus, after this week’s winter finale, do we even know if Alan Cumming is going to return?
But the kicker is this: The seventh season of The Good Wife has largely been disastrous because it’s an ensemble cast and the ensemble has been completely separated. It’s a show in the home stretch (many believe this will be the final season), and suddenly, Alicia is working on her own while Diane and Cary have a separate firm. That makes no sense. That’s a season 3 arc. It hasn’t been working very well, but it means that the only two other cast members who have been on the series for the entire 145 episode run rarely if ever share a scene with the lead. Christine Baranski and Matt Czuchry have been spotted in the same room with Julianna Margulies in a couple of scenes, but half of their brief interactions are — again — over the phone.
Basically, the series’ lead has been pushed out onto an island, where she’s basically working with Jeffrey Dean Morgan (who just left the series for The Walking Dead) and Cush Jumbo. There’s a Chinese Wall between Margulies and the rest of The Good Wife.
One last note on this “conspiracy,” and it’s not something I would’ve thought much of, except in light of everything else. Julianna Margulies is a very attractive woman. The show has always lit her in such a way as to bring out her attractiveness. But then, during a scene two weeks ago and for no apparent reason whatsoever — it was a really weird, pointless shot — the camera zoomed incredibly close on her face and just hung there.
This was the shot.
In light of everything else going on with the show, all I could think was, “Oh my God! The camera person and the episode director hate Julianna Margulies too.”