When “The Good Fight” returns for its fourth season this year, it will do so with its same sensibility but lots of new faces.
“The show’s not going to lose any of its political sense. That seems to be the niche we have found ourselves in,” co-creator and co-showrunner Robert King said during the CBS All Access Television Critics Assn. press tour panel Sunday.
Story areas for the new season, he continued, include “issues with big mergers and some of the things that are going on right now within the political world.”
When describing the former, King said that the way the “business universe in America is merging — obviously Disney-Fox, CBS, everything is becoming a bigger conglomerate” was a specific inspiration for the season. “We’re all kind of agitated by this gathering together of these large, Amazon-like forces that want to control what we say and do,” he said.
That manifests itself onscreen when the law firm in the show is bought out by “a very large international law firm that wanted to buy it for diversity. They took a yearbook shot of their lawyers and they realized there are almost no African American faces in it,” he explained.
Season 4, therefore, will depict a “new working space that is not our personality,” including a “staircase that goes up to what we’re calling a nirvana universe,” King said. Additionally, the protagonists “who have controlled their own fates are now being underdogs.”
King shared that he and his wife, co-creator and co-showrunner Michelle King, were talking about how “when you’re growing up you think there is a subpoena and you have to go — and one of the things we’ve learned over the last few months is you really don’t have to go. You can stick it in a drawer and ignore it like a jury summons.” So Season 4 will explore “how the current administration is changing our understanding of what we need to do” and “how the rules have broken down with regards to the law,” the latter of which he noted is especially difficult to do for a law show because in previous media representations there has always been “an agreed understanding of what we need to do as servants of the law.”
The writers’ room for the season began just as Nancy Pelosi was calling for Donald Trump’s impeachment, so King admitted they “didn’t know where the country’s idea of itself would be. We kind of thought the current president would still stay president, but we didn’t know, so we laid our bets.” Topics such as the #MeToo movement and Harvey Weinstein, he felt, would still be relevant, as would issues similar to what they explored in Season 3 with “selling lemonade while black.”
“The show seems to kick around a lot of ideas, not just Trump,” he said.
Although these are all very serious topics, King said comedic sensibility is still baked into the show: “This year was our ‘Catch-22’ year. ‘Catch-22’ the novel seemed to be taken war seriously but then using the absurdity that came about through bureaucracy to explore how every element became corrupted.”
Last year, the streaming drama was had a linear run on CBS, which required some re-editing of episodes to fit the 42-minute mark to also allow for commercials, but this year, there are no plans to follow the streaming run with one on broadcast, said CBS All Access executives Julie McNamara and Marc DeBevoise.
What is new and different in Season 4 are the new players: “Hugh Dancy becomes one of the lawyers at the firm this year,” King revealed. Michael J. Fox and Zach Grenier, who both guest starred on the original series “The Good Wife,” from which this one was spun off, will also appear, with Grenier coming in as a new series regular. John Larroquette will also appear.
Additionally, the show is once again having some fun with its episode titles. In the third season, those titles were nods to “Friends,” with each one starting with “The One With…,” which, at the time, King joked was because they could never remember what episodes were about when they titled them with numbers the previous season. In Season 4, they will be homages to FXX’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” with each one starting with “The Gang…”
“The show’s very much acomment on TV itself, so it’s fun to fall into the rhythm, especially of shows we really love,” King said.