It’s sad when bad things happen to good TV shows.
It’s even worse when great characters go wrong.
Which brings us to Kalinda Sharma. As played by Emmy-winner Archie Panjabi on “The Good Wife” — which became the best drama on broadcast television the night it debuted and has held that title three years running — Kalinda has always been something of a mystery. She exuded cool and confidence as a law firm’s chief investigator, and was as sexy as she was secretive.
Yes, we knew she was bi-sexual. We saw her sleeping with a woman, we know she had an affair with the lead character’s once philandering husband. But she still remained mysterious and that made her one of the most intriguing characters on the show.
Then it all came tumbling down this season as Kalinda’s ex-husband suddenly appeared out of nowhere (literally, there’s been no explanation so far). And it turns out Kalinda is in some sort of perverse masochistic relationship with the guy; he likes to hurt her and she likes being hurt. And there seems to be quite a bit of understandable self-loathing involved.
It’s bad enough that Kalinda’s bubble of cool has now burst. It’s even worse that one of the few non-straight characters on a good television drama turns out to be some sort of sexual freak (implying all non-straight characters must be).
But what’s really irksome is that the show neither supports or needs any of this. Otherwise “The Good Wife” is streaming along just fine, continuing to enjoy a quality cast, the most prestigious guest stars in television and juggling its mix of legal, political and domestic concerns deftly.
It in no way needed to get seedy with Kalinda and now — her problems weren’t really addressed in the last episode — it’s hard to see how this wonderful character can be resuscitated.
If you don’t watch “The Good Wife,” none of this means a thing. If you do, you’ve likely realized the truth: Somebody blew it big-time.