How The 2016 Election Shaped 'The Good Wife' Spinoff

The original show was inspired by the Obama years, but The Good Fight finds its characters in "moral freefall" post-Trump.

Pop culture never exists in a vacuum, and most television is influenced by the political climate whether consciously or not. Speaking to reporters at the TCA Press Tour this morning, the makers of The Good Wife and its upcoming spinoff The Good Fight spoke about the importance of Barack Obama's election to the original show, and how the shock election of Donald Trump changed the landscape of its spinoff.

"The world changed on us," said co-creator Robert King. "You're always wondering what the spine of the show is, and I think this 2016 election gave us a spine. The Good Wife was always a little bit about the Obama years – it was really a satire of 2008 and all the things we went through in 2008, which was a very dramatic election. This gives shape to a new year, where this is all gonna change."

The pilot of The Good Fight was filmed in the days leading up to the election, and Christine Baranski recalled shooting one particularly powerful scene the night before November 8. "I had always had a Photoshopped picture of Diane Lockhart with Hillary Clinton, and it was prominent for many seasons. There's a scene in the pilot where Diane has to leave her office because she's out of a job, and she takes that photograph and puts it in a box." That scene was shot the night before the election, when Baranski – along with most of the country – was assuming that Clinton was about to become the next president. "The next night, I went to my dressing room and found out the news that Trump was the next president. We were all in free-fall."

Following Trump's election, the first episode was tweaked, and in the final version we will hear audio of his inauguration playing in the background of an opening scene. In Diane, Baranski says, "You have a character who is in moral free-fall in much the same way the country is."

"More than the show being political, we have characters who are political," Michelle King added. "We always try to present all our characters are intelligent, thinking beings, whether they're conservative or liberal, and that's not going to change."

The Good Fight premieres on CBS All Access on February 19. Watch the trailer below.

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Emma Dibdin

Emma Dibdin is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles who writes about culture, mental health, and true crime. She loves owls, hates cilantro, and can find the queer subtext in literally anything.