How 'The Good Fight' became the most explicitly anti-Trump TV series

Kelly Lawler
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, Audra McDonald as Liz Reddick and Rose Leslie as Maya Rindell on "The Good Fight."

The Good Fight is putting up a very distinct kind of fight this year.

The Good Wife spinoff, on the CBS All Access streaming service, wraps up a charged and intense second season with Sunday's finale. This year featured funerals, an unexpected pregnancy and a shooting in the offices of law firm Reddick, Boseman and Lockhart.  Oh, and the firm competed for the chance to help impeach President Trump. 

The legal drama always has been political: Last year's premiere opened with central character (and avowed liberal) Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) reacting to Trump's inaugural address. And later episodes incorporated fictional tweets and actions of the president into its storyline. 

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But Season 2's dance with the divisive political climate became more explicit and wild, as the firm competed to represent the Democratic National Committee's bid to impeach Trump, while discovering that a notorious tape was real. 

We spoke to Fight creators Robert and Michelle King about how the series got so political, what's coming in Season 3 and whether they're worried about real tweets from the president. 

Question: Did you come into this year knowing it was going to be so specifically tied to Trump’s real-life narrative?

Robert King: No. Originally we thought the year would be about optimism and trying to find a way out of the thicket of politics. But when we all discussed it, we realized that wouldn't be true to Diane's character. Diane, a diehard liberal, would be going crazy this year.  So we decided to make this season not so much about Trump as Diane's reaction to Trump. It's probably our most first-person season, because you're not sure if what you're seeing is reality or Diane's micro-dosing (drug use) reaction to reality. 

Q: How did the impeachment storyline come about? 

Robert: Originally, when we were looking for a story to take us through the whole season, we thought it could be Diane's firm being hired to prepare the Democratic committee for a potential impeachment trial of the president. But we became worried that there wouldn't be enough turns in the plot, and it would become earnest; that's how we hit on the "Kill All Lawyers" plot line (in which several Chicago lawyers were murdered by unhappy clients).

We did think the impeachment story would make a good episode. We were only worried that the story would come across like preaching to the choir. That's when (we) hit on the idea that the firm, in pursuing all the avenues toward impeachment, became more and more like the worst aspects of the president they wanted to throw out of office. That felt like a concept that could sustain a story. 

Q: What about the episode concerning a tape from the infamous dossier?

Robert: That is a subject the two of us thought was funny — the dream pursuit of a "golden shower" tape to take down the president. It becomes this Indiana Jones-like search. It's this precious object to the left — this silver bullet — and we had no greater goal than to make fun of that.  

Margo Martingale as Ruth Eastman and Delroy Lindo as Adrian Boseman watching a certain tape on "The Good Fight."

Q: Are you ever worried that Trump is going to see the show and tweet about it? You guys are streaming, so he can’t come at you for your ratings.

Michelle King: I worry about Trump doing any number of things. Tweeting about The Good Fight is not amongst them. 

Q: What do you hope the audience takes away from this season, whether they’re liberal, conservative or independent?

Robert: Fasten your seat belts. The right wing has gone insane. Now it's the left wing's turn. And people in the middle have to start talking with each other, or we're all going over the cliff.

Q: We’ve heard Roseanne Barr talk about making her character on ABC’s revived Roseanne an outspoken Trump supporter because she felt that someone should represent that point of view on TV. Do you feel that the “resistance” needed representation as well?

Michelle: I don't actually feel that the "resistance" needed representation on TV. My impression of scripted television is that it's either apolitical or vaguely liberal. We're not writing The Good Fight because there was a hole to fill. Instead, we're mainly following the characters. Diane was established as an ardent liberal when we began The Good Wife in 2009. We knew that she — as well as her colleagues at a Chicago African-American law firm — would have a strong opinion about the current administration.  It felt like a lie not to dramatize that.

Michelle and Robert King, the creators of CBS All Access's "The Good Fight."

Q: You had several ripped-from-the-headlines stories this year, including a dramatization of the Bachelor in Paradise controversy and a Me Too episode. Are there any news stories that you’re dying to get Reddick, Boseman and Lockhart to jump in on?

Robert: The Atlantic's firing of Kevin Williamson. Unfortunately, this is probably a trend for the future: the left and the right wanting to reinforce their bubbles. Also 13 Reasons Why and the romanticizing of suicide, for obvious reasons. 

Q: Is Season 3 going to be as political as the first two seasons?

Michelle: Season 3 will not be as political as the first two seasons — assuming that politics stop being crazier than any time in recent memory.  But if politics keep heading in the same direction, then, yeah probably Season 3 will have as much to say about it as Seasons 1 and 2.