The Good Fight Creators on Tackling Trump and Les Moonves, and Why There’s No Place Like Home

Robert and Michelle King’s acclaimed spinoff returns for Season 3

Season 3 of The Good Fight finds Christine Baranski taking on the Trump administration.
Patrick Harbron/CBS

CBS All Access doesn’t have the breadth of original content that streaming rivals Netflix and Hulu do, but it’s worth the subscription price just for The Good Fight, which Adweek named one of 2018’s best TV shows. That’s largely due to the work of co-creators and showrunners Robert and Michelle King, who have turned the Good Wife spinoff into a crackling legal drama that is every bit its predecessor’s equal.

As the series returns for Season 3 today on the streaming service, the duo talked with Adweek about tackling the #MeToo-related exit of their former boss, CBS CEO Les Moonves (“How could you not deal with it?”), their potential return to broadcast TV next season and why when it came to signing a new production deal, there was no place like home.

So Season 1 was about proving there was life beyond The Good Wife, and then in Season 2 the show took this leap and stood on its own. What was the plan going into Season 3?
Michelle King: I feel like Season 3 is an amplification of Season 2.

Robert King: We’re following Christine [Baranski, who plays Diane Lockhart]’s thought, which at the end of Season 2, she says, “I’m going to fight this.” So what does the fight look like against what she sees as an administration that is radical and off the rails? Is there any way to follow through on Michelle Obama saying, “When they go low, we go high?” Or is it a version of, “When they go low, we kick them in the balls?” That’s what Christine’s character has to figure out. But the narrative for us this year is pointing the finger inward too, because the whole season is about storytelling trumping facts. Which I think is why Trump is [president]—he was able to tell stories better and more emotionally. Did you see Brexit on HBO? It follows a similar logic: the one who goes emotional, wins. The one who goes for facts, doesn’t.

Michelle: Which is interesting for a group of lawyers, who are advocates. And are supposed to win at all costs. And we have amplified that somewhat in bringing on a new character, Roland Blum, who Michael Sheen plays, who has no regard for the law or the truth, and it’s all about hedonism and winning and noisy bullshit.

Robert: The Michael Sheen character is a stand-in for Roy Cohn, if Roy Cohn were alive today.

Even though the entire season was steeped in the current political landscape, there were only a few episodes last year where you tackled a topic that was explicitly Trump-specific. Did you modulate that in a similar way this season?
Michelle: I actually think we did.

Robert: But not on purpose. There’s one episode—a version of our “golden shower” episode from last year [about the rumored Russian blackmail video involving Trump]. This year, a woman who may or may not be Melania is contacting the new divorce lawyer in the firm about helping her rewrite her postnup. So it touches on the same issues and that same question of, are we being set up, or is this true? I think there’s a thread running through the whole year, which is the resistance, which is then, how do you take down someone who fights dirty…

Michelle: …Without sullying yourself to the point where you can no longer live with yourself. In other words, how low are you willing to go and still think of yourself as a good person?

When the first New Yorker story broke about Les Moonves last summer, even before he left CBS, it seemed obvious that you would figure out a way to tackle that story this season. How did you approach it?
Michelle: We were doing stories about sexual harassment long before this came up. So it’s really just a continuation. It impacts our firm and becomes very personal to the people involved.

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