The Good Wife
Anatomy Of A Joke

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: A+
Safe Harbor

Dodd: "My name is Therese Dodd and these are my breasts. Breast cancer is a serious matter. Early detection can save lives. And so, as a public service, I will now demonstrate a self-exam..."
Closed Captions: "(Drummer plays vampy beat.)"
Finnegan: "Oh, and there they are. Uh, we're live, so..."


Dodd clarifies for the court -- Alicia and Will on her side, F. Murray Abrahams's horrible Burl Preston cross-examining -- that she thought there was a live delay, and grins at Will.

Burl: "Did you just smile at your lawyer because he coached you to say that?"
Dodd: "No, I smiled at my lawyer because he's cute!"

And so on. He plays more of the appearance, in which she massages her breasts overlong, and the second most irritating thing about the episode pops up, in which every time somebody on our show says "tits" or whatever, the traffic outside the courtroom honks diagetically, like it's the Marx Brothers over here.

Now, there's a point to be made here about how safe-harbor laws and censorship clash reductively and dangerously with special-interest Crazy Christians and the FCC -- that being outraged is a race to the bottom, and that otherwise disinterested parties who are only concerned with monitoring other people's thoughts and sexuality can effect network policy through the almighty dollar. And maybe this honking thing is a wink the show is giving us about their own relationship to the grody FCC/network/value-voter threesome.

Except this show thinks that people eating ice cream while undetectably fingering each other is the height of depravity, so I can't see that they really have much of a soapbox to protest on. So I'm going to go with my gut, which tells me this was just a funny idea in the writers' room that got out of hand.

On the other hand, I think this scenario is actually more about that thing that happened a few months ago, when Lisa Brown got banned from the Michigan debate floor for referring to vaginas during a conversation about vaginas. The unbelievable privilege of crazy white men to be horrified by that kind of "confrontational" language that still makes me feel like I am on crazy pills when I think about it:

Michigan ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE Mike Callton, verbatim: "What she said was offensive... It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company."

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The Good Wife




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