YMMV: The Good Wife

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Alicia Florrick. Is she a noble hardworking single mother who faces adversity with integrity and honesty? Or is she an inconsiderate Jerk Ass who believes justice is sternly the law and constantly indulges in kicking or shooting the proverbial dog?
    • Anything and anyone in the wake of Alicia and Cary forming their own law firm. Suffice to say, reactions and motivations are really anyone's guess.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • Blake investigating Kalinda. The producers admitted that Scott Porter's schedule forced them to drag the story out longer than they'd planned.
    • Alicia and Kalinda's reconciliation. Taking a year might have worked for realism's sake, but without their chemistry as a cornerstone the whole third season suffered.
    • How many times can Colin Sweeney go back and forth over whether he killed his wife? Though it finally gets confirmed by his third wife in one episode after Alicia gets her acquitted of murder.
    • Kalinda being stalked and harassed by her Ex-Husband Nick. It doesn't help the storyline followed the same beats of Kalinda rebuffing him and the two threatning each other till they ended up sleeping together or him getting violently jealous of someone over and over again.
    • Louis Canning constantly coming back to antagonize the firm.
    • Alicia's election storyline in Season 6.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Kalinda Sharma. To the point that film studies students at Harvard have written essays about her.
    • Eli Gold, who seems to be staying on by merging his lobbying business with Lockhart/Gardner despite the election being over.
    • Elsbeth Tascioni has definitely turned into this.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Will and Alicia.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: David Hyde Pierce, who is actually gay, playing Frank Prady, who is Mistaken for Gay because he never remarried―he’s actually a Jesuit.
  • Les Yay: Pretty much canonical, albeit perhaps one-sided, between Alicia and Kalinda; at one point in season four, Kalinda's estranged husband hears Kalinda on the telephone, and concludes, based on Kalinda's tone of voice, that she is having an affair with the person on the other end of the line. Of course, he also concludes that the person is Cary, with whom Alicia shares an office, but we, the audience, know that it was really Alicia.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Eli Gold, oh so very much.
    • Lemond Bishop. The man makes being a ruthless drug lord look so cool.
    • Louis Canning.
    • Colin Sweeney zigzags between this and Smug Snake.
    • Mike Kresteva. The man spins lies into convincing truths at the drop of a hat.
    • David Lee and his M&Ms.
  • Magnificent Bitch:
    • Patti Nyholm
    • Alicia is starting to show signs of this during Season 5
  • Narm: The scenes in Season 6 where Alicia and Kalinda actually spoke to each other earned this response from some. A few people noted that it looked as though the two shot their scenes at different times or on different stages, possibly as a result of the apparent feud between Margulies and Panjabi.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Watching "The Week After" probably compelled more than a few people to put tape over their webcams. Also invoked In-Universe - the last scene involves Zack closing his webcam program just to make sure the green light goes out.
  • The Scrappy: Kalinda's ex-husband Nick, a violent homophobe involved in shady dealings, who spends his screen time stalking her, trying to have sex with her, and getting jealous of whoever she's with. On top of this his actor chews the scenery like their's no tomorrow and scenes with him tend to both drag on and have no importance to what's going on with any of the other characters. Hatred of him was so high that the character was shuttled off the show for a few episodes and then quickly Killed Off for Real after he came back.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Season 3 was considered a slight letdown from Season 2, featuring a more unfocused overall arc. Season 4's first few episodes continued this trend with a storyline involving Kalinda's husband that many fans disliked. Luckily, the second half of Season 4 and all of Season 5 rebounded from this greatly.
    • Season 6 earned accusations of this, though. Some criticisms included the lengthiness of Alicia's election storyline (with very little payoff), the decision to shunt Cary to the sidelines midway through the season after giving his trial so much focus and weight early on, and the season finale introducing Louis Canning as a potential player ready to start a firm with Alicia, echoing the end of Season 4, where Cary did the same thing. Additionally, the apparent bad blood between Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi working its way into the show's real-life plotting earned particular scorn, with some criticizing the show's attempt to elicit a passionate response toward Alicia and Kalinda's friendship when the two hadn't been shown in the same frame with one another all season long.
  • Values Dissonance: Kalinda is rather cynical about a jury consultant for using racial stereotypes, to which the rather obvious comeback is "That's what your firm pays me for." Honestly, you simply try to fix a jury in your favor, and look at the kind of amoral people you get.
  • Win Back the Crowd: As mentioned above, while Season 3 dropped a bit in quality, the second half of Season 4 (with episodes like "Red Team, Blue Team", "Death of a Client", and "What's in the Box?") and all of Season 5 (particularly the show's 100th episode, "Hitting the Fan"), have received widespread acclaim.
  • The Woobie:
    • Alicia, at least until getting together with Will. And then Will (separate spoiler) dies, plunging Alicia straight back into this territory.
    • Diane Lockhart in Season 5. Peter screws her over and denies her the judgeship she always wanted. Her best friend dies. Lee and Canning plot to remove her as managing partner of her own company.
    • By S06E10 ‘The Trial’, Cary, once the defence and Lemond Bishop finally force him into pleading guilty and going to prison for 2 years.