Photo Credit: CBS
New TV shows, like new law firm hires, spend the first few months on high alert. If they don't quickly find their tone and their audience, they'll lose the opportunity as fast as they got it. In many cases, shows have five episodes or less to connect with viewers. (That's how many tries ABC's Hank got before it was shown the door.)
But with lots of praise (and episode pick-ups), The Good Wife can breathe a little easier now. The hard work -- of appealingly and unconfusingly setting up the story -- is done. Now it's time for the fun stuff: developing the plot by fleshing out the characters. And that includes the coolest one (in my opinion), Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi).
As the sharp-tongued, no-nonsense private investigator at Stern, Lockhart & Gardner, Kalinda was cold toward Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) when she first arrived. She clearly considered Alicia to be soft. Whether she formed that opinion because of Alicia's continued commitment to her two-timing husband, Peter (Chris Noth) wasn't discussed -- though back then this implication was always hanging thickly in the air. Nowadays, Kalinda and Alicia are gradually moving toward friendship. Kalinda's demeanor towards Alicia, while not exactly warm, is definitely more protective.
Kalinda is noteworthy also because she's a visual reminder of how career women have been allowed to change since Alicia left the work force 13 years ago. She wears low-cut blouses, leather jackets, short skirts, and boots with a heel. It's a daring statement in an office of business suits. Alicia dresses in an early-90's, "low profile" mentality: Fit in with practical pantsuits, and certainly no cleavage.
When I first saw Kalinda, in the pilot episode, her well-displayed cleavage simply reminded me that I was watching a TV show -- where blouses are just naturally down to there. But as I've continued to watch, I've realized that Kalinda's free and sexy style at her buttoned-up workplace is also an unspoken dare. It's part of her character, a means of asserting her distaste for rules. She doesn't always follow them in her investigative work, either.
Whether it's appropriate to show so much leg (let alone cleavage) at the office isn't an issue on this show. But Kalinda has attracted the attention of at least one male suitor. Watching her spurn the irritating Cary (Matt Czuchry) does make me wonder, "Well, what did she expect?" Ever since the episode when someone named Donna answered Kalinda's phone, web gossips have theorized that Cary's problem might be his gender. Then again, producers have hinted that they're bringing in a love interest for Kalinda, and he's a "hot-headed police investigator" named Ryan.
"This is one of those big questions that will be addressed in January," Panjabi told the LA Times. "But I will tell you I don’t think you can put Kalinda in any box. She’s hard to pigeonhole in every respect of life."
Have you noticed any hints about Kalinda's sexuality on The Good Wife? Chime in below!