Baranski bit on Colbert unfunny, but her "The Good Fight" is promising - The Buffalo News
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Baranski bit on Colbert unfunny, but her "The Good Fight" is promising

This is what I'm thinking:

The most disturbing part of Western New York native Christine Baranski playing the wife of Rep. Chris Collins on the "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on Tuesday night was the script may have been amusing but it wasn't that funny.

I didn't laugh once.

Baranski, who is an occasional guest star on "The Big Bang Theory," is an exceptional actress but even she needs decent material. The Collins bit played like a "Saturday Night Live" sketch that arrives about 12:45 a.m.

The funniest part of the bit was unintentional. It was footage of Chris Collins explaining why Republicans weren't addressing the resignation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn from the Trump Administration.

"Well, it's Valentine's Day, and I guess they're having breakfast with their wives," Collins said.

Then the bit shifted to Baranski as a lonely Mrs. Collins on Valentine's Day, sipping wine from two glasses.

Some people understandably felt Collins' wife should be off-limits and didn't deserve to be parodied or mocked. But since most viewers don't know anything about the taste of the real Mrs. Collins in wine or anything else, it really wasn't a parody of her as much a stereotype and mocking of political wives.

"SNL" has had a recurring routine, "Melania Moments," about President Trump's wife, that pokes fun at the now first lady and has led some people to feel it disrespects her. But there has been little fallout. Such mocking comes with the territory.

The bit that Trevor Noah of "The Daily Show" did on Collins' Valentine's Day excuse was much funnier than the Colbert bit. It also showed footage of Collins' excuse.

Noah also used more of Collins' words against him when addressing Flynn.

"I call it a guess-what, now-what world," said Collins. "Guess what? He's resigned. Now what? We've got a lot of issues to deal with."

Like most Americans, Noah said he didn't know what that meant.

"I've never heard of this guy before today," said Noah. "But now, I'll never forget him."

Speaking of Baranski, she appeared on Colbert's show the same week that "The Good Fight," a sequel to "The Good Wife," premieres with her returning as corporate lawyer Diane Lockhart.

The writers and producers weren't kidding in Pasadena, Calif., last month when they said the language restrictions of network television would no longer be necessary now that "The Good Wife" is being streamed for subscribers on CBS All-Access.

The opening two episodes have a decent amount of indecent language. That will make the dual premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday so interesting. The pilot of "The Good Fight" will be carried on the CBS broadcast network as well as CBS-All Access. That suggests there will be some editing of the streaming version to make it confine with broadcast standards for the CBS version. After Sunday, the rest of the 10 episodes appear Sunday only on the streaming channel, though they could eventually air on CBS on a Saturday night with some minor editing

Sunday's premiere is a premise pilot, which means it shows why Diane's plans to retire to France have to be altered when she loses all her money in a Ponzi scheme run by a Bernie Madoff-type character. She eventually is brought to  tears, making her a very sympathetic character.

The involving pilot written by Phil Alden Robinson ("Field of Dreams") introduces Rose Leslie as Mia Rendell, a young, ambitious and bright lawyer whose parents are involved in the Ponzi scheme. Besides Baranski, cast members of "The Good Wife" include Cush Jumbo (Lucca Quinn), Zach Grenier (David Lee) and  Sarah Steele (Marissa Gold, Eli's daughter). Delroy Lindo and Erica Tazel also are aboard as sparring partners in a rival law firm.

Of course, Julianna Margulies (Alicia Florrick), Chris Noth (Peter Florrick) and Alan Cumming (Eli Gold) and all the relationship stories are missed. But guess what? It is a now-what world. Don't cry for Baranski. This is her show and it looks promising.

email: apergament@buffnews.com

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