“The Good Fight,” for those who are not subscribers to the CBS All Access streaming service, is a legal drama with stories ripped from the headlines, for the past three seasons many having to do with the Trump presidency. The first episode of season 4 of the series starts with an interesting twist.
Some spoilers follow.
The episode opens with the main character, Diane Lockhart, dancing in from of the television with a bottle of bubbly. The day is January 20, 2017, and Hillary Clinton has just been sworn in as president of the United States. The event, apparently, is a dream come true for the liberal feminist. The last three years of the Bad Orange Man was all just a nightmare.
At first, everything seems drawn from a leftwing wet dream. The polar bears are experiencing a population boom. The Amazon rain forest is being restored. Cancer has been cured. (Yes, seriously.) Elizabeth Warren is on the Supreme Court (How did Cocaine Mitch allow that one?)
At this point, the writers of “The Good Fight” decided to throw a curveball. Diane is called into a meeting about a new client for the firm who has a number of legal matters that must be dealt with.
His name is Harvey Weinstein.
It seems that in the Hillary Clinton as president scenario, Ronan Farrow was never able to publish that expose of Harvey Weinstein. As a result, Harvey is still making movies and attacking actresses with wild abandon. Indeed, the legal matter he would like Diane to help him concerns three actresses who are accusing Weinstein of sexual assault. They are dismissed as disgruntled women who didn’t get the part. After all, how could a friend of President Hillary Clinton, a recipient of the Medal of Freedom, do a thing like that?
Incidentally, Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose are still on the job, being a terror to the female help.
Diane, who is at least an honest feminist, is horrified. It doesn’t help that the Hillary presidency is ridden by scandal, including holding back the cancer cure until 2020 so it will have a big splash for the reelection campaign. If you caught cancer in 2019, tough luck.
Even worse, when Diane tries to start up the #MeToo movement, President Hillary’s office reaches out and tells her to cut it out. Hillary will need male voters to win reelection so there is no need to frighten them with a lot of angry, outraged women.
The episode ends with a personal tragedy, brought on by President Hillary’s desire to take firearms away from people. Then Diane wakes up in the real world. Trump is really president and thank goodness for it.
As a piece of alternate history/satire, the episode is not bad. Hillary supporters tend to be irate, not just because they were deprived of a female president, but because of how wonderful they think that a Clinton restoration would have been. The writers of “The Good Fight” were clever and informed enough to remember that Hillary Clinton has a battleship load worth of flaws.
Indeed, alternate history, stories set in worlds where events turned out differently, seem to be all the rage for television. “For All Mankind,” running on the Apple TV Plus network, imagines a world where the Russians were the first to land on the moon and the space race went pedal to the metal in the 1970s. It also imagines a scandal-ridden Teddy Kennedy presidency.
HBO’s “The Plot Against America” imagines that Charles Lindbergh won the presidency in 1940 and starts an anti-Semitic terror in America. The scenario does the Lone Eagle a bit of injustice and papers over the fact that FDR was an enthusiastic anti-Semite who refused to bomb the Nazi death camps even though he was aware of the Holocaust.
The story of a Hillary Clinton presidency could be dark comedy gold given the right writers and actors. The problem is that Hollywood has not been friendly to conservatives for a long time. The hatred the entertainment industry harbors for President Trump is as hot as Hollywood’s desire to kowtow to the Chinese. A depiction of Hillary Clinton who is not the greatest POTUS who was or ever can be would be a tough sell. That “The Good Fight”: pulled it off has to be considered remarkable.