It's the kind of creative jolt most shows never dare attempt. When the name of the game is maintaining loyal viewers to sell to advertisers like Ford and Apple and Paramount Pictures, you don't rock the boat. Networks spend years looking for a hit show. When they land one, they milk it for all its worth. That's how you get ten years of derivative "CSI" episodes, each one just like the next, the interchangeable detectives solving case after case after case where the only thing different is the gory details. Most TV watchers don't really want to be challenged. They want comfort food.
We have no doubt that if "The Good Wife" threw in some obscenity and nudity or if it aired on a trendier cable network like AMC or HBO, it would be raining Emmys. It's far, far sharper and more layered than just about any show on network TV. It really is "Game of Thrones" good. The cast is uniformly outstanding, the characters all richly contradictory and well-rounded, the legal twists and turns always as surprising as they are plausible. These are smart characters showing off how smart they are. But it's 2013 and network TV is considered lame and uncool, so "The Good Wife" gets mostly shut out of the big awards.
More and more, the show's starting to make technology its narrative brand. This doesn't mean just using tech to solve cases (though it does do that). "The Good Wife" also builds a lot of its plots out of the ethical and legal problems surrounding technology, whether it's privacy concerns, cyberbullying, search engine algorithms, NSA spying. The list goes on and on. (In the fictional world of the show, all-powerful Google is something called Chumhum.) Just as technology and the web have influenced every corner of our collective existence, so too does it impact all areas of the show. "The Good Wife" has become so skilled in this area that it's drawn the attention of both Wired and Slate. If you're a fan of the show, these articles are worth a look.
Now go set your DVRs.