The Good Fight is as 2017 as one can get on TV. From finding evidence on FitBits to the constant whoosh of text messages in every scene and its unapologetic focus on America’s most burning racial issue – police brutality – no other show deeply reflects our current culture as this legal drama.
Modern America isn’t just reflected in the narrative drive of the show, but also in its characters. The romance between Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) and Colin Morello (Justin Bartha) is far from a fairy-tale romance of two lawyers finding love in the big city. Instead we’re watching two fiery lawyers with often-opposing ideals who find themselves in what may be an untenable situation when political ambition gets in the way.
Watching the pressure placed upon the relationship is an immediate reminder of how rare it is to see interracial relationships in US politics – a fact Lucca would be all too conscious of.
The storyline brings to mind the most high-profile interracial political couple in America, New York mayor Bill De Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray. De Blasio is the first white politician in US history elected to a major office with a black spouse. The couple’s experience is a perfect example of the importance of not just the race of the candidate or incumbent, but also the race of his or her family.
When De Blasio was elected in 2014, he was already married to McCray. Some commentators claimed it was the marriage that helped him gain the black vote. Why would that help, when he was, as an individual, part of what’s become one of the most criticised groups in society – a wealthy, heterosexual, white male?
Answer: because his biracial family made him more credible to black people. It made them feel he could represent them properly. McCray, and their children, gave De Blasio a street cred of sorts.
But among wealthy white people, there was suspicion. In fact, De Blasio’s predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, gave an interview to New York Magazine in which he accused de Blasio of "racism" for featuring his family – who just happen to be biracial – in a campaign ad.
De Blasio had always been a vocal social justice and equality advocate, but after his election to mayor, his support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and criticism of his city’s increasing police brutality incidents saw him accused of bias toward non-whites.
The biggest controversy was caused when De Blasio admitted he and his wife spoke to their son, Dante, about how, being a man of colour, he needed to take “special care” when dealing with the police. De Blasio received a massive amount of support for his honesty and pragmatic parenting, but not from the NYPD, who took the comments as a massive affront. The mayor was blamed for the execution-style deaths of two officers and the NYPD present at their funerals literally turned their backs on De Blasio when he spoke.
The core of the issue is simply that a lot of people felt represented by De Blasio and a lot of people felt betrayed. Undoubtedly, his interracial marriage has been perceived as both an asset and a liability in the court of public opinion.
So what will all of this mean for Lucca and Colin, and their individual ambitions to advance their careers so that they can fight the good fight? And more importantly, how will it affect their potential to have the most genetically-blessed babies on television?
You’ll have to watch to find out.
The Good Fight airs every Wednesday at 9:30pm on SBS. Episodes are also available on SBS On Demand after each episode airs.