christine baranski

By Maria Neuman

While most of us stop pulling late nights after college, Sarah Steele finds her role of gutsy lawyer Marissa Gold on The Good Fight shooting well into the wee hours. “A few Fridays ago, we finished at 2:30 a.m. and I’m often in the makeup chair by 5 a.m. on a Monday,” says the 33-year-old Pittsburgh native, who got her start on The Good Wife, a gig that was supposed to last three episodes while she was studying at Columbia University. The rest, as they say, is spinoff history.

“On the last day of shooting on The Good Wife, I went up to Christine Baranski and told her that I was going to miss everyone so much. She looked at me and said, ‘There are no goodbyes in this business,’ and we’ve ended up on The Good Fight for six years!” After a week in the courtroom, her weekends in Brooklyn are decidedly more laidback. From the yoga mat to the movies, she takes us through a typical day.

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9:00 a.m.

On Saturdays I love to sleep in but try not to go too late so I’ll stay on schedule for the week. Since starting to shoot The Good Fight, I’ve lived all over Brooklyn, but I recently moved to Brooklyn Heights. It’s right by Brooklyn Bridge Park and known for being pretty quiet, which is fine by me. Plus, two of my best friends live a few blocks away.

9:15 a.m.

A wooden floored studio with rows of yoga mats and a trio of plants in one corner.

“I’m a yoga junkie,” says Steele.

Photo credit: Heatwise

I’m a yoga junkie. There’s a studio right by me called Heatwise, and I try to go at least three times a week. I store my mat there so it’s easy for me to drop in. I like to practice in the morning and find it is the perfect thing to quiet my thoughts and get me in the flow. Since it’s hot yoga, you’re so sweaty at the end that you can’t even leave the building without showering after class.

11:00 a.m.

Arrayed vegetables at a farmer's market.\u200b

Assorted peppers, cherry tomatoes, and other greens on display at a farmer's market

Photo credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Lately I’ve been cooking for myself during the week, and I try to get most of the ingredients from my local farmer’s market, Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket. I pick up everything from turkey burgers and eggs to my veggies.

Noon

My partner, who lives in Greenpoint, comes across town and we’ll go to this certain brunch place right near my apartment. Sorry, I’m not going to say the name because it’s a total gem and we don’t want it to get too crowded. [Laughs.] We don’t even bring friends there! Every time, I order the eggs torta with avocado and chorizo, coffee, and maybe a brunch cocktail.

1:15 p.m.

Sarah Steele and a friend sit on her Brooklyn rooftop having a conversation.

Steele (right) takes in her rooftop view with a pal.

Photo credit: Sarah Steele

I have a roof terrace at my new apartment, so I love to host crafts parties there. At the beginning of the pandemic, I found myself trying to be crafty and not just stare at the TV or my phone in the evening. My boyfriend is a painter, so he’ll bring all the supplies, and we make something like charcoal or acrylic paintings with our friends. My two cats, Xan and Fagin, come up on the roof, too. It’s a fun, easy way to hang out.

3:45 p.m.

Two covers of books recommended by Sarah Steele.

“Two of my recent recommended reads are Consent: A Memoir by Vanessa Springora and What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo.”

Photo credit: (l) Penguin Random House; (r) Harper Collins

I’m always reading a book, either before bed or in the makeup chair. My favorite place to browse and buy is Books Are Magic. I can spend hours there. Usually, I’ll pick out three books, read them all, and then go back and pick out three more. Two of my recent recommended reads are Consent: A Memoir by Vanessa Springora and What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo.

4:00 p.m.

An assortment of vintage furniture and housewares clustered against a gra painted brick wall.

Vintage finds at the Dobbin St. Co-op in Greenpoint.

Photo credit: Instagram.com/dobbinstcoop

One of my favorite stores is KIWI in Park Slope. It’s a clothing store, but it also has unusual beauty products and candles. Another great spot is Dobbin St. Vintage Co-op in Greenpoint, which is full of cool old furniture, vintage clothes, and accessories.

5:15 p.m.

I love, love, love the movies. One of my best recent experiences was seeing The Lost City with Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. It was hysterical. I saw it at the Nitehawk Cinema, a hipster-y small theater where you can order burgers and cocktails while watching the movie.

7:30 p.m.

Two actors in a scene from a production of the play A Case for the Existence of God at the Signature Theatre.

A Case for the Existence of God

Photo credit: Emilio Madrid

I can see live theater every weekend. Most of my friends are theater nerds. So am I. I’ve done so much live theater in the past, but my schedule is pretty busy these days, though I just had an audition a few weeks ago and thought, Wow, I’ve really missed this. Recently I saw A Case for the Existence of God at the Signature Theatre. It sums up my ethos when it comes to theater: heart-breakingly funny and tragic, like real life.

10:00 p.m.

Actress Sarah Steele affectionately cradles her tabby cat.

Steele’s feline friend

Photo credit: Instagram / Sarah Steele

I have a lot of trouble sleeping, so I try not to stay up too late. During the week, I’ve made it a point to be screen-free after 8 p.m. and it helps. I’ll read or listen to a podcast—a recent fave is the tongue-in-cheek one called Poog—or look over my lines for the next day.

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Pictured: Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart
Photo Credit: Patrick Harbon/CBS ©2021 Paramount+, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

By Laurie Ulster

With its snappy dialogue, brilliantly drawn characters, and stories that dig into the darkest and weirdest corners of contemporary issues, The Good Fight consistently takes an unflinching look at race and politics … and thoroughly entertains along the way.

Something else this show excels at: brilliant season premieres that both set and defy expectations. With the sixth and final season scheduled for September 8 on Paramount+, let’s take a look back at what makes each of those premieres so exquisite, and how they manage to kick off every new season with an unexpected bang.

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Season 1

Diane Lockhart hands a portfolio to Maia Rindell

Diane Lockhart hands a file to her goddaughter, Maia Rindell

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/CBS ©2016 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved

“Inauguration” – Feb. 19, 2017

The first episode of The Good Fight has a big job to do. It has to remind fans of The Good Wife that they already know Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and her world, but simultaneously hook a brand-new audience. It does so with a roller coaster ride that takes its characters through heights and dips that are just dizzying enough to let us know the show is both 100% grounded in reality and whimsically, wildly unpredictable.

Disgusted by Trump’s election, high-powered attorney Diane resigns from her own firm and makes plans to buy an estate in the south of France. Her goddaughter Maia Rindell (Rose Leslie) passes the bar exam and joins Diane’s soon-to-be-ex firm. This all seems like business as usual until Maia’s father is arrested for running a Ponzi scheme—the catalyst that spins everything around.

By the end of the hour, Diane has lost her entire life savings and is considered “poison” by other law firms, and Maia has been fired in disgrace. At the last minute, Diane becomes the “diversity hire” at Chicago’s preeminent Black law firm (Reddick, Boseman), scooping Maia up with her … and there our story begins, with a perfect mix of familiar faces from The Good Wife and new ones.

Rarely does a series’ first episode cover so much ground while setting the tone so perfectly for what the rest of the show is going to be—and making it clear who Diane’s arch-nemesis is for almost the entire series: Donald J. Trump.

Season 2

Maia Rindell and Diane Lockhart stare into each other's eyes

Maia leans in to make a point to Diane

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/CBS ©2017 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“Day 408” – March 4, 2018

Season 2 kicks off with a recap, not just of the show, but also a litany of Trump’s most recognizable catchphrases, from “very fine people” to “no collusion.” The episode title is “408,” indicating the 408th day of his presidency, and the rest of the season’s episode titles follow suit. Boom! We’re back in Diane Lockhart’s world of dismay.

This premiere—and the season it introduces—are all about the twists and turns of fate. The episode includes two funerals and a death. One Reddick passes away—Carl (Louis Gossett, Jr.), whose funeral sets the stage for a lot of the action—and one arrives: his daughter Liz (Audra McDonald), who joins the firm as a name partner.

Diane gets a job offer that’s yanked away even as she turns it down. Maia and fellow lawyer Lucca (Cush Jumbo) turn the tables on a sneaky federal agent who is trying to trick them with a fake recording by making a fake of their own. And one of The Good Wife’s most ludicrous, sexist, racist lawyers has become a judge.

So of course, Diane takes up microdosing psilocybin (hallucinogenic mushrooms), because what else is there to do? This season, The Good Fight embraces the chaos, laughing all the way.

Season 3

Diane Lockhart lays in bed with her husband Kurt

A worried Diane lies awake next to her husband, Kurt

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Fisher/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“The One About the Recent Troubles” – March 14, 2019

In the Season 3 premiere, nothing is what it seemed. A documentary about the late Carl Reddick, revered civil rights hero and founder of Diane’s law firm, unearths the truth: Carl was a serial sexual abuser. His daughter wants to know the truth while his victims, despite the atrocities they endured, want to preserve his legacy.

Diane is so happy about her life she’s not afraid to say so out loud … uh-oh. Things turn dark when she thinks husband Kurt (Gary Cole) is cheating on her—and he is, but the truth is almost worse: He’s been going hunting with Eric and Don Jr.! Then one of them accidentally shoots him—and he can’t tell Diane which one because he signed an NDA.

What happens next is what makes this premiere so next-level: Where else but on The Good Fight would you find a bullet wound speaking in Donald Trump’s voice, mocking Diane in the wee hours while Kurt sleeps. “You’re not fit to kiss my husband’s feet,” she tells it, reminding us that our whole sense of reality is suspect at best.

Season 4

Diane Lockhart at a Women United for Change event getting photographed alongside Ingrid Hill by the paparazzi

Diane and Ingrid Hill (Carolyn McCormick) pose for the paparazzi

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“The Gang Deals with Alternate Reality” – April 9, 2020

Just when you think the show can’t reach new heights, The Good Fight hits you with the best season premiere of the whole series.

Diane walks into work to find out that the world she thought she was living in has turned upside down, and she’s the only one who notices the difference. Hilary Clinton is president, global warming is on the mend, nobody’s even heard of Brett Kavanaugh, the polar bears have been saved, and there’s a cure for cancer! She doesn’t remember any of what’s happened in the past two years, but it all seems pretty wonderful, right?

But it isn’t. The MeToo movement never happened, so not only is Harvey Weinstein still out there sexually abusing women, but Diane is his lawyer … and if the firm doesn’t keep him as a client, they’re out of business.

The biggest laughs come when Diane tries explaining “her reality” to her stunned and stymied colleagues, all of whom are wondering if she’s gone mad. Trump was president, even after his vulgar comments? Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer—and firm founder Carl Reddick—have been identified as sexual harassers? “Where were the Obamas during all this?” asks Liz Reddick.

There’s much more to this one, from the reversal of the opening credits, where objects reassemble themselves instead of exploding (as they’ve done for the past three seasons), to the dramatic wrap-up as the phony world unravels. It’s an hour of unique and thoroughly absorbing television.

Season 5

Diane Lockhart with her head leaning on the shoulder of Adrian Boseman

Adrian Boseman (Delroy Lindo) consoles a distraught Diane

Photo Credit: CBS ©2021 Paramount+, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“Previously On …” June 24, 2021

Season 4 was cut short due to the Covid outbreak. Since the show has always been about what’s going on in the world, how do you come back from a global pandemic? What story do you tell? Is everyone wearing masks? Are we going to go through it all again, step by step?

No. The Good Fight covers everything it wants to say about Covid in one episode. It wraps up loose ends from the shortened previous season and sets the path for the departures of favorite characters Lucca and Adrian.

It also dramatizes the spectrum of life in pandemic times. We see the firm explaining Zoom to teams, the office abandoned, and staff cutbacks looming. While some of the characters sail through the pandemic safe and sound, private investigator Jay nearly dies alone in the hospital, besieged by hallucinations. And that’s a wrap on Covid in one episode.

The season premiere also manages to squeeze in an L.A. Law dig, Democratic party hypocrisy, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the election of Joe Biden, and more flips of fate. And all THAT comes before diving into a season that recreates the Jan. 6 insurrection in the courtroom of Season 5 Hal Wackner (Mandy Patinkin). Buckle your seat belts.

Season 6 is Coming on September 8!

Diane Lockhart laying on the floor wearing a black floral dress and a heavy gold necklace

What’s next? Diane stares into the distance.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Fisher©2021 Paramount+, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Can The Good Fight top itself in its final season premiere? After consistently upping the ante, there’s no doubt it’s going to try—and we can’t wait to see what happens!

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Superheroes with super voices: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Melissa Benoist as Kara

Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW.

By Nate Millado

Audra McDonald and Christine Baranski have wowed us with their acting chops—but did you know The Good Fight stars have vocal chops too? And they're far from the only double threats on television. Watch rounds up a few of our favorite stars who can act and sing.

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Seeing red: Christine Baranski stars as Diane Lockhart on The Good Fight.

Photo: Robert Ascroft/CBS

Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) tells it like it is—and nobody tells it better than Diane. Not only is Diane among the best lawyers in Chicago, she's also "smart, ambitious, principled and witty," say The Good Fight creators Robert and Michelle King. (The husband-and-wife team is also behind CBS' The Good Wife, Paramount+'s Evil, and CBS Studios' COVID-19 zombie satire, The Bite.) Read on for Diane's wittiest comebacks and most provocative (and evocative) quotes.

Stream The Good Fight on Paramount+.

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