Leading up to the finale, writers Moira Macdonald and Tricia Romano chat about The Good Wig.
We’ve spent seven seasons staring at Julianna Margulies’ hairline on “The Good Wife” — and have noticed, as you probably have too, that it has moved. Sometimes it’s high and almost rectangular; sometimes it’s so low it’s the opposite of a five-head.
That’s because she’s wearing TV’s most famous wig. Or rather, wigs. Each of them costs, according to Margulies herself, about $10,000 each. (She wears them, she said, to save the time it would take to style her own naturally curly hair, and to give Alicia a sleek, polished look.)
We look back at the best and worst of The Good Wig.
Moira: Here’s Alicia when we first met her back in the first episode of Season 1: heartbroken, stunned, and flat of hair — very flat, like a sad puddle on a rainy day — as she stands by her man. And let’s not even talk about that jacket.
Tricia: Yes, that is the dowdiest that we will ever see Alicia. It’s loose-fitting . . . what is that pattern? And she’s not even wearing makeup, I don’t think!
Moira: Think of the state of mind you’d have to be in to put that jacket on. Then again, her husband is announcing to the world that he cheated on her, multiple times, with prostitutes. This is an Outfit of Despair.
Tricia: What a few weeks as a junior associate at law firm will do! She’s sporting the longest hair we’ll ever see on the show, and the jacket, while nothing to write home about, is at least fitted.
Moira: Wig seems to have grown a few inches?
Tricia: It’s interesting how Wig can just grow and shrink at will.
Moira: At Will, did you say?
Tricia: I see what you did there. Speaking of changing at will, this might be the same wig, but look at that hairline! You can plane a table on that hard-edge of a hairline. RuPaul would kick you out of Drag Race with a wigline like that.
Moira: I think the idea is that the hair is supposed to be a picture frame for Julianna Margulies’ very lovely face — but it’s not doing her justice. It needs re-framing.
Moira: Just another day at the law firm!
Tricia: This was the banquet scene in Season 2, Peter was campaigning, and Alicia and Will were flirting hardcore, but not hooking up. They had to leave their glamorous party for a client emergency.
Moira: Good hair game here. And let us note that Alicia is wearing her most flattering color, a deep red. The show’s costume designer, Daniel Lawson, often puts her in red for key moments. When I think of Alicia I think of a simple, beautifully cut dress or suit, in red.
Tricia: This is during the second season finale when things are heating up with Will but the Wig is doing its flat, straight-across hairline thing.
Moira: I think Wig is tired at the end of a long season. Also, Alicia is wearing some seriously blah colors here. (Does the picture indicate that she’s had some sort of sandwich orgy?)
Tricia: Is that beer??? She never drinks beer!
Moira: Only Cary drinks beer on this show. At the end of season 2, Alicia and Will FINALLY spent the night together, and she returned back to the office the next day with . . .
Tricia: …. Sex Bangs!
Moira: Magically acquired in the time in between leaving the hotel room in the morning and immediately arriving at the office. And quite cute, at least the first time we saw them. But Sex Bangs sadly took a turn for the worse, very soon.
Tricia: Yes, the reality of Sex Bangs was that they were more like Pollyanna Bangs.
Tricia: I mean, she even has it tied back like a good schoolgirl. For Season 4, she did what everyone who has ever had bangs has had to do: grow them out. Except Wig can skip the awkward in-between phase.
Moira: Wig is magic! And Alicia is now sporting layers, which sometimes threaten to overwhelm her face. As in this picture, which is a tad helmet-y.
Tricia: She’s turned into Teresa Guidice of Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Moira: If those two became best friends . . . I would watch that show.
Tricia: I think this is a Season 4 promo shot; Wig is very Farrah Fawcett but too stiff. But to quote Hannibal Lecter: “Love the suit.”
Moira: This suit is gorgeous. Very simple, looks crazy expensive. The sort of thing that all of us wear here, every day, at the Seattle Times. In our dreams.
Tricia: I am wearing pajamas right now.
Tricia: The stylists must have been feeling wild and crazy. Updo!
Moira: Sigh. Updos on this show make me think of Kalinda. She Who Must Not Be Named. But Wig looks good here; less wiggy than usual. Note the red dress, again; this one is from Lanvin. I love that Alicia has not one but TWO fabulous red formal gowns in her closet. Is this standard for lawyers?
Tricia: The color of power.
Tricia: Wig looks like it’s going to fly away of its own volition, it’s so separated from her head. Beige is not her color.
Moira: It has definitely sprouted wings.
Moira: Best season of the show was Season 5 — the new law firm! Eli as Peter’s chief of staff! Tensions flying between Florrick Agos and Lockhart Gardner! And . . . oh, I can’t even say it, but the saddest thing to ever happen on a network TV show to a guy in an expensive suit. Alicia’s outfits were great this season — I love this fitted two-tone jacket — but Wig seemed a little taken aback by the course of events.
Tricia: Wig is sad about Will. It’s interesting to watch how the women’s styling have evolved as the show has gone on. As they get more powerful and more confident, their clothes get sharper and more defined. Instead of the off-the-rack-looking suits, you have looks like this. Also, I love the women’s makeup. It’s heavy and dramatic, without being too much for daytime.
Moira: Someday, someone will write a doctoral dissertation on Lipstick And Its Meaning In ‘The Good Wife.’ Yes, the biggest difference you see is how beautifully Alicia’s clothes fit her now. Diane’s, too. But then again, Diane was always a fashion badass.
Tricia: I want all of Diane’s chunky necklaces!
Tricia: Living for everything in this picture. The color, the blouse, the pin at the neck, the hair almost looks real. And I’m sure that wine is expensive.
Moira: EVERYTHING in this picture looks expensive. And Alicia looks — dare I say — happy. And in an unusual color for her — green! — and unmatched separates, rather than a suit or dress. But something new and thoroughly shocking turned up in Season 7 . . .
Tricia: I LOL’ed when I saw this. They told her to be more relatable and political wifey while on the campaign trail during Peter’s Presidential bid, and she’s like, “I’m going to pick the dowdiest, ugliest hat and scarf and put them on together.” It’s a visual manifestation of Hillary Clinton’s quote in the 90s about how she guessed she could just stay home and bake cookies.
Moira: You know Wig had to hate that hat. I remember how, in that scene, after the speech she immediately removed both the hat and the scarf and handed it to someone, without a glance. Shedding it like snakeskin!
Tricia: Do you think Wig has feelings?
Moira: I do. It is quite eloquent, sometimes. For example, in this picture, it’s saying, “I’m having a bad day. And I’m in a BATHROOM for some reason.”
Tricia: Wig and Alicia have both been sent to lawyer purgatory, bond court, as part of her paying penance for the political fallout of her State’s Attorney campaign. Also, a middle part is never good. Never. She has the hairline of Count Dracula.
Moira: She ran against Niles Crane in that election. But I digress. That suit is as dull as that middle part. Let’s leave Alicia in a happier look . . .
Tricia: She’s going full Michelle Obama here, showing us her toned arms and a fitted color-blocked sheath dress. Wig has a side part, thank God.
Moira: Wig looks happy. Alicia does too. Perhaps it’s because of that large glass of Scotch. Shall we all have a drink, to The Good Wig? And to seven years of a pretty great show?
Tricia: Yes, I’ll drink to that. And I bet Julianna Margulies will drink to never having to wear Wig again, and go back to her real hair, which looks like this:
Moira: Join us Monday morning for our final wrap-up of The Last Episode of “The Good Wife” EVER. Sob!