Character is absolutely everything on a TV series, especially when it comes to a drama. The Good Wife aired for seven critically praised seasons from 2009 to 2016, and fans quickly took to the story of a wife and mother named Alicia Florrick who is leaving her problematic husband behind and striking out on her own in the legal world.
Sure, Alicia is the focus of the series, but there are many other major players on the show, from her family, coworkers, and love interests. Here are the 10 main characters of The Good Wife, ranked.
10 Peter Florrick
Does any fan of The Good Wife like Peter Florrick (Chris Noth)? That's definitely a rhetorical question. Since the pilot is literally about how much of a jerk he is, this character lands at number 10 on our list. He's truly the worst main character on the series.
Sometimes how Peter actually feels about Alicia is confusing, since the two seem to go back and forth between not talking or wondering if they should start their romance back up again. But in the pilot, we learn that Peter has cheated on Alicia and embarrassed her publicly since he's the state's attorney of Cook County, Chicago. Right off the bat, we find it tough to feel sympathetic for him as he's ruined his marriage and family. As the series progresses, it's difficult to care about Peter's political journey and ambitions.
9 David Lee
Zach Grenier played David Lee, a lawyer at the firm whose specialty is divorce. There are often jokes about divorce lawyers being greedy, only caring about money, and not really caring about much else.
Well, sometimes jokes are just jokes... and other times, they have some truth to them. In the case of this character, he's truly unlikable. He's aggressive, out for himself, and he doesn't really bring anything special or interesting to the show. He's not funny or dramatic. He's just kind of... there in the background. This makes him rank number nine on our list.
8 Zach Florrick
Graham Phillips played Alicia's son Zach. His role on the series is pretty uneven, which lands him at number eight on the list. Sometimes he seems non-existent and it's like he and his mom don't even have much of a relationship. Other times, the show focuses on how he's being a typical teenager, getting into trouble, and his mom is worried about him.
Sure, fans like Zack a lot more than David and Peter... but that's not still not saying all that much. If Alicia is going to have two children, they should both be fascinating to watch. Instead, only one of them is (more on her soon).
7 Cary Agos
Matt Czuchry's The Good Wife character, Cary Agos, is slightly better than the previous characters mentioned, landing him at number seven on this list.
Cary and Alicia compete a lot at the beginning of the series. He doesn't seem like he's going to get very many storylines of his own until the sixth season when he's in the middle of his very own legal battle for alleged drug trafficking. While he's not the absolute worst character on this TV drama, he's far from the greatest. Most of the time, he's a bit dull... but he does have his moments, like when he and Kalinda flirt and realize that they have feelings for each other.
6 Grace Florrick
Grace Florrick (Mackenzie Vega) is Alicia's daughter and she's a well-drawn character. The only reason why she's not ranked higher on this list is because, number one, this show is filled with some amazing characters, and number two, there are a few moments when her goody-two-shoes personality is fairly annoying.
The rest of the time, though, Grace is a great part of the show. Her most interesting storyline is when she starts wondering about religion. This isn't always explored on a TV drama that isn't actually about religion or spirituality, so this was a welcome sight.
5 Will Gardner
Oh, Will Gardner. Fans can't get over Will's (Josh Charles) death in the fifth season. It was shocking and really felt like it came out of nowhere.
Will and Alicia have a "will they/won't they" vibe and that makes it even more heartbreaking when he's shot in court. (Okay, the phone message that he leaves for Alicia makes it even more heartbreaking.) Will is a good lawyer, a good guy, and fans really wish that he could have survived so he and Alicia could live happily ever after. Since his time on the show is cut short, he's ranked at number five, right in the middle. But he's definitely a beloved face on the show.
4 Dianne Lockhart
Is Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) a mentor to Alicia... or an enemy? Sometimes she's the former, and in the series finale, she seems to be the latter as she literally slaps Alicia in the face. It makes sense that Diane would do this as Alicia made Diane's husband look stupid during a court case. Also, the creators, Robert and Michelle King, have talked about how Alicia slapped Peter in the pilot so this was a storytelling device.
Diane is a truly wonderful character and even got a spin-off, The Good Fight, which was so well-deserved. She's number four on this list and is fascinating in every scene that she's in. A feminist, liberal, strong woman, she's caring yet doesn't pull any punches, ever.
3 Alicia Florrick
Julianna Margulies may be the star of the show, but she is ranked just slightly behind two of the other characters who made a bigger impression on this series.
Alicia Florrick is an amazing character, though, and she deserves a lot of credit for finding a new life, taking care of her two kids, and believing in herself. She's tough, vulnerable when she needs to be, and she's also not flawless, which makes her interesting and human. Whether watching her cope with Will's tragic death or dealing with all of the curveballs and obstacles that Peter throws in her way, Alicia is always super strong.
2 Eli Gold
Alan Cumming's The Good Wife character is so great that he could honestly have his own show. (There's a spin-off idea...)
Eli is Peter's right-hand guy and yet he is super sweet and loyal to Alicia. He's a brilliant political communications expert and he is Peter's chief of staff and campaign manager at various points. Because he's hilarious, mysterious, and keeps fans guessing because he has great schemes, he's ranked at number two on this list.
1 Kalinda Sharma
Eli would be the very best character on The Good Wife... if it wasn't for Archie Panjabi's character, Kalinda.
Many fans of the TV drama agree that she is the absolute greatest character (and maybe even the greatest thing about the show). She's the mysterious private investigator at the law firm and she and Alicia connect and become good friends... until a betrayal splits them apart. Yup, it turns out that Kalinda slept with Peter, which Alicia truly can't see beyond. Fans might be split on this friendship fight and it's easy to see both sides of the story. Kalinda is amazing at her job and always finds the truth, and she hides her personal life from everyone. She leaves the show in the season six episode "Wanna Partner?" and no one knows where she's gone, which is so heartbreaking.