Stadalsky: Minooka gets 15 minutes of fame on ‘The Good Wife’
By Kris Stadalsky firstname.lastname@example.org December 7, 2012 3:30PM
Updated: January 11, 2013 6:07AM
Minooka had its official 15 minutes of fame (actually, 43 minutes) a week ago Sunday when the village and Grundy County were the setting for the weekly drama “The Good Wife” on CBS.
The legal drama, which has won numerous awards, is set in Chicago.
The female victim in the Dec. 2 episode was a resident of Minooka. She attended a concert in Chicago and was killed, and her body dumped back in her hometown.
A newscaster reporting on the young woman’s death even said she was a graduate of Minooka Community High School.
The episode was called “Battle of the Proxies” because a man in Chicago and a man in Grundy County were both tried for the same crime.
The show kept flashing between the Chicago trial and the trial at the Grundy County courthouse. The Grundy County courthouse looked a bit fancier and they managed to make the judge a sort of “good ol boy” character.
It was amusing to hear Alicia Florrick (Juliana Margulies) and Will Gardner (Josh Charles) repeatedly saying “Minooka.”
I agree with Minooka Chief of Police Justin Meyer, who was also portrayed on the show, that they kind of goofed pronouncing the village’s name. They kept drawing out the O’s and it came out sounding like U’s. But we knew it was us.
The Grundy County state’s attorney was portrayed, although only identified as Mr. State’s Attorney.
I’ve never covered a trial, but I wonder if they really say things like “fruits of the poison” and “constitutional exclusion.” But that’s what makes TV entertaining.
Meyer, Minooka’s “real” police chief, has been getting a lot of ribbing about the episode all week, he said. He’s gotten emails and texts from friends including Channahon Police Chief Jeff Wold, as well as comments from his parents, who live in Arizona.
One local friend sent Meyer a text, comparing him to the actor who portrayed him. “That chief has more hair; and he was older,” Meyer’s friend wrote.
I had to wonder how they chose Minooka as the episode’s second setting. Growing up in Michigan I lived in a town called Bay City. The Scottish pop band, The Bay City Rollers, picked their name by throwing a dart on a map of the U.S. and it landed on our town.
After some digging on the Internet, I was able to get a message to Ted Humphrey, co-executive producer and writer for “The Good Wife.”
“Hi Kris,” wrote Humphrey. “We were just looking for a town near enough to Chicago that Alicia could get there and back easily but far enough away that it would feel smaller and different from Cook County. Glad you and your colleagues enjoyed it!”
I was thrilled that he took the time to respond.
People who know Minooka and saw the episode are having a lot of fun making the comparisons between the real world and how Minooka was portrayed. And even if everything wasn’t truly Minooka, it was exciting to hear the name spoken multiple times to the 9.94 million viewers of that episode.
By the way, if you didn’t see the episode, you can still catch the TV stars proudly saying Minooka (it is fun to say) at CBS.com/TheGoodWife.
Reach Kris Stadalsky at email@example.com.