Suits Review: USA's New Legal Series Fits Like A Glove
Iíd be lying if I said the thought of yet another legal series on TV had me jumping for joy. Itís not that I dislike the genre, but with so many shows centering on law firms and lawyers, with varying degrees of humor and drama, on TV today, itís fair to wonder what might make one show really stand out above the others. Going into the pilot episode of USAís Suits, I expected to find the characters charming and quirky in typical USA fashion, with the story more or less formulaic to what weíve come to expect from a lot of todayís legal shows. Two charismatic lawyers team up and combine their knowledge and people skills to tackle tough but interesting cases, while also struggling with their own personal issues. Itís fairly standard, but it works well for Suits, thanks in large part to its characters.
Gabriel Macht plays Harvey Specter, a successful attorney with an appreciation for dressing sharp and taking major risks if it means advancing in his career. One of those risks is hiring Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), a college drop-out with a shady past but an excellent book-knowledge of the law. Gina Torres (Firefly, Angel) plays Jessica Pearson, Harveyís boss. And Rick Hoffman plays Louis, a sneaky man set to get in Harveyís way and make us laugh with his excellent facial expressions.
The series introduces us to Mike as heís earning cash by taking a law school examination for a paying customer, nearly getting caught in the process. This, added to his friendís marijuana-selling ventures, is pushing Mikeís life further along a road he started down after he was kicked out of college. When the opportunity to work as Harveyís summer associate at a prestigious law firm falls into his lap, Mike sees it as an opportunity to get his life back to where it was supposed to be. Heís extremely smart and quick-thinking, which would make him a great lawyer and despite not having a law degree, he has passed the Bar. Harvey decides to take a chance and hire him, which kicks off this shaky adventure between an ambitious lawyer with a boss to please, and a young but motivated sort-of-attorney ready to take his photographic memory, book knowledge of the law and street smarts into an actual courtroom.
The premiere episode, which runs over an hour, manages to squeeze in the set-up for the series, introductions to the characters, Mikeís transformation from budding criminal to practicing attorney, and his first real case, which is a sexual harassment suit. Between lawsuits and expensive suits, the pilot covers enough to give us a fair understanding of what weíre in for here. Success as a practicing attorney isnít likely to happen overnight for Mike, especially considering he has a lot to learn and Iím thinking his past might not be completely behind him, but heís off to a good start.
Harvey and Mike arenít all that different from one another, despite their backgrounds and while we donít exactly see them hit it off as newly made BFFís in the first episode, you get the sense that thereís some common ground between the two. They are each otherís chance at a better future.
With series creator Aaron Korsh having a background in TV comedies (Notes from the Underbelly, Just Shoot Me, and Everybody Loves Raymond are among his credits), itís no surprise that thereís an undercurrent of humor in this series, despite the serious nature of the work Harvey and Mike do.
Suits fits USA like a glove. The characters are fun, surprising and intriguing and the writing is smart and consistent, which is why this is exactly the kind of show that works for USA, especially during the summer.
Suits premieres Thursday, June 23rd at 10:00 p.m. ET on USA.
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