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Why You Should Watch SUITS

September 1, 2011 by  

Here at GMMR, we feel the pain when, after a new AND good show comes out, the networks give it the quick axe due to low opening ratings (LONE STAR, anyone?). It’s a cutthroat business and sometimes, for me at least, it makes me…skittish. Why invest the time to start a new show (or more specifically, the timeslot) on some of those incredibly — in a good way — busy TV nights only to be stuck with unfinished plots when the show gets canceled, right?

We’ve gotten burned in our relationships with TV sometimes, and for some of us, that makes us more discriminating in our choices. We might wait until a series is completely over and available on DVD before we even start it. Of course at that point, we run the risk of not having anyone to talk to about it. Sidling up to the water cooler at work with a smooth, “Hey, I just caught the LOST pilot — have you seen it?” might not earn you any cool points right now.

It takes some risk — giving new shows a shot and sometimes sticking with them. It takes some luck — how many of us chose CAVEMEN over CHUCK in the fall of 2007? And sometimes it just takes someone you trust saying, “Hey, you should watch this show.”

So take it from me. You should start watching SUITS.

Of course, you might not trust my taste in TV. I’ll be honest, there are a few shows I just haven’t had the time to watch and I KNOW I should be watching them. SONS OF ANARCHY, PARKS & RECREATION, THE WIRE, THE KILLING, and so on. I know, I know. I promise I’ll watch them. The slight outrage you might be feeling at the idea that I HAVEN’T seen them (or others) is how I feel when I think about y’all missing out on SUITS.

It has depth, it’s smart, and it’s funny, and it juggles all of those qualities without ever going overboard on any of them. It’s got a dash of romance and more than a hint of bromance. And, oh yeah…it has Gina Torres. Still need convincing? Keep reading.

The main premise of the show surrounds Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), a guy with an incredible memory for details. Once he’s read something, he knows it. Period. His main source of income was taking the LSATs for burgeoning law students, and the season began with him trying to figure out how to raise enough money to help keep his grandmother (who raised him) in a good home. His childhood best friend, Trevor, has a job for him — deliver a briefcase of marijuana. The job pays well, and Mike knows it’s dangerous, but he agrees. He quickly realizes it’s a set-up and while trying to escape, he ducks into a room of interviews for a prestigious law firm where Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) is trying to choose an associate.

Harvey’s a hot-shot for sure, but he’s also got the lawyer skills to back it up, and he’s intrigued by Mike’s resourcefulness as well as his ability to rattle off law fact after precept after code after precedent, etc. In a sea of sycophantic lawyer wannabes, he likes Mike’s edge. So, despite the fact that Mike has no law degree, he agrees to bring him on as his associate, provided he can keep Mike’s truth away from his boss, Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres).

After coming from the world of cheating on tests and drug runs, it’s up to Mike to navigate the shark-tank-esque law firm, including the lovely paralegal Rachel and Harvey’s rival, Louis.

As the season has progressed, Harvey and Mike have worked together to solve cases, and while Harvey is still the boss, it’s clear he relies on Mike’s knowledge to succeed on his cases.

Character Cheat Sheet:

Mike Ross: Young and eager and genuine, he likes using the law for good and will sometimes break the rules to help someone he thinks is innocent. He keeps his grandmother’s needs as a priority, and though other associates razz him about working with Harvey, he mostly keeps his cool. Mike uses his “special” skill/memory for good and so far, we’ve never seen him take advantage of people with it (except for that whole “lying about graduating from Harvard with a law degree” thing).

Harvey Specter:
Sexy, confident, but not ridiculous, he exudes success — in his suit…and out of it. He claims to be all about winning, and most of the time we believe him. Yet he always also manages to treat people with respect. Of course, he would say that doing so earns him the advantage and that’s why. It’s up in the air whether or not he is really that callous or if he does have more of a heart than he lets on. He took a risk with Mike, but he’s also not afraid to tell him that.

Jessica Pearson: Smart, successful, and all about “the firm,” she’s not above working her employees against one another if it means a victory for the firm or a client. While it appears she likes Harvey more than Louis, she’s not afraid to choose Louis if he’s the better fit for a case. Harvey has alluded to the fact that Jessica took him under her wing when he first started as a lawyer. There is a lot of loyalty (and perhaps some attraction) between them.

Louis Litt: Smarmy, toady, obnoxious and feared around the office, Louis is a perfect foil to Harvey. He likes to threaten Mike and other associates with fear and power-based intimidation — but he’s also good at his job, so Jessica keeps him around. He’s annoyed that Harvey made senior partner before him, and this annoyance festers up in jealousy and overcompensating and trying to steal Mike away for himself.


Rachel Zane: Pretty, sassy, and amazing at her job, Rachel is a paralegal because, as she says, she can’t pass the LSATs. This brings some tension for Mike, because after all, he’s a pro at them. But letting her know that means letting her in on all of his secrets, and he’s not ready to do that. It’s clear that she’s annoyed by lawyers who flirt with her, but she does respond to Mike’s genuine kindness.


What you should watch out for:

There is some adult language, drug and alcohol usage and a few of the cases have some mature subject matter, so it’s not exactly a show a family with young children might watch together (vs. other USA hits like PSYCH or the now-gone, MONK). I’d give it a solid PG-13 rating because while those elements I mentioned are there, the show never gets explicit and there are consequences for abusing drugs or alcohol.

Why you should watch:

It’s smart, funny, and well-written. Best of all, the unique characters have room to grow. Mike is probably the official protagonist, but Harvey’s character is just as layered. Neither of them is perfect, and their strengths and weaknesses are interesting. The minor characters are distinctive without being cliché, and that’s a testament to the writing and even more so to the actors who portray the characters each week. The cases are relevant but not ripped from the headlines and the law firm doesn’t always win every single time. It’s sexy without being soapy and it’s smart without being smug.

With the second season already ordered, it’s worth catching up on season one. Give it a shot. You can trust me.

Filed under #1 featured, Suits


4 Responses to “Why You Should Watch SUITS”

  1. pat louis on September 1st, 2011 11:44 am

    Love this show so much. Can’t wait for season 2.

  2. Candice on September 1st, 2011 2:23 pm

    Thank you so much for expounding on the great qualities of Suits, my new favorite show!! It had me from “Hello” and I now look soooo forward to Thursdays. I cannot believe there are only a few more episodes for this season and then we have to wait nearly a whole year for Season 2 but at least there is a Season 2!! Harvey Spector may have taken Will Gardner’s place in my heart. He has that “too cool for the room” vibe that I just love. Gabriel Macht is so well cast. His chemistry with Patrick Adams (who I have loved since a little ABC Family movie called “Christmas in Boston” came out a few years ago) is the main draw to the show. I just love watching their bromance develop and can’t wait both for the next few eps of this season and Season 2 next summer!!

  3. Mary @ Mama Loves Her Shows on September 1st, 2011 3:24 pm

    Love this post! I hadn’t given this show a chance at all and one of my readers said I should (and, rightfully so, took offense at me calling it “dull”). So I watched two episodes last week. I liked it well enough that I’ll try a few more episodes. I have to say it doesn’t zing me like Psych, White Collar or Burn Notice a few season ago. But I won’t write it off just yet…

  4. Catalina on September 1st, 2011 3:51 pm

    So glad you watch the show – it’s fantastic! I would hate to see it go the way of Lone Star!