Suits Dresses up the Story of Right and Wrong
- Thursday, July 21, 2011
Suits, which airs Thursday night on the USA Network, is a fast moving, lighthearted legal drama that registers halfway between the comedic affect of Ally McBeal and the courtroom drama of L.A. Law.
We meet Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) at a poker table deep within the law firm. His eyes, without revealing his hand, tell us much about his character- he is proud, confident and aggressive.
His game is interrupted when he is called into the senior law partner's office to handle a deal that is falling apart. Harvey handles a gamble with the client the same way he did at the poker game, only this time he isn't holding all of the cards. He bluffs and the rouse works. He is the best closer Manhattan has ever seen.
The success elevates Harvey to partner status in the firm, but because of his new title he is saddled with bringing on a new associate which goes against his lone ranger approach. He is directed to find an associate from the new crop of Harvard Law School graduates. Although Harvey himself holds a degree from this hallowed institution, he doesn't want another ‘Harvard clone,' but someone who will think on their feet, win cases, and ultimately make Harvey even more successful.
Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) never went to law school. He doesn't need to really; he has a photographic memory and is able to retain the details of everything he reads. Mike's life was sidetracked when he was caught helping someone on an exam in high school.
Unable to go to college himself, he makes his way by taking the bar exam for others. While visiting his grandmother she challenges him to live up to his potential and step away from these shady practices. He wants to follow his grandmother's instructions, but finds that circumstances are holding him back, including coming up with the $25,000 she needs for ongoing care in the retirement center.
Mike's best friend, Trevor (Tom Lipinski), takes advantage of Mike's situation and hires him to deliver a brief case full of drugs to a hotel. When the drug deal goes south, Mike stumbles upon Harvey interviewing potential associates. Harvey is impressed with Mike's quickness, his power of observation, and his memory skills.
He takes a gamble by hiring Mike even though he doesn't have a degree. Mike needed someone to give him a second chance, Harvey did so, but their success together is weighed down by the fact that their partnership would damage both of them if the truth were exposed.
Though Mike is the partner with the shadier background, his dance on the line between right and wrong is overshadowed by his compassion. He is the conscience of the team and the new darling of the firm.
This doesn't come without its consequences; Louis Litt (brilliantly played by Rick Hoffman) is the associate partner that was passed over when Harvey was promoted. He has his hawkish eyes firmly set on Mike and is trying to find out Mike and Harvey's secret and how he can play it for his own advantage.
While the storyline has Harvey and Mike exposing other peoples' lies, it is a double-standard that they choose not to go after in themselves. It serves as a great contradiction that these lawyers constantly stumble over on their way to closing deals and winning cases.
While the USA Network probably wasn't intending to create a morality drama, the show creates discussion points each week about whether or not the end justifies the means.
Suits is Rated TV-14 for language and adult centered themes.
*Watch Suits Thursdays on USA
**This review first published 7/21/2011
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