Sunday, October 9, 2011

TV Series: "Suits" - Getting Through Preposterous and Enjoying

TV land is a dog eat dog world, thus TV networks have to continuously churn out story lines that would bait and hook viewers during its pilot episode. Slow burns are risky because early numbers can make or break a project. “Suits” succeeds in doing just that, despite its boilerplate title. Well, it’s still a better one than the originally conceived “A Legal Mind” which sounds humorless.

In the series, Mike Ross, (Patrick J. Adams), a brilliant college dropout, remarkably eludes a drug sting set up by his shady best friend Trevor (Tom Lipinski). Mike needs $25,000 to keep his grandmother in a private foster home. During the botched heist, he finds himself in a job interview for an associate of Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), a newly promoted partner in a law firm. Mike is seeking for a legitimate job and this seems to be his foot in the door. Mike is gifted. He has eidetic memory, i.e. a “photographic memory” that allows him to recall images, sounds and objects in memory with extreme precision and in abundant volume. In fact, Mike has been taking other people’s examinations and LSATs for a fee. When Harvey learns of Mike’s gift, the latter gets hired. There’s one little problem: Mike is not a lawyer!

The series would then set the narrative to usher Mike’s entry into Pearson Hardman, the law firm, while the young “associate” meets the company’s zany characters: Louis Litt (Harvey’s rival, played by Rick Hoffman) who’s constantly making threats against Harvey and Mike; Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), an acid-mouthed sexy paralegal who cuts everyone who talks down on her; Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), the firm’s founding boss, Once you've settled down believing the almost preposterous part of the story, i.e. that a non-lawyer is defending cases, then it's smooth sailing ride through entertainment land.

In its 2nd episode, Mike gets his first case: Sexual Harassment! How does a very bright guy win his first litigation? Or won’t he? When he finally gets a witness, why won’t she testify? Harvey hands the case to Mike. Harvey sees himself too important to handle pro-bono cases, but the company requires that they handle some “to show that we care”. As a consequence of Harvey's scruples, the case lands in Mike's inexperienced lap. Can a quack lawyer win when they’re up against a powerful business tycoon with all the moolah to spare?

I’m taken by how Mike Ross is both vulnerable and smart, yet his youthful looks always give him a disadvantage (when he visits Harvey’s suit makers, they brush him off: “We don’t fit skinny jeans here.”) His relationship with his frail grandma is moving, and his dicey friendship with Trevor (the drug dealer who almost shoves him in jail) a bit unsettling. Patrick J. Adams is perfectly cast as Mike Ross. Gabriel Macht, who’s been in so many great movies like “Behind Enemy Lines”, “The Recruit”, “Whiteout”, plays the smart talking Harvey with biting arrogance and undeniable charm. Ballsy guys are indeed so sexy. LOL . With a charming cast, a brisk pacing and the way the characters relate with each other, “Suits” is a truly entertaining fodder, buoyed by the series' main premise, i.e. Mike’s sponge-absorbing memory and Harvey’s corporate wit! I'm looking forward to watching its succeeding episodes.

Who is Mike with?

Gabriel Macht plays New York's best "closer" Harvey Specter, a Harvard grad who dislikes fellow Harvard colleagues.

Patrick J. Adams likes photographing himself (above and below). Let's hope he doesn't go the Anthony Weiner route.

Meghan Markle plays Rachel Zane, the acid-mouthed paralegal (and the "best researcher in town") who hates being ogled at.

Rick Hoffman is Louis Litt, Harvey's main rival. He's the company's sore thumb, always questioning Mike Ross' qualifications.

Patrick J. Adams is Mike Ross who has encyclopedic knowledge and a photographic memory.

Patrick Adams reminds me of Scott Wolf ("Party of Five", "Everwood").

Gabriel Macht is Harvey Specter

Gabriel Macht has a cult following for his role in "The Spirit". He started acting at age 8. The 6 foot actor remains active in theater, he even played Elvis Presley Off-Broadway at Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile. His dad's also an actor and his mom's a museum curator.

Meghan Markle. She used to be a suitcase girl for "Deal or No Deal". She also appeared in "Horrible Bosses", "Get Him to the Greek" and Pattinson's "Remember Me".

Meghan Markle's lineage is quite an interesting mix: Her mother's African American and her father's Dutch Irish. After graduating college, she worked for the US Embassy in Buenos Aires.

Meghan Markle


thunder29 said...

thanks for the occasional reviews on new tv shows. they save me the trouble of opening wikipedia to know what they're about or ignoring the ones whose titles don't interest me (sayang ang torrent hehe...)
can't remember how i first came to stumble upon your page but i've been a constant reader for quite some time now. i'm in saudi arabia, by the way :)

Cathy Pena said...

Welcome to my blog, Thunder. It's a pleasure knowing a fellow couch potato, i.e. when time allows. I sometimes prefer series because they're able to develop the characters more so we see them evolve and we get quite attached to them. But, boy, they require so much time to finish. LOL

I used to do torrents as well, but I have since lost all vestiges of patience. Thanks for the nice words, and be safe in KSA. Cheers!