Friday, March 8, 2024

Suits Season 1 offers a poor man's Mad Men, but an oh-so-good one

I don't remember the last time I watched a lawyer-procedural TV series, but a lot of people had been recommending Suits and then it recently exploded in popularity when it moved to Netflix. And of course, even though I'm not that intrigued by the British royal family, there's the added allure of Meghan Markle, the pseudo-princess. So I figured I would try an episode or two. But do you know what? I binged the entire first season.

It's a poor man's Mad Men, but that's not a bad thing (you may recall Mad Men was named my favorite show of all time). The suits. The questionable morals and ethics. The beauty of everything from the characters to the office space to the New York City settings. The writing is sharp and witty. One such example is everything out of the mouth of Rick Hoffman's Louis, with his constant Paul Lynde-like sneer. It all adds up to being a lot of compelling eye candy.

Season 1 goes like this: Mike (played with youthful enthusiasm, street smarts, and photographic memory by Patrick J. Adams) is a dropout who accidentally gets hired at a prestigious law firm in the middle of running away from a drug deal. Even though he never attended law school, Mike intrigues Harvey Specter (played in star-making fashion by the smooth and magnetic Gabriel Macht) and the two work all season to hide the fact that Mike never attended Harvard like he claims and like everyone else at the firm.

Each episode tackles a legal situation, but office politics, romantic liaisons, and personal struggles are the parts that had me riveted. Some of my favorite storylines include: 

  • Rachel (played very enticingly - very smart and very cute and very underappreciated by the firm - by Markle) is accused of leaking some of the firm's confidential documents.
  • The love triangle (or is it simply tension?) between Rachel, Mike, and Mike's girlfriend Jenny simmers throughout the season.
  • Harvey's internal battles about his past ethical lapses, such as putting several people in jail who were innocent, is written and played in a cool-guy and airy manner, and
  • Again, I find all of Louis' smarmy blackmail attempts against his own firm teammates one of the most compelling elements of the show.
I would guess I won't live long enough to watch all nine (??!!) seasons, but I plan to watch at least a few more. We'll see how it goes.

Season 1 (from 2011) is 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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