We all have our guilty pleasures in life. Whether they be foods, musicians, movies or TV shows. Suits on the USA network was one of my guilty pleasure TV shows. It just wrapped up its entire series run and it is bittersweet to say goodbye.
This show gave me a few things in my life that I’ll always remember. It was my wife and my ‘Couple Show’ that we watched together. It turned me onto Macallan 12 year scotch as my new favorite drink and it gave me interest in a Royal Wedding for the first time!
To say the phrase ‘guilty pleasure’ it usually implies something that’s maybe not great but you love it anyway. That actually doesn’t fully apply here. Seasons 1-4 of Suits were fantastic. I was instantly sucked into the multiple but coherent storylines they brought each week as well as the inner turmoil and drama between the characters. Each episode contains more than just courtroom drama. There were love triangles, secrets that could never be revealed, breaking the law to help win cases and inter law firm drama between the employees. Seasons 5-7 on the other hand started to become old hat. The lawyers that could never lose and always found a last minute solution to their problems kind of became mundane and predictable. I even found myself rooting for them to just lose once in a while. I was actually happy when lead character Mike, played by Patrick J. Adams, went to jail. Except the moment he went to jail everyone who seemingly had accepted the fate now stressed daily about what they can do to get him out as fast as possible. Even though his sentence was only for two years. Seasons 8 and 9 however brought everything mostly back on top and even left me wanting a bit more. Even I am surprised to say that right now.
When the show started it was about Mike, a college aged kid with a photographic memory who’s smarter than anyone else in the room found himself in trouble with the law. Harvey, played by Gabriel Macht is New York City’s best lawyer and decides not only to befriend this troubled genius, but also to hire him and make him his protégé. Oh, and they’re not going to tell anyone that its incredibly illegal and just pretend Mike is a real lawyer ~gasp~.
The firm at the time was run by Jessica Pearson, still played by Gina Torres thanks to her own brand new spinoff show – Pearson, and included a cast of characters that made this law firm not only tops in the city but at times a bit of a circus. Rachel and Donna, Meghan Markle and Sarah Rafferty, filled out the female side of the cast while Rick Hoffman gave us one of TV’s all time great characters – Louis Litt.
Louis Litt deserves his own write up. The evolution of this character may have been one of the best that any series has had to offer. Originally the biggest pain in the butt antagonist that I loved to root against he became an actual loveable loser who I now rooted for. His head to head battles with Harvey within their own firm were unforgettable. Yet they did nothing but bring them closer as friends over the years and eventually they’d own the firm together. The smartest things these writers did on this show was create Louis Litt. The made him the bad guy, the comic relief, the unmissable side character and your favorite all in one. I know I for one definitely ‘Got Litt Up’.
How about something the writers got wrong? Introducing profanity. Around Season six or seven the folks at USA Network gave the writers the green light to write in more S-words and F-bombs. Because of its timeslot and being on cable (yes, I said cable) they could get away with a ‘shit’ here and there. Now for the F-bomb they would simple mute the audio whenever it was uttered. This was the worst idea in the history of the show. It added nothing to the scene or the moment to show that these lawyers in a professional setting could now yell the F-word at each other. What would have been smarter would have simply to think of a different word to use or just not do it at all. Continuously questioning if the audio on my TV was messing up and being taken out of the scenes was a truly poor choice.
Back to the good.
Wendell Pierce and his character, Robert Zane, started out simply as Rachels dad who happened to be a great lawyer at another firm. He saw an arc that had him become a series regular, join the firm and fill a void when his TV daughter left the show. Dule’ Hill, Aloma Wright, Amanda Schull, Rachel Harris, Abagail Spencer and Neal McDonough all rounded out a cast that made this series complex, diverse and complete. When I heard they were adding Katherine Heigl for Seasons eight and nine I was not thrilled. She doesn’t have the greatest reputation in Hollywood and nothing about her casting got me excited to watch, especially coming off arguably their worst couple of seasons. But when I’m wrong, I’m wrong. Her character and her performance was actually fantastic. I immediately enjoyed the villain she played and then was able to root for her when needed.
OK, the elephant in the room – Meghan Markle. Multiple times my wife and I would see her in the tabloids or leading the World News headlines and I’d say “Seriously, the girl we’ve watched on Suits all these years is now marrying a Prince?!?” It seemed a bit surreal at times. It made sense but also was a bummer when she had to leave the show due to her nuptials. It was even more of a bummer that she wasn’t even able to make one quick appearance on the finale, even though they were able to write her husband Mike back on for a few last episodes. But hey, congrats on being a Duchess. We can all say we knew you back when.
Suits was fun. It was one of the few shows that was able to truly evolve while not losing its core foundation. It went through so many different leaders of the law firm that it became a running joke – different season, different name on the wall. Like all shows that are able to last nine seasons or more it had its moments that stalled out. But it often found its way out of it and in the end it concluded very satisfyingly. Thank you to Suits for the fun ride. Raising a glass of Macallan to you! Cheers.
ps: one final tip. If you folks decide to binge this and catch up (which I recommend). My wife and I played a little ‘drinking game’. Every time someone throws a stack of papers or a folder with papers in it onto a table – you drink. Be warned…take small sips.