USA’s “Suits” Achieves Originality in Legal Genre


James Cullinane


 USA's "Suits" Achieves Originality in Legal Genre

Although lacking big-time network appeal, USA, over the past few years, has slowly and silently grown into somewhat of a television powerhouse.  Only further bolstering USA’s television resume has been this summer’s breakout series “Suits”, the story of an unconventional lawyer tandem working for one of New York City’s most powerful firms.

Fitting the mold of nearly every notable USA series (“Burn Notice”, “White Collar”, “Royal Pains”, “Necessary Roughness”), “Suits” is a classic story of redemption in which a main character changes his or her ways in an effort to use their certain skill set for good rather than evil.  In its pilot episode, Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) is shown to be an aimless college dropout, who once passed the bar exam on a dare due to his gift of a photographic memory.  Upon a chance encounter with Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), an elite lawyer known for his closing ability, Ross is given a job as an associate at the Pearson Hardman firm.  What’s the catch?  Being such an elite firm, Pearson Hardman practices a policy of hiring only graduates of Harvard Law School.  Therefore, Ross must keep his college dropout status cloaked in a guise of pretentious “Harvard-like” attitude (Yale graduates would certainly enjoy this aspect of the series).

Although the series possesses other intriguing characters, it is Ross and Specter who serve as the glue holding “Suits” together.  Almost in a Matt Damon/Robin Williams fashion, Macht and Adams compliment each other perfectly, building off one another in an ingenious demeanor.  Adding an element of romance to “Suits” is Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), a paralegal who helps to school Mike of the everyday life of a lawyer at Pearson Hardman.  Markle and Adams share undeniable on-screen chemistry, which leads viewers to foresee a budding relationship in the near future.  This compelling character development is one of the many reasons why “Suits” has taken off in popularity since its June 23 pilot.

Despite its addictive nature, it would be a momentous task for one to deny the obvious absurdities of USA’s newest hit’s plot.  Would anyone actually ever believe that one of the biggest legal firms in New York would hire without performing incredibly thorough background checks?  For the sake of mankind, let’s assume the answer to this question is “obviously not.”  However, its far fetched plot is most likely the main reason “Suits” is a USA series and not that of a major network.  For some reason, even the most unrealistic programs seem to thrive on USA, and for now, nobody seems to be complaining.

This summer has taught viewers that in spite of the show’s blatant flaws in plot, “Suits”, due to its mysterious allure and irrefutable charm, has staying power on USA.  Why shouldn’t it?  “Suits” can best be described as a perfect mixture of “Boston Legal’s” wit and “Franklin and Bash’s” appeal to young audiences, without the annoying, beer drinking, slapstick humor.  A breakout hit, “Suits” may be en route to becoming USA’s most recognizable and commendable series.