Tuesday, June 18, 2019

TV Show Review: Suits - Season 8

Stars: 4 out or 5
Pros: Great acting, more with characters we love
Cons: Can’t they stop squabbling at some point?
The Bottom Line:
New characters come
But same squabbling in firm
Miss Mike and Rachel

“Aren’t You Right About Everybody?”  “Yeah, Pretty Much.”

I went into season 8 of Suits knowing we’d be getting a different show.  Yes, the show was still about lawyers, and we already knew most of the characters.  But with the departure of two main characters at the end of season 7, we were down to half of the original cast.  That’s going to make a show feel different.  In this case, different was good, but not great like the show used to be.

In many ways, the show hasn’t changed.  While about lawyers, it is more a soap opera about the power struggle inside a law firm, in this case Zane, Specter, Litt.  This season picks up as Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) work to merge their firm with what is left of Robert Zane’s (Wendell Pierce) firm after he was pushed out by his partners.  While Robert has been mostly friendly for years, it is still a rough transition.  Which of the three named partners will be the head of the firm?  Further complicating matters, both Harvey and Robert have made promises to different people that they will be the next named partner of the firm.  So, who will it be, Alex Williams (Dule Hill) or Samantha Wheeler (Katherine Heigl)?

Meanwhile, Donna (Sarah Rafferty) struggles as the chief operations officer of this new firm.  Harvey has to face more of his messy family past when his brother is in trouble.  Louis tries to get a personal life outside the firm when he and Sheila (Rachel Harris) try to start a family.  And Katrina (Amanda Schull) finds herself in a hard situation when she is asked to mentor an associate she thought was under performing.

As you can see, there is still plenty going on this season.  And it is definitely still a soap opera.  It may not be who is sleeping with whom, but the power dynamics as just as much of a soap opera, and I got sucked in once again as I watch.  Yes, there are characters I root for more than others, although they do a decent job of making us like everyone even if we aren’t necessarily rooting for them.

But I find I am getting tired of it.  Some of this back biting is entertaining, but at this point, it is beyond time for these characters to learn to get along, especially if they are friends and business partners.  This is the most dysfunctional work place I have ever seen.  How people stay around there is beyond me.

Other the other hand, I have to give a shout out to Katrina’s storyline this season.  I haven’t been the biggest fan of her character, so seeing her brought on as a series regular worried me a bit.  And then, when I saw where her story was going, I was prepared to be upset.  Yet, she proved to be one of the most mature characters of the season, and I liked what eventually happened there.

One issue I had with this season was one I predicted going into it.  While I didn’t miss them for a the first few episodes, I definitely missed Mike and Rachel as the season wore on, especially with Rachel’s dad one of the main characters this season.  (Seriously, he probably doubled his episode count, which is pretty amazing with Rachel out of the picture.)  To me, Mike and Harvey’s relationship was the cornerstone of the show, and it definitely suffered without their scenes together.  I also missed the Donna and Rachel scenes.  On the other hand, I am happy for both of the actors and the fact that they are happily doing other things, and I like the fact that them both leaving last season allowed their characters to have a happy ending.  But the show was missing the dynamic their characters brought to everything.

The actors are all in top form here, both old and new.  As much as the characters may fight, I get the feeling the cast enjoys working together on the set.

Suits season 8 may be a step down from the earlier seasons, but it is still fun to watch.  Fans will enjoy seeing what happens next to their favorite characters.

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