Monday, May 27, 2013

TV on DVD Review: Suits - Season 1

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great cast brings characters to life
Cons: Small bits of language; Louis can be annoying
The Bottom Line:
Twist on lawyer shows
Filled with winning characters
Makes it a must watch




"You'll Be Fine - As Long As You Don't Wear That Suit."

Some shows take a few episodes to grow on me.  That wasn’t the case with the USA Network show Suits.  When the pilot was over, I couldn’t wait to see the next episode.  And that continued for all 12 episodes of the first season.

Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) is one of the most successful lawyers in New York.  He hates taking on new associate lawyers, but he’s been forced to by his boss, Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), one of the partners in the firm  Pearson Hardman.

Meanwhile, Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) is a loser just trying to enjoy life.  He regularly takes law school admission tests for people.  He’s been talked into doing a drug drop off by a friend, but when it goes wrong, he ducks into the room where Harveyis conducting his interviews.  He impresses Harveywith his knowledge and winds up getting the job even though he has never actually gone to law school.

So the two team up to keep Mike’s secret from the rest of the office including paralegal Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) and Harvey’s administration assistant Donna (Sarah Rafferty).  Then there’s Louis (Rick Hoffman), another hot shot lawyer at the firm assigned to oversee all the new lawyers who has a vendetta against Harvey which trickles down to Mike.

Over the course of these twelve episodes, the lawyers handle many different cases.  There are patent infringement, corporate takeovers, evictions, insider trading, and a wrongfully fired accountant.  Meanwhile, Mike’s personal life gets complicated with his old friends and a new love triangle.

Yes, the personal side of things can feel like a soap opera at times, but I really don’t mind.  That’s because the characters jumped off the screen fully formed from the very beginning.  And while Harvey and Mike are living a lie, I can’t help but love them.  In fact, almost all the characters are great.  The only one I really can’t stand in Louis who is so slimy and cocky it drives me crazy.  But since he usually gets his comeuppance by the end of the episode, I don’t mind.

And for those looking for strong women characters, you’ll certainly find that here.  While Harvey and Mike may be the focus, Rachel and Donna don’t take gruff from anyone, and the men know it.  Jessica as the boss, has more power, but she leverages that judiciously and ultimately is a stronger character for knowing when to be firm and when to be nice without playing games at all.

Ultimately, this show is about Harvey and Mike and their relationship.  Whether Harvey will admit it or not, he really likes Mike, and it shows in some of the chances he takes for him over the season.  Mike, meanwhile, looks up to Harvey.

With all the praise I've just heaped on the characters, I'm sure you won't be surprised when I say how great the acting is.  Whether it's the witty banter or the more serious legal scenes, the cast handles it all with ease.

And the show is fun.  The last minute legal maneuvering is entertaining.  But what really makes it great is the banter between the characters.  Donna especially can get in some zingers.  There are several laughs each episode in between court scenes.

The only thing I don't like about the show is the language.  They managed to work in an S word of F bomb in every episode.  They also feel gratuitous to me and throw me out of the show for a moment.  It's especially surprising because of any show on the USA Network, I'd expect to hear these words on just about any of them but this one.

This three disc set contains all twelve episodes from the season in widescreen and full surround.  Extras include the normal deleted scenes and blooper reel plus commentaries on the first and last episodes with the creators and stars Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams.  Additionally, there's a Q&A with all the guys in the cast, the creators, plus Meagan Markle.

I am anxiously awaiting the next season of Suits.  If it lives up to the incredibly fun first season, I will love every minute of it as well.

Season 1 Episodes:
1. Pilot
2. Errors and Omissions
3. Inside Track
4. Dirty Little Secrets
5. Bail Out
6. Tricks of the Trade
7. Play the Man
8. Identity Crisis
9. Undefeated
10. Shelf Life
11. Rules of the Game
12. Dogfight

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