Season 1 of Suits came out in 2011. I’m just writing that so you know that I know that I’m reviewing old TV. Thing is, I started watching it one weekend when P was away, based on a random Netflix recommendation and I was immediately hooked. I never watch more than a couple of episodes of anything in a single sitting and it’s rare for me to watch more than two hours of TV in a single week. I watched the entire season over one weekend.
Thing is, I can’t explain exactly what about it kept me going. I think part of it is how pretty it all looks. Like, the clothes were pretty in Madmen, but the show Madmen annoyed me. The clothes are also pretty here and I’m not annoyed. Possibly because it’s also not set in the 1960s. Seriously, the 60s looked awful and no amount of floral print scarves is going to change that.
So, Suits is a legal drama. Season 1 starts out by introducing two of the main characters, college dropout Mike Ross and successful law associate Harvey Specter. After some general shenanigans, Mike accidentally stumbles into an interview with Harvey and reveals an impressive memory and a decent knowledge of law. Harvey hires him, in spite of the fact that Mike has no license to practice. Much of Season 1 then has the two of them working together whilst trying to keep Mike’s lack of qualifications a secret.
Along the way, we meet Jessica Pearson who runs the law firm Harvey and Mike work for, played by the always amazing Gina Torres. Ok, I’ll admit it, as soon as I discovered that Torres was going to feature prominently it became way more likely that I’d keep watching. This was only further compounded by Sarah Rafferty as Donna Paulson, Harvey’s secretary, and Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane, a senior paralegal.
The only recurring character I found off-putting in S1 was Louis Litt, the third named partner alongside Pearson and Spectre and just an awful slimeball. Still, even Litt manages to be occasionally endearing and is, at worst, a minor antagonist.
This is all character-driven drama, so it’s important that the characters are likeable and fun. The friendship between Harvey and Mike develops quickly even as Harvey has to occasionally remind Mike who the boss is and Mike does his best to impress Harvey and muddle his way through practising law. It turns out that there’s more to it than just knowing things.
Meanwhile, complications arise with Mike’s old roommate and friend, as well as his friend’s girlfriend and paralegal Rachel Zane. Oh no, not a love triangle?! Well, yeah, of course, this is a 2011 drama, after all. That said, it’s actually done fairly well as these things go with the women involved smart enough to know that they’re only in this stupid situation because Mike is an idiot (which he is).
So it’s a fun series, weirdly compelling and regularly heart-warming. There’s entertaining dialogue, a good balance of serious issues dealt with tastefully alongside some occasionally much-needed comic relief. For the life of me I don’t know why it isn’t more popular and I have no doubt that I will soon be wading through the next few seasons.