Sunday, June 17, 2012

Suits: Welcome Back For A Second Season

Suits, that amiably light Toronto made legal drama, is back for its second season on Bravo (and on USA in the States).
I liked the first season although I immediately noticed similarities in a string of USA series --including White Collar and Burn Notice and Royal Pains.
I'm not the only TV critic around to discover all  of them feature fallen heroes who desperately need some sort of redemption.
On Royal Pains it's a failed emergency physician (Mark Feuerstein) who becomes MD to the ultra wealthy on Long Island.
On White Collar a very intelligent con artist extraordinaire (Matt Bomer) gets his prison term reduced in return for working for federal officials on nailing Manhattan baddies.
And on Suits it's  Mike Ross, a guy who has absolutely no law training (Toronto native Patrick J. Adams) and illegally takes the bar exams for various losers who wind up with high scores.
Somehow he gets into the prestigious Manhattan high rise law firm of Pearson Hardman as the protege of hot shot lawyer Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) where he becomes an ace legal trouble shooter.
The "fun" arises when Specter's associates begin to doubt this young man and use various subterfuges trying to bring him down.
Suits mocks everything and everybody involved in the American legal profession.
It has evolved into something of a bromance between the two protagonists who need each other to survive although neither can really ever be trusted.
Despite similarities to other USA shows Suits emerged as the ratings winner the first season out and Adams even copped a Screen Actors Guild nomination as best series actor.
The first new episode titled "She Knows" is all about senior counsel Jessica Pearson (well played by Gina Torres) and her efforts to "out" Mike and fire him.
Certainly the acting regulars on Suits are playing at a perfect pitch.
The dialogue is nuanced --do lawyers really speak so wittily I wonder. And the sprawling law office is almost a character in itself. All partners have glass walls so everybody can always see what everybody else is doing.
The big news here involves the possible return of senior partner Daniel Hardman (David Constable) whose ascendancy could threaten both Jessica and Harvey unless they bond together to protect each other.
Suits like another Doug Liman TV series Covert Affairs is shot in Toronto here standing in for New York. One city's concrete canyons resemble the next, I guess, although by slow motioning my preview DVD I did spot a TTC bus pass by in one outdoor scene set downtown. And several of the supporting Canadian cast looked familiar enough.
But it's the relationship between Harvey and Mike that will keep us watching.
Harvey is the protective big brother but he must notice Mike is acting like less of a tutor as he tries to assert himself.
Mike has a crush of sorts on paralegal Rachel (Meghan Markle). And there's the wonderfully oily senior lawyer Louis played to the hilt by Rick Hoffman and Harvey's trusting secretary Donna (Sarah Rafferty). In short a great cast of clashing legal egotists.
One female friend says she watches Suits just to see Macht in his tailored suit. Go figure. Another fan tells me this is a procedural he can sit through because it's so unpredictable.
As relationship sagas go Suits covers all bases with effortless ease.

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