Thursday, June 23, 2011


USA shows are not generally known for being edgy, but the first episode of new legal drama Suits deploys basic-cable swear words and a drug-dealing subplot like it's angling to be taken seriously, which only makes its formulaic set-up all the more unimpressive. The extra-long pilot also spends more than half an hour setting up the extremely basic premise, so that the boring case of the week comes off as an afterthought (not that it's really worth any more attention). I imagine that future episodes will focus more on the procedural stories, and there's no indication here that creator Aaron Korsh (who was a writer on the similarly unimpressive ABC legal drama The Deep End) has any innovative or original stories on tap.

The characters that will have to anchor this show around the cases of the week aren't really worth following, either. They're probably supposed to come off as cool and capable, but I just found the two leads to be irritating douchebags. The idea is that Mike (Patrick J. Adams) is some kind of slacker genius with a photographic memory, so he never went to law school but he knows everything about the law. He's been supporting himself by taking the bar exam for people, and has reluctantly agreed to help out his drug-dealer best friend. Then he conveniently (although it takes far too long for the events to fall into place) runs into hotshot corporate lawyer Harvey (Gabriel Macht), who is also conveniently looking for an unconventional maverick like himself to take on as his new associate. Harvey agrees to fabricate some fancy credentials for Mike, and finally we have a show. What should have taken at most 10 minutes takes three times that.

Harvey jerks Mike around and pretends not to care about Mike or their clients, but of course deep down he really does. Mike knows every aspect of the law but can't do practical things like fill out a subpoena form. They're collections of quirks rather than real people, and even welcome faces like Gina Torres and Rick Hoffman in the supporting cast can't make up for the void at the center of the show. USA shows are usually breezy and inoffensive, even if they don't exactly compel you to watch every week, but this one is just insufferable.

Premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on USA.


Pj Perez said...

That's disappointing. The premise was interesting. Maybe it'll gain some substance in future episodes?

Josh said...

It's possible, but I was so put off by the pilot that I doubt I'd bother to tune in again.