Harvey Specter drives around New York City in his Porsche convertible, a stern but determined look on his face as he gives his transmission and brake pads a run for their money, with the distortion rich track ‘Fire’ by Barns Courtney playing in the background. And as it turns out he’s on his way to go ask out his therapist… Actually this is a pretty good analogy for what this show has basically been reduced to – Some epic moments, “edgy” shots, man-brooding, and of course some Harvey Specter golden tongue action (no puns intended)… all leading to the show’s characters making decisions that will undoubtedly doom them by the end of the season.
The real problem with a show that caught the attention of a mass audience in its initial seasons is what it will resort to in order to keep it. Suits has, in my opinion, been circling the drain for a few seasons now – we’ve had episode after episode of “will Mike get in/out of trouble?”, “will Pearson-Specter-Litt survive?”, “Harvey and Donna – will they, wont they?”… Frankly, when you stretch out the drama of something over sooooo long it just becomes harder and harder to stay invested (and this is coming from the guy who watched the last 5 seasons of Supernatural on sheer auto pilot because of how badass Dean is/the whole Dean-Cass bromance thing).
To its credit, the season premiere seeks to answer some of the questions that have been annoyingly dragging on the show for a few seasons now. But it unfortunately also continues to make a lot of the same mistakes. If you read on beware: SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Harvey and Donna of it All: Well we sort of got our answer to this question in the first 30 seconds didn’t we. Will they, wont they? They wont… at least, not in this season probably. No instead of making a huge mistake and sleeping with Donna – his friend, confidant and person who he pays (so there’s that whole prostitution-y thing), Harvey decides to make a huge mistake and try and sleep with his therapist – his (sort of) friend, confidant and person who he pays (so there’s still that whole prostitution-y thing). Frankly, I never thought that Donna and Harvey should get together. But to distract audiences from that by throwing him into yet another doomed relationship… Lazy writing? Ratings grab? Does it matter?
Where in the World is Mike Ross: Mike was such an understated badass when this show began. Now he’s a Katy Perry lyric: “You’re yes then you’re no, You’re in then you’re out, You’re up then you’re down”. He honestly cannot seem to make up his mind about whether he wants to fight the good fight or have the corner office or now I guess both? Mike decides he wants to go back to the firm, but also help his clinic stay afloat by giving them Harvey’s money. And maybe working with them on pro bono cases. Awww I guess he can do it all. For someone who has often pushed other characters to tow the moral line, Mike Ross is actually very good at justifying the means for the ends. Gandhi would not approve! It’s getting annoying trying to stay on Mike’s moral rollercoaster – like any rollercoaster, stay on it long enough and you’ll get sick. Also, and I know this one is mean and a little “troll-y” but is anyone else still put off by his upside down smile?
Donna’s Big Break: So one of the big last season cliffhangers was that Donna “wants more”. But as it turns out not only does Harvey not “want more” with her, nor does she! No it seems the (tragic?) failure of “The Donna” didn’t push her into Harvey’s constantly unavailable arms, but rather pushed her to… insist on becoming a partner in a law firm?? I mean I know we don’t really watch this show for its realism, but if you’re basically going to take the liberties of 80’s sitcoms, might as well add a laugh track and shoot with some more “pleasantly soft” lighting. Don’t get me wrong. I think Donna is bad ass. And yes the character is so capable of being “more than a Secretary” (just saying, its not like her gig was that bad before), but she isn’t even a lawyer. Remember how big a deal it was for them to hire Rachel Zane just because she didn’t go to Harvard? And she was written to be one of the hardest working lawyers on television. The fact that it took a few conversations and a cheque before Harvey went “Ok Donna, you’re partner”… and a senior partner apparently… this kind of twist/gimmick does not bode well for storyline future.
Stewing Lou-is Litt: Louis Litt is definitely one of my favourite charters on this show. Maybe its because he is almost always the underdog. And sure, he is his own greatest enemy. But he is also one of the more fleshed out and three-dimensional characters on the show. Not to mention the only one who has shown real character development over the seasons (even if he does periodically revert to his petty competitive man child state). Watching him deal with the punishment inflicted on him in the Season 6 finale is maybe one of the Premiere’s saving graces – because that story still has me invested (I don’t know about you but I still hope he gets back together with Sheila Sazs). But the way it’s being written for now, it seems like Louis has a lot of regression and pain ahead of him before he gets anywhere near some closure. But you know what, it makes him human. And real. And believable compared to everything else.
Honourable Mention: Gretchen (Scrubs’ Nurse Roberts) has been a welcome edition to the show since she joined. And this premiere is no exception. She is just as tough as Donna and on her the sass actually works – not coz she’s black, because she looks like she genuinely could knock you out. Plus with her I feel some closure on the relationship Louis has always craved with Donna.
Dishonourable Mention: Rachel Zane continues to be unimpressive. She’s frankly written as one of the hardest working, diligent, strong female characters on the show. However Meghan Markle just doesn’t seem to be doing it for me in the role. I can’t quite my finger on why, but every time she has a good strong moment on the show I’m just left with “meh”.
Parting Goss: Fans of Dulé Hill are I am sure psych-ed to hear that he will be joining the original cast for a TV Movie later this year. But they may also be interested to know that he has apparently landed a recurring role on Suits as well, as an old friend of Harvey Specter’s. I don’t think I’ve seen him in anything since Psych tragically ended on me, and to seeing him in a dramatic role may take a bit of adjustment. But with old characters losing me, new ones may be welcome, if they’re not just ham fisted in. And I have a good feeling about Dulé (is it Dule? Or Dual?… I’ve heard it both ways).
Believe it or not it actually pains me to write such a harsh review for this show. Better or worse it used to be entertaining. And I enjoyed many of the characters, at least until they all began to coast and stagnate. But lets not pre-judge a whole season by its premiere. There may be changes that bring everything together. Clever twists that mask obvious flaws and vindicate our heroes. A new threat to defeat that brings the struggling cast to their best.
But then again, if you’ve watched as much TV as I have (and I bet most of you haven’t, trust me!)… that kind of turnaround is rare for a show this long in the tooth.
For now, judgment is reserved on Suits Season 7 (yes that was a court room pun… had to throw in at least one). Not a great start… But lets see if Harvey’s Golden Tongue and Mike’s Eidetic Memory/Upside Down smile can save the season in the end…