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TV Review | ‘Suits’ still highly entertaining in second season

Show branches out, despite predictable plotlines

Published: Friday, February 22, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013 09:02

The second and final part of the second season of “Suits” has now come to a close, and what a ride it was. The first season introduced us to the unoriginal yet necessary trope of the unlikely duo, Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams). Mike is a brilliant bum, taking the LSATs for other people for money, and Harvey just happens to be a very successful lawyer looking for a new assistant. What will happen next? Who knows! It all seems like a horrible cliche — but it isn’t the premise that matters: it’s the show. The writers of “Suits” are brilliant with dialogue. The seemingly endless amounts of wit at their disposal results in them producing some of the most entertaining dialogue on television. Much like AMC’s ever popular “Mad Men,” “Suits” must rely completely on this dialogue because, unfortunately, there isn’t much action involved in a show about lawyers.

Unlike the first season, with its “CSI”−style case−per−episode format, the second season took a more serialized approach. The introduction of Daniel Hardman made for a great season−long story arc that was missing from the first season. This season also allowed for longer cases that lasted several episodes. These are things you often see in the sophomore season of a show, when the fear of not being renewed is less present and the writers are allowed more freedom because they have established a regular fan base that will follow longer storylines.

The Daniel Hardman storyline was a necessity that allowed for much−needed character development on Jessica (Gina Torres) and Harvey’s part. Instead of creating further conflict between Jessica and Mike — as she has now discovered his situation at the firm — and boring us all to hell as the writers either make that last a whole season or jump the shark and fire Mike, they decide to introduce a common enemy. This allows our favorite characters to work together toward a shared goal without having to deal with the ever−present elephant in the room: Mike’s “degree”. Jessica was much more present this season, and both she and Harvey were much more vulnerable. It was a nice change of pace from the “I never lose” Harvey Specter — even though he doesn’t really lose this season either, but we were at least worried this time around. The season−long chess game between Jessica and Daniel proved to be a great way to keep viewers coming back every week, and to stick around for five months between mid−seasons.

Harvey’s character development, as mentioned earlier, unfolded through a series of glimpses into his past. Many new characters were introduced that all had some presence in Harvey’s past and have contributed to the man he is today. There was also a whole episode dedicated to his past, in the form of flashbacks, that depicted his rise to power within Pearson Hardman following the death of his father.

Despite this stronger second season shaped by the introduction of this new character, the show seems to have fallen into the predictable patterns inherent in a show about lawyers, and the will−they−won’t−they chemistry between Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) and Mike is becoming as tired as the recycled aerial shots of the New York City skyline.

In spite of its flaws, there is no denying “Suits” is one of the most entertaining shows out there. But entertaining is all it is. It’s not breaking any boundaries of television, it isn’t that culturally relevant or even necessary, but it is a great bit of fun. The superior wit and banter and constantly rewarding pop culture references make for an enjoyable Thursday evening watching the USA network.

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