Set in the world of US corporate law, Suits is about well-dressed, scary-smart professionals who exchange hilarious remarks in glassy workplaces that look out over the NYC horizon.
It’s a law drama, however, the cases seldom get as far as the courtroom. As an alternative, lawyers try to outwit each other through legislative loop-holes—bluffing and gambling their way through various deals that feel like high-stakes legitimate poker.
The central genius behind all this maneuvering is Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), a college dropout with a photographic memory. In his first appearance in the show, Mike takes law school admission tests for other students for a quick buck. But things change rapidly when he mistakenly lucks into an interview room with Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), who is hiring a new trainee from Harvard. Mike doesn’t have a law degree, but his intelligence and knowledge of the law impresses Harvey enough to hire him.
The first season of the show is basically episodic, but the case-of-the-week theme of the show is elevated by engaging characters and snappy dialogues. Suits’ strengths lie in the punchy chemistry between the two main characters Harvey Specter and Mike Ross. With Harvey in the driver’s seat, both men magnify each other’s talents and cons, while tiptoeing around the fact that Mike’s lack of a law degree must be kept secret from the firm at all costs.
Admittedly, Mike’s romantic storylines occasionally stray into soap opera territory (and as can be expected—the first season features a love triangle), but Patrick J. Adams brings a charm to the character that helps the show get away with it; he’s convincing as a smart-ass, prodigy, and leading man.
Harvey Specter on the other hand, is considered the best “closer” in the city and his swagger is magnetic to viewers and onscreen characters alike. In the first episode of the show, Harvey is called out of a poker game to close a deal at the 11th hour, which he does by pretending that some unrelated office memo is an important piece of paperwork. Although demanding and tough, Harvey is also loyal and fair-minded when it comes to Mike, and Gabriel Macht gives the character just the right mix of compassion and confidence.
Suits is not all about men. There is a strong female presence in the show: Jessica (played by Gina Torres), the senior partner of the firm. She is a plain badass who keeps everyone in check, including Harvey when absolutely necessary—she gives him an adequate leash. Another major female character, Donna (played by Sarah Rafferty) works as Harvey’s extremely capable personal assistant who can tell what kind of mood Harvey is in by simply looking at the positioning of his tie and the color of his shirt.
Perhaps, the most entertaining character of the show is Louis Litt (played by Rick Hoffman), because he’s one of those characters you both love to hate and also just plain love. He is an overly ambitious junior partner of the firm and an unfriendly supporting player at that, but his constant competitive hijinks with Harvey adds both hilarious and dramatic elements to the show.
The fans of White Collar will definitely enjoy Suits, because in many ways, it’s a familiar recipe, pairing two opposite characters and pointing them toward a mutual goal. Even so, the creative minds behind this show make excellent cooks.