'Suits' stands tall above other legal dramas

Suits (USA Network handout)

Suits (USA Network handout)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:55 PM ET

“I gotcha.” “No, I gotcha.” “No, I gotcha.” “No, I gotcha.”

That repeated back-and-forth exchange is pretty much the day-to-day plot of Suits. Plus, Suits definitely is TV's leader in the category of “most legal papers dramatically and cockily thrown onto desks and tables.” It's the physical manifestation of, “I gotcha.”

But you know what? Despite the perpetual motion of “I gotcha,” Suits is actually really good.

The third-season finale of Suits airs Thursday, April 10 on Bravo in Canada and on the USA Network (where the series originates) in the United States. The legal drama already has been renewed for a fourth season.

In a couple of deft ways, Suits has managed to mitigate the “I gotcha” repetitiveness that runs the risk of sinking any legal drama.

First, the cast is excellent. It doesn't matter to me how many times Harvey (Gabriel Macht) or Mike (Patrick J. Adams) or Louis (Rick Hoffman) or Jessica (Gina Torres) or Rachel (Meghan Markle) or Donna (Sarah Rafferty) go from smug to threatened and back again. They're always stylish doing it. And the situations change, ranging from super-serious stuff to mere mischievous machinations.

Watching Suits is like watching a sports event. Momentum can shift several times in the same game, you know?

Also – and this perhaps is the biggest factor – Suits has an overriding plot that always is lurking. If you're familiar with the show, you know that Mike isn't really a lawyer. He's just a brilliant guy who's faking it. Harvey fully knew this when he hired Mike. But Harvey needed Mike, and thus began their peril-infused relationship.

In recent episodes (SPOILER ALERT), Mike came to the realization that no matter how hard he worked or how many legal victories he racked up, he never really can receive credit in any kind of public way, for fear of scrutiny and exposure. Mike strongly considered leaving the law firm for a job in investment banking, where he still could be a shark, but at least he wouldn't be a fraud.

What I wonder sometimes is, shouldn't Harvey be as tired of worrying about this as Mike is? Both of them live with an albatross around their necks. It doesn't matter how much computer hacking is done to try to make Mike seem legitimate. He isn't. That's a problem that never is going away. It's what keeps Suits going, but part of me thinks Harvey would be anxious for Mike to leave, rather than personally hurt by the notion.

One thing I haven't liked is the broadcast schedule for Suits in its 16-episode third season. It aired 10 episodes last summer and fall, with six episodes this spring. Whatever the reasons for that long hiatus and uneven split, it just confuses fans of the show, some of whom I'm sure aren't even aware that Suits has been back since early March.

Hey, the schedule of Suits shouldn't be a game of “I gotcha.” Let's leave that for the episodes, shall we?

Twitter: @billharris_tv

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

 


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