The sophomore season of the USA Network original series “Suits” premieres at 10 p.m. EST tonight, and that means more legal wrangling with some very colorful characters.
The series stars Gabriel Macht (“Behind Enemy Lines,” “The Spirit”) as Harvey Specter, a senior partner at the prestigious law firm Pearson Harden. A former Assistant District Attorney for New York, Harvey is now known as the best closer in the city. Though he comes off as cold and does not like to get too close to his clients, Harvey does truly care about those loyal to him. He believes in the rule of law, but doesn’t shy away from breaking rules.
Even the best lawyer can’t do it all by himself. Season one began with Harvey looking to hire a new associate to work as his assistant. While interviewing Harvard graduates (Pearson Harden only hires Harvard grads), a young man named Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) accidentally stumbled into an interview while seeking to escape drug dealers tied to his best friend.
It turned out Mike is very familiar with the law and The Harvard Law School. He was kicked out of the school for selling a math test to the Dean’s daughter. While Mike himself never graduated law school, he has taken and passed the Bar exam and makes money by taking the Bar exam for students who don’t think they will pass it on their own.
See, Mike is not your average law student. He also has a photographic memory which allows him to read something once, including an entire page of numbers, and remember it for life.
Despite his never having graduated from Harvard Law, Harvey cannot pass up the opportunity to hire someone as gifted as Mike. They just have to find a way to keep Harvey’s boss, Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), from finding out the truth.
The greatest obstacle to keeping Mike’s secret is Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman), a junior partner at Pearson Harden and Harvey’s nemesis. Louis is bitter that Harvey was promoted to senior partner over him and delights in taking out his anger on Mike, who he is suspicious of from the beginning.
Harvey is aided by his executive assistant, Donna (Sarah Rafferty), who has been with him since his days at the District Attorney’s office. Never one to mince words, Donna keeps Harvey in line and knows all of his dirty secrets, including the truth about Mike.
Mike finds his own ally at Pearson Harden in paralegal Rachel (Meghan Markle). Rachel is an aspiring lawyer who has put off taking the Bar exam due to test anxiety. Aside from being the best researcher at the firm, there is a chemistry between her and Mike that both would like to act upon, but Mike resists since he is in somewhat of a relationship with Jenny (Vanessa Ray), his best friend’s ex-girlfriend.
As with most original series from USA Network, the characters really make the show. The interactions between Harvey and Louis are brilliant. Hoffman does an incredible job playing Louis, who viewers know they are supposed to hate, but he’s so smarmy and quirky that you just can’t help liking him a little and look forward to his next confrontation with Harvey.
Macht is so natural that it makes you wonder why it has taken him so long to get a lead role on his own series. Torres is known for playing smart roles, and she does not disappoint. And, though he is a relative newcomer, Adams is showing he has the talent to be a familiar face for a long time.
If you think there’s nothing worth watching on television this summer, USA Network may change your mind.