Public Service Announcement 8 of 2014: The Good Wife, Suits

All rise!

Thursday night appears to be lawyer night on UK tv, as 9pm tomorrow sees the return of both unpopcult favourite The Good Wife on More 4 and unpopcult, er, not-favourite Suits on Dave, for their fifth and third seasons, respectively.

I managed three episodes of the first season of Suits and found I hated everyone and everything about it, but it has plenty of fans so if you’re one, feel free to tell us why I bailed on it too soon. I warn you, though, I think I might be too busy LOSING MY MIND over The Good Wife to take much else in, since I’m about equal parts overjoyed and terrified about its new season: given Alicia’s decision at the end of last season, she and Will and Diane are obviously going to fall out in an EPIC fashion and, on the one hand, reports from the US suggest it’s going to be absolutely fantastic tv, but on the other hand, it’s a PANIC STATIONS DEFCON 1 OH GOD NO! situation if you’re a Will and Alicia shipper, and I’m nothing if not a Will and Alicia shipper. I don’t want them to fight! Unless it leads to equally EPIC making up. I’d be delighted with some EPIC making up ūüėČ Although it seems like I’ll be waiting an EPICALLY long time for anything of that sort, if it ever happens at all.

Sob!

But this is one of the best shows on tv and I adore it so, stressful or not, I’II be watching, very probably wailing – depending on the opportunities available – and then reviewing each ep as soon as I can stop freaking out about it. Join me?

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Suits ep 3

Okay, I give up.

This week’s¬†unobjectionable but uninspiring¬†case had Harvey – with help from Mike and the Man in Black – risk his fees and¬†the wrath of¬†the managing partner¬†trying to oust the CEO of a company he acts for to save the company and its jobs from being shipped abroad. This is because – as the show is desperate to impress upon us every week – while Harvey might pretend not to care, the truth is that he does care.¬† So much.

I, unfortunately, do not.¬† At all.¬† This was better than last week’s mean-fest, yes,¬†but still nowhere near entertaining.¬† Bringing back Mike’s ex-BFF Trevor the Toxic, and his incredibly whiny and clingy (to Mike, anway, she doesn’t seem massively bothered about Trevor) girlfriend Jenny, just dragged the episode down even further by adding to the sheer number of annoying characters with annoying attitudes on screen.¬† The only person I have any time for is Mike’s grandma, but the show, paradoxically, only has about a minute every couple of weeks to bother with her and spends all its time on a bunch of jerks.¬† The show can do what it likes, obviously.¬† As can I – and from now on, that won’t involve watching it any more.¬† Sayonara, Suits.¬† It’s been a disappointment.

Suits ep 2

Y’know last week when I said I thought this show might get better when it settled down a bit?¬† Yeah, that hasn’t happened yet.

This was a thoroughly nasty episode where everyone was blackmailing or shafting everyone else, and I hated it so much I very nearly switched off¬†ten minutes in.¬† I’m glad I stuck it out, though ‚Äď it gave the episode time to rally a little in the last few minutes, and me time to work out what the show’s USP actually is.¬† Turns out, it’s not the quirky legal stuff; that’s been¬†done miles better elsewhere.¬† And it’s not the comedy; contrary to what the writers might think, this instalment was not even remotely funny.¬† Nope, it’s the weirdly intense¬†bond between Mike and Harvey who have been working together for all of 5 minutes but are already on a rollercoaster ride of deep, undying love.

Parental, mentorial, call¬†their¬†relationship what you want but, on the evidence of this week’s episode, romantic seemed a bit more apt with Mike begging “I want, I NEED you to trust me” after upsetting his beloved boss, and Harvey threatening “If you move in on him…” when the evil Louis tried to come between them.¬† I’ve read romance novels less passionate than this.

I don’t see the writers ever actually going any further than hint-dropping in a Hawaii Five-O style, but the good time they’re having playing with the idea and driving “Marvey” shippers wild at least means somebody is enjoying Suits, even if¬†it’s not me.¬† I’ll try at least one more episode, just to say I give it the best shot I could, but I’m not holding my breath.

Suits ep 1

“Nobody likes a show-off.”

Sherlock and The Mentalist prove that in the right hands that’s not always true, but sadly Suits is no Sherlock or The Mentalist, and that throwaway line from one of its irritating characters may well encapsulate the problem with it.

Main character Mike is some sort of super-brain who was kicked out of law school for selling answers to a test. Since then, he’s scraped a living of sorts doing similar things, but his grandmother’s nursing home bills mean he needs money quick and fast. Rather than get an actual job, Mike decides to play drug courier for his wastrel best friend (who also thought up the brilliant scheme which got boy genius kicked out of college in the first place). Of course, Mike isn’t as clever as he thinks he is, or he’d know that the drug delivery scheme was going to go badly wrong as well. Duh, Mike.¬† As a result, via circumstances far too tedious to narrate, he ends up joining super-slimy attorney Harvey as his associate at a firm which only hires Harvard graduates, the joke being of course that Mike is neither a Harvard graduate nor indeed an actual lawyer.

By this time, unfortunately, what feels like hours have gone by, and I’m past caring about Mike, Harvey or anything but when this feature-length first episode will END.¬† Long on set-up, short on charm… and every main character was indeed a showoff – lawyers, paralegals, wastrel best friends, Mike – but none of them were remotely likeable or indeed interesting. They were all just full of themselves.

The sexual harassment case Mike and Harvey took on was okay¬† – it had to be a pro bono case, of course, because, a whole series on mergers and acquisitions cases would be insanely boring – and there was quite a funny courtroom scene with Hermann the bailiff, but for a pilot presumably meant to grab people from the off, this was neither engaging nor entertaining.¬† And like the characters, it was nowhere near as smart or funny as it thought it was, either.¬† I have a feeling that the show may get better once the characters settle down, stop shouting about how amazing they are and start concetrating on some quirky cases of the week instead, so I’ll stick with it for¬†now anyway, but, at the moment,¬†these Suits are on a very shaky peg.

Public Service Announcement 5 of 2012: Suits

The USA Network has given Unpopcult a couple of our favourite shows of the last few years in the brilliant Burn Notice and the delightful White Collar, so we’re always going to be interested when another of their stable of fast, fun and smarter-than-they-get-credit-for programmes turns up on British TV.

Suits, starting on Dave at 9 PM on Tuesday, is their contribution to the world of legal dramedy as Patrick¬†J Adams plays Mike, a super-clever college dropout taken on as an attorney by a super-slick lawyer impressed by his mad legal skillz and unfussed by the fact he doesn’t actually have a law degree.¬† Cue lots of silly but hopefully entertaining procedural shenanigans as they merrily litigate USA Network-type cases of the week while trying not to get found out.

The show seems unlikely to set anyone’s schedule on fire, but it looks reasonably funny and sunny, and a second series has already been commissioned, so I’ll be giving it a go.¬† Whether we write about it or not remains to be seen but if it’s half as good as Burn or White Collar, it’ll be worth a watch.¬† If it turns out to be more like Royal Pains or Covert Affairs though, both of which I tired of pretty quickly, I might not be watching it for long.