The USA Channel's has become one of cable's most successful, bringing together a roster of quirky shows that have appealed to an increasingly wider range of viewers. The network even become specific about the elements of the series, as exec Bonnie Hammer discussed in a recent "Wired" magazine article, even down to visual specifics: moments of exterior scenes with blue skies offer levity. "Characters Welcome" remains the channel's motto, and the result has been a set of shows where strong characters remain important and - as a result - viewers have become increasingly hooked to shows like "Royal Pains" and "Suits".
"Suits" falls within a genre rarely ever seen on television: the legal series. In all seriousness, the series is yet another legal affair, but the series does offer enough tweaks and strong enough characters to lift it above the familiar. The "twist" this time around involves the lead character and his legal experience, or - more accurately - his lack of it.
"Suits" focuses on Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), a young man who has exceptional memory ("eidetic memory", aka "photographic memory", which Marilu Henner discussed having on the last "Celebrity Apprentice"), which allows him to retain a remarkable amount of information with great clarity and detail. While he doesn't have legal experience, he manages to convince Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) during an unintentional interview. Specter, one of the top corporate lawyers in NYC, finds himself having to look to add an associate to the firm.
A positive for the series is that it doesn't focus wholly and completely on the concept of will Mike get in trouble for what experience he doesn't have. That certainly does get its time in the spotlight (and is early on in this season) but also devotes a lot of time to the show's enjoyable office politics and Mike's photographic memory being put to use. Overall, the show is a nice balance of different layers.
"The Best Laywer in NYC Didn't Go to Law School" is a cutesy concept on paper, but "Suits" really makes it click thanks to above-average writing (again, as USA often notes - "Characters Welcome" - and "Suits" is another series with well-defined and engaging characters) and fine performances from the leads, who have good chemistry. The chemistry is terrific between Macht and Adams, but also between Macht and delightful actress Sarah Rafferty, who plays Harvey's assistant, Donna. The chemistry between Rafferty and Macht is not surprising, given the two actors have known each other for 20 years.
Early in the second series, the issue of Mike's lack of legal education comes roaring back again when partner Jessica (Gina Torres) confronts Harvey about Mike's lack of license, which could get both in real trouble. However, the key issue for the firm in season two is the return of co-founder Daniel Hardman (David Costabile), who tries to gain power over the firm and turn the tables in his favor. Costabile's performance is sharp and he makes a great nemesis as the battle with Hardman is a strong core storyline.
Some of the highlights in this season include: "She Knows" (With the unexpected return of Daniel Hardman, Harvey has to decide how far he's willing to go to protect Mike), "Meet the New Boss" (Mike is in the middle when Harvey and Daniel go head-to-head over a case), "High Noon" (the battle for the firm heats up, but when Harvey needs Mike's help, he has other problems to contend with), "Blood in the Water" (The firm remains vulnerable and it's Harvey who has to protect the firm when a rival comes sniffing around) and "War" (Harvey's vision for the future of the firm clashes with Jessica's.)
This set offers the entire second season. After a successful first round, the series was bumped up to 16 episodes for the second season:
13 2-01 14/Jun/12 She Knows
14 2-02 21/Jun/12 The Choice
15 2-03 28/Jun/12 Meet the New Boss
16 2-04 12/Jul/12 Discovery
17 2-05 19/Jul/12 Break Point
18 2-06 26/Jul/12 All In
19 2-07 02/Aug/12 Sucker Punch
20 2-08 09/Aug/12 Rewind
21 2-09 16/Aug/12 Asterisk
22 2-10 23/Aug/12 High Noon
23 2-11 17/Jan/13 Blind-Sided
24 2-12 24/Jan/13 Blood in the Water
25 2-13 31/Jan/13 Zane Vs. Zane
26 2-14 07/Feb/13 He's Back
27 2-15 14/Feb/13 Normandy
28 2-16 21/Feb/13 War
VIDEO: The show's stylish look is presented quite well with this 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation. The show's urban setting looks bold and detailed and the show's overall color palette remains warm and well-saturated. Sharpness and detail aren't outstanding, but the presentation does consistently deliver crisp, reasonably well-defined images. A few traces of pixelation and were spotted, but the presentation otherwise looked clean and smooth.
AUDIO:: The show's Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation is crisp and clean. Surrounds get some very light use at times for background ambience, but the majority of the presentation is dialogue-driven. Auido quality is fine, with crisp, clean dialogue and well-recorded score.
Extras: Four audio commentaries are included - one on each disc: "War" (creator Aaron Korsh, stars Gabriel Macht, Patrick Adams, Meghan Markle and Sarah Rafferty), "High Noon", (Korsh, writer Erica Lipez and stars Adams, Macht and Rick Hoffman), "Rewind" (Korsh, writer Rick Muirragui and stars Markle and Rafferty), "She Knows" (Korsh is joined by stars Hoffman and Gina Torres.) The commentaries are fun (and the groups seem to be having fun with the commentary process) and the various groups offer some good insights about different aspects of the production.
We also get a series of lightly involving webisodes, deleted scenes and promotional fare: "Suits Punch Reel", "The Style of Suits" and "Suits: Sophmore Success".
Final Thoughts: "Suits" continues to roll on quite well in the second season, with continued strong performances and snappy writing. The DVD set offers fine audio/video quality, as well as a nice set of extras. Recommended.