Reviews: Suits

Season One: Emotionally Dishonest

Functionally, Suits is pretty okay in a sci-fi kind of way. Sir a Law situation has arisen! Have you tried Lawing the Law Law? Yes sir, but if they Law the Law Law, we'll all be doomed. I have it if we try using the Law to Law Law Law then the day is saved!

The writers mark [Insert Witty Banter] every thirty seconds of script and then someone takes the script to the sweatshop to stamp it out. 'Person we like makes disparaging remark' 'Other person we like makes disparaging remark that might be vaguely related to first disparaging remark' 'Characters smile so that we know that was funny'

It's serviceable and workmanlike and it creates an entertaining, if entirely unexceptional experience.

But Suits is also emotionally dishonest in a way that rots it's entire core.

Lets take the core dynamic of the show as an example. The bright young rookie is taken on by the brilliant veteran who lacks empathy and the rookie teaches the veteran to learn to love.

That's fine. But the very first scene they use to establish that the veteran lacks empathy is when he mocks the person the show has designated as having no redeeming qualities.

  • If he's learning the error of his ways, why are we meant to side with him and agree his actions are justified?
  • How can the veteran learn empathy, when the show has no empathy itself?

We're not meant to feel sorry for the bad guy. He isn't conflicted, he doesn't have complicated reasons behind his actions. Everything he does is meant to be despicable and we're meant to take joy in every time he gets humiliated and fails to achieve his goals. The writers have no empathy for him and they don't want the viewers to empathise either. And this is the guy who was meant to be the example of why the veteran needs to learn.

So why do that? Because it allows us to feel better about ourselves. They can snark through the main character as much as they want, because if it goes too far "he's just learning to empathise". They get to have a protagonist who drives around in swank cars, showing off his power and dominance and take the moral highground because they're pretending it's a lesson.

Everything in the show is there to flatter the vanity of it's main characters, and in so doing fluff the feathers of its writers. Their world bends over itself to tell us that what they're writing is awesome