'Suits' Season 2.5: Why It's Still The Best Show on Television (Editorial)
When you have actors that good, it's your responsibility to give them material that allows them to be at their best, and I have all the respect in the world for Suits creator Aaron Korsh and his crack writing staff. Here's writing that even with all the TV I've critiqued, and all the screenplays and teleplays I've been through, not only engages but surprises me time and again. It doesn't pander to the cliches of television; it stays true to itself. It's writing that begs to be quoted, discussed, and otherwise appreciated. It has layers and subleties and things you have to think about. It's television that provokes a reaction. (Admit it, you're still crying over the death of Mike's grandmother.) I write thousands of words a week about Suits, and still feel like I could go on for pages more, because there's that much in this show.
Much like with acting, it's pretty cool when you have not just one or two good writers on a team, but a whole room of them that can turn out solid episodes. There hasn't been a bad episode of Suits yet.
Let us, too, recognize all the other people that make TV shows possible, the ones that you don't know. All those of you raving about Harvey's suits or commenting on his hairstyle? Thank the wardrobe department and the hairstylists. If you're one of those folks always asking what song played over the end of the episode? That'd be the music supervisor who makes that possible. There are dozens of folks who contribute to Suits every day, in everything from lighting to sound to editing and script supervising and other jobs you probably never even think about, and they work just as hard as anyone.
And all these people work well together. It's one thing to have people who are individually good at their jobs, and another for them to be able to form a cohesive unit to make that best possible final product. How many stories have you read of on-set difficulties holding back a production? I'm not saying these folks don't have their disagreements, but it's clear that the Suits team, from Aaron Korsh on down, respect and appreciate one another. When I interviewed the cast at the Paley Center on Monday night and asked them what they loved most about going to work every day, every one of them told me it was their colleagues. Watching Suits, you can tell the effort that everyone puts into this show, and how much they care about making it great.
Now imagine the odds of all the things I've just talked about happening. There are lots of TV shows that are good, if not great. But what are the chances of a pilot script this good finding all the right people - and then all those scripts and all those people continuing to be good for two and a half seasons? That doesn't happen very often. That consistent greatness is what puts Suits in the elite class of television shows.
Here's the part that I think gets most overlooked. The reason I truly love television is the ability that great TV has to affect real life. The idea of creating something fictional that can leave a lasting impact is amazing. Suits has done that. It's not just the fact that the show has a passionate fan base; many series do. It's Patrick J. Adams telling the Paley Center audience about someone who said the show inspired them to go back to school. It's the people that have become interested in the law because of it. It's those stories and others where the show didn't just entertain us - it made a difference.
For me personally, the cast of Suits is close to my heart. This show introduced me to three of my favorite people I've ever gotten to work with, in Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams and Sarah Rafferty. They're people that I look up to professionally, and personally the moments we've shared together are ones that I'll cherish for the rest of my life. Gabriel in particular is one of my all-time favorite actors, and it's pretty fantastic to say that not only do I get to watch one of my favorites each week, but I've had the chance to get to know him, too. It makes my day every time we talk. Gabriel, Patrick and Sarah have always been so welcoming to me, and so warm, and especially for someone who has been through as many painful things as I have, it means the world to me. I might never regain full use of my legs, but I've earned the respect of three people that I deeply admire, and that honestly does make up for it. That's before we get into the Harvey Specter lines I've unintentionally started using on my coworkers. I'm grateful to be inspired by these folks, which is just the proverbial icing on the cake when it comes to the greatness of Suits.
Between being massively entertained every week and the company I've gotten to keep, it's been my pleasure and my honor to write about this wonderful show for the last two and a half seasons, and I'm looking forward to many more.
I certainly believe that television doesn't get any better than this.
Suits returns this Thursday at 10 PM ET/PT on USA.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.
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