With declining viewership and script diversity, the fifth season of the legal drama Suits, starring Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams, could be just what the show needs to get back on its feet.
Suits began as a hit show in 2011, with no episode in the first season ranking below seventh on the cable charts; however, episodes in the fourth season fell as low as 41. Viewership plunged from an average of 4.16 million in 2011 to 2.26 million by the end of season four.
This can be attributed to the commonly acclaimed “lack of diversity” on the show. This lack of diversity is evident throughout the first four seasons, each season having its own version of it.
There were many instances where it felt like there was a set “formula” for episodes on Suits. Take the first season as an example; season one found itself with episodes that felt “isolated.” Each episode consisted of a new legal case or issue in the office, but none that carried on into later episodes. Each episode was its own story. Now this isn’t a bad thing; however, a whole season of it gets a little dry.
Season two is arguably the most diverse of the four seasons, incorporating story lines that wrap up in one episode, and ones that last a bit longer (Travis Tanner, Tess and Daniel Hardman). Season three takes the multi-episode scheme to an entire new level with the Ava Hessington arc.
This storyline got egregiously dragged out and was arguably one of Suits’ lowest points. What did it cost viewers to finally get rid of any mention of the Ava Hessington ordeal? Over half of the season it seemed.
Season four was centered on Mike’s removal from the law firm; a move that we all knew wouldn’t last considering his job as a lawyer completely made the show. At no point throughout the season was there any belief that the move would actually last, and the Suits eventually morphed into the “When Will Mike Come Back” show.
And let’s not forget Mike’s “secret” that was a reoccurring ordeal that was abused by the writers. Yes, it is a pretty major thing, but it really got boring after a certain point. Not everyone in the show needs to put Mike in a bad position after finding out he isn’t actually a lawyer.
Perhaps I’m being a bit too harsh on the show. Don’t get me wrong, I love Suits more than the average fan and you’d probably find me defending show more often than not, but it would be very silly and show a lack of TV knowledge to even attempt saying Suits has no major faults. I haven’t mentioned all of the issues it has had as a show, but let’s not forget, with all the bad, there is also a lot of good.
There’s been a down spiral lately, but season five looks of a new era of Suits. Yes, there is room for improvement, but it is definitely a step up from past seasons. Early on in the season, we are hit with loads of new exciting storylines, and finally, proper execution of plots from the previous season.
For one, Donna’s actually gone; no one believed it would actually happen.
It was almost like what happened in season four with Mike Ross; it was impossible to believe that he would actually be permanently removed from Pearson Specter Litt, it just wouldn’t work. However, Donna, who is now Louis’ secretary, still hasn’t come back to Harvey. Perhaps in the future she will, but by the looks of it, her move may be permanent. This change sparked many new and creative avenues that Suits has lacked in its history.
Harvey begins to have panic attacks; the big, confident lawyer, develops these attacks and has to see a physician to address this. Through his encounter with the physician, we witness Harvey shockingly develop and learn a lot about himself, the beginnings to being a better person.
Donna’s swap also sparks an internal conflict between the partners of the firm, leading a feud between Harvey and Louis. The feud also involves the new senior partner, Jack Soloff’s goal to take Harvey down. Louis so far has found himself morally caught between the two lawyers and big mistakes.
Harvey’s new secretary is a great addition to the cast of characters on Suits. Her skills rival with the Donna’s and she compliments Harvey’s character extremely well.
Finally, the connection made between Mike and Robert Zane over the insurance company case adds a very interesting element to Rachel and Mike’s relationship.
When reviewing episode three of the season, Merrill Barr from Forbes said that “[the] episode didn’t take us forward as much as it did back” and that “we must continue watching the fallout of Donna’s move. We must continue watching the fallout of Mike’s decision to work with Robert. We must continue watching Louis struggle with his morality and unwillingness to help Soloff.” (Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillbarr/2015/07/08/suits-recap-no-refills)
Suits has been careful with its use of Harvey’s panic attack problem. If they get too caught up with that issue, they can definitely lose focus on other great storylines that are developing this season, and ultimately, we could find ourselves with another Hessington Oil ordeal.
This is the first time in a long time that I can’t contain my excitement for future Suits episodes. Although we’re early in the season, I believe that this can potentially be the best season. Just as long as they don’t give these new story lines the “Suits treatment” of overuse, underuse or decisions that may not make sense.
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