Lawyers in Suits



I just finished watching the first season of the “legal” drama Suits. It’s like having ice-cream for breakfast; high GI content, a treat when you eat it, but later on you’re just starving. When I hear the words “Legal Drama” I actually expect legal drama, but Suits is different.

Essentially it’s about the corporate side of the legal practice. The story line is centred on the theme of greed and “compassion”, I think. As such the characters come off as extremely haughty and insufferably vain. The main characters are Harvey and Michael, mentor and mentee respectively. Their relationship is nothing we haven’t seen before.

Harvey is the ambitious senior partner who worked his way to the top by using his charm, wit and streetwise intelligence. Predictably this made him the assertive and smug legal virtuosos he is in the boardroom (because he doesn’t let his cases go to court, he likes settling). He’s also in it for the thrill and as such he ruffles a lot of feathers. So when it came time to choose his apprentice, he couldn’t go with the run-off-the-mill Harvard Law graduate. He needed someone as colourful as he is. Like he told his assistant Donna “I want another me”.

And that would be Michael, who’s illegally practicing law (Harvey’s idea, thrills, living on the edge and whatnot). A college dropout (he got expelled) with an eidetic memory and a shaky past. In one word, he’s is sweet. Unlike most lawyers he’s not morally grey and he’s discernible when it comes to right and wrong, even when it means going against orders. This hasn’t been implied directly or tacitly, but I figure that Harvey used to be the same when he was starting out. This and their love for well-whatever it is they love, seems to be the thread holding them together. A good thread I might add.

The supporting cast consist of other characters who give Suits even less depth than it already has. There’s Vanessa the managing partner, who encourages Harvey’s willy-nilly antics. She can be very stern when she wants to be and her ability to command authority can leave you in awe.

Then we have Louis. He’s the quirky fella with that awkward Dr Evil demeanour. He appears to be highly competent, even more so than Harvey, but his lack of swag and likeability render him helpless at his position as junior partner. Understandably, he’s a bitter Grinch.

Donna, Harvey’s loyal assistant. She’s an ice queen with a good heart.

Rachel, a paralegal and Michael’s love interest at the firm.

The other two characters are Michael’s girlfriend and best friend, Vanessa and Trevor. Not sure if they’re worth mention since they’re not “Suits”. Not much can be said for them. Maybe their characters will be developed next season?

When it comes to legal dramas David E Kelley spoilt us with so much depth, substance and richness in The Practice. The same can be said for Boston Legal as hilarious as it was and (well not really, but what the hell) Alley McBeal. Suits isn’t without its Hallmark moments, although they are far between. It’s shallow and entertaining and a different angle and take on “legal dramas”. It’s light and easy and you won’t ever need a Thesaurus to keep up with the diction and rhetoric. It young, its hip it’s fresh and edgy, with some wit and charisma. It’s for the Gossip Girl generation, I get how it could have an audience. I’m not exactly sitting on the edge of my seat, biting my nails for season two, but they do have my attention.

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Neat Little Boxes


Neat little boxes

 

Screaming on the top of the satellites

I’d like to turn you down but your knob eludes me

I can hear your calls to cube me

I fight to reject you, but you are relentless

As you offer me options and promise me variety

Purporting to enlighten, intending to indoctrinate

 

Bundled with others like sardines in a tin

I find no comfort in numbers, I need to be me

Sealed in this labelled coffer is my gagged identity

A voided idiosyncrasy I’ve come to be

Same ages and earnings, same colours and creeds

Strangers in the world, birds of a feather in this box

 

Marked with a bull’s-eye you think you’ve got me

You claim to know me when I’m just a target

As you subject me to your profit making point of view

Stimulated and excited I fall into you spell

Like a disease society can’t dispel

We lifelessly bow at your alter in our homes

 

Hungry for more you invite more packers

The sellers and seducers, your agents of vanity

Where needs are wants and wants are needs

A billion images and sounds, infecting my space

A lifestyle sold, a life to live derailed

Infants and geriatrics alike, no victim too small

 

A consequence of your actions I refuse to be

This box you’ve cast me in, this box called TV

 

Raging Staccato

 

 

Come Dine With Me South Africa


I recently watched Come Dine With Me: South Africa for the first time and I must say I haven’t laughed like that in a long time.

My friend Senti insist that I need to start watching, and although I tend to enjoy similar things, I felt like its another trifling Reality TV Show. I must however credit “Come Dine With Me” as one of the best on TV.

For those of you haven’t watched, basically they get four contestants to host a dinner at their respective homes. Each contestant gets to serve three courses; a starter, the main course and dessert. Between the course we get to hear privately shot commentary from what the contestants. At the end of the dinner the other three get to rate the host on a scale of one to ten. The person with the highest score gets to win a cash price.

What I find interesting is the mix of characters the producers put together. Since it was my first time watching I can’t say if the characters are always as zesty. It does however seem like the producers found a winning formula to get the right combination of contestants vying for the cash price and zest swiftly finds its way to them.

It is amazing how much personality food brings out of people. A person will love you (your food) in the moment, but its all a façade to appear cordial. The fact that its a competition further exposes people for exactly who they are, competitive and very self-assertive. Coupled with the relentlessly sarcastic Dave Lamb (the narrator), you have witty, unscripted entertainment that feels real.

What I love most is that these are your average Joe’s who just love food and can cook. They’re not trying to open a restaurant or be the next Jamie Oliver. Plus this is South Africa, for a small country we’re very diverse. It is just such a pleasure seeing all these elements coming together.

I’ve  set a reminder on my decoder and on my cellphone for the next episode. Please do check it out you will not be disappointed. The next episode will be on channel 120 at 21H00 on Wednesday.