Guilty pleasure Netflix show declared streaming 'story of the year'
Netflix has overcome a 2022 wobble and is looking stronger than ever.
Back in July, such is the power of the Netflix bump, millions of us were back watching a show that actually premiered on a television network back in 2011. Suits ended in 2019 but, such has been the streaming response to the show, we may soon see another big spin-off or two.
Suits has been on Netflix for a couple of years now - coming and going for a stretch of months - but the streamer locked it back in for a long run and gave it a huge push. This was, in large part, down to the Hollywood actor and writers strike, which slowed down the release of new shows and movies.
Netflix pulled out all the stops for Suits, pushed it to the top of their page and gave it a big publicity nudge. It resulted in 3.7 billion minutes of the show being viewed in the United States alone, in just one week - almost three times bigger than the next popular shows, The Lincoln Lawyer and The Witcher.
The Suits renaissance was described by Bill Simmons, on his popular podcast, as the streaming 'story of the year'. Entertainment writer Matt Belloni agreed, saying:
"The Suits thing was insane. It was popular when it aired on USA [Network]. It was a thing. But Netflix can take a show and super-charge it in a way you could do on no other platform today. I'm not sure if you could do it on any platform ever.
"Shows have gone into syndication before and become hits, I suppose, but maybe the only other example [like this] would be Baywatch. It was not a big hit when it premiered but then became a phenomenon when it went into syndication.
"But I don't think you can think of any other example of something that went this big because of a licensing window... This now puts Netflix in such a powerful position because when they are looking to buy, they are going to get discounts on stuff... the show with these goals is to increase their currency...
"You can now do a deal with Netflix and not only is it going to be a gigantic show, around the world, it is going to benefit everyone else. NBC now wants to do another show with the Suits guys."
There was a spin-off to Suits in 2019, called Pearson, but it lasted just one season. The latest from Hollywood is that a new show from Suits creator Aaron Korsh is in the works with NBC Universal that is set in the show 'universe' but will mostly feature a slate of new characters and actors.
Do not be surprised, though, to see show alumni such as Gabriel Macht, Rick Hoffman, Sarah Rafferty or Patrick J. Adams popping up for cameos or story arcs.
Suits: A guilty pleasure watch
Personally speaking, the Netflix revival was not the first time I had raced through all 134 episodes of the show. I had followed it on terrestrial TV before, perhaps missing the odd episode but handily keeping track of events at the Pearson Hardman law firm in Manhattan.
Perhaps the beauty of the show, about a college drop-out delivery guy bluffs his way into a high-end law firm, is that almost every episode is in a bottle. The opening scenes make it seem like disaster is on hand, a plan is devised, blown to bits, all hope seems lost and a genius play, or bluff, comes through to save the day.
By the end of each episode, one or a few of the main characters will be in their office, drinking from a chunky glass tumbler, looking out on the Manhattan night sky-line and cracking wise about their close calls.
It is a show that did really well on network TV but is made for streaming. Like the page-turning fiction book you grab at the airport on your summer holidays.
Big stakes, flashy suits, fast cars, beautiful people and hangovers simply not existing in this universe. Sit turn, turn on and switch off from your own day-to-day worries.
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How to bring back Harvey and Mike?
Suits is guilty pleasure television at its finest. It is also a show that captured a bunch of actors at great stretches of their career - Rick Hoffman is born to play the conniving Louis Litt, Meghan Markle was a huge star on the rise [before she married into royalty] and Gabriel Macht is perfect as the suave Harvey Specter.
Without giving any show spoilers away, it would be hard to revive the original Suits cast - definitely Harvey and Mike (Patrick J Adams) - after how the original run ended.
Markle is unlikely to returning to the world of acting, barring an extraordinary turn of events, so Aaron Korsh and his creative team would need to earn their corn, there.
Mike could appear in a revived show as a returning character but Harvey would need a new foil, perhaps an ambitious, young female character, to play off. Get back Donna (Sarah Rafferty) Louis, Travis Tanner (Eric Close), Gretchen (Aloma Wright), tell Katherine Heigl to steer clear, and you're laughing.
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