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the island of conclusions

Suits 1x11

the island of conclusions

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Suits 1x11

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Harvey and Mike
You know what, folks? Certain awesome WIPs notwithstanding, if might be over for me and Suits. Huh. That was a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kind of infatuation.

Here’s the thing. I quite liked the Harvey plot in this episode; liked the way he had to field accusations of selling out to help rich people; liked the (counterintuitive) suggestion that he’d gotten into corporate law in part to keep his hands clean, that despite his principles he couldn’t take the rough-and-tumble of criminal law. Like seeing Harvey get all rumpled and anxious. Liked seeing more of his weird relationship to Jessica (and her riding to the rescue, of course).

But: the Mike and his lady troubles plot was dull as dishwater. And I don’t say that because I can only stand seeing Mike with Harvey. I’m saying it because it was dull.

But even more: I have never seen a show so committed to dick-wagging. The episode where Harvey got into it with the undefeated Eric Close guy was irritating enough—the competition b/w them overshadowing the actual case—but seeing Harvey and Louis going at it again with the taunting and the dick-waving and the arcane games drove me pretty much around the bend (and can we please not use Nixon in China as a put down? On White Collar the whole team would have gone together--Peter would have enjoyed the political history, if not the music).

The thing is. The thing is. You don’t even know how much of my life I spend dealing with the competitive shenanigans of small boys. You don’t even know.

It goes like this:

“You’re not awesome.”
“I am too awesome.”
“No you’re not.”
“Mama [wails], he said I wasn’t awesome.”


“Bet you can’t do this.”
“Can too.”…”there, did it.”
“No, you didn’t—you didn’t follow the rules. You lose.”
[stalking off in a sulk] “I hate you. I hate your stupid rules.”
[wails] “Mama, he just left the game. Tell him he can’t leave the game like that. Mama.”

So, yeah, I’m prepared to see it as a realistic form of masculine behavior. I’m just a little sick of being told it’s entertaining.

Ahem. Okay, I didn’t mean to go off like that—I just had to get that off my chest. I’ll have a post about stuff I actually enjoyed watching later.
  • I know what you mean. I am several episodes behind and don't know about the episode that you're referring to, but I agree about the dick-waving. I think for me it's just such a male-dominated show where everyone is constantly trying to put someone else in their place. I understand the appeal and definitely see the slash, but it doesn't resonate with me the way it does on other shows.

    Perhaps if it was all about Gina Torres.
    • oh, if it were all about Gina Torres, definitely! Half the time I'm so happily distracted by the architectural detail of her suits that I don't mind the other stuff...

      And that pecking order/least-respected-dog stuff is quintessentially masculine, in my experience--I just wish the show had a more satirical/skeptical view of it, instead of seeming to expect us to enjoy it straightforwardly.

      It's got some really lovely actors, it just hasn't been doing a great job of making the characters likable in a deeper way. IMO, of course.

      Speaking of making characters unexpectedly lovable--can't wait for H50 to come back!
  • Yeah, I've caught up on all the eps, and I like it but I don't love it like I do White Collar or other shows. This last one was especially meh and sometimes I feel like I'm just watching to drool over Gina Torres.
  • Heh, I've only watched one half of one ep of this, and I thought I might try to stick it out and watch more, but...now, maybe not. *g*
    • Well, the first 6 episodes were really entertaining, and I thought it was going to develop into something more engaging? compelling? But...No, not really. YMMV, of course, and I don't want to put you off something you might enjoy.

      Very glad H50 is coming back. And Southland--is that not coming back until 2012?

      And the thing I enjoyed the heck out of recently was The Hour -- not perfect by any means, but lovely characters and UST and clothes!

  • I haven't watched Suits, but I'm cracking up at your little boy battles. :-)

    • *g* You laugh because it's true. They could make a competitive, arcane game out of anything (they are doing it now, outside, even as I type). And then cry when it doesn't go their way. All last year the older one would say to the younger one, "nah, nah, you can't read," and the little one would wail, "He says I can't read, mama." and I'd say, "But you can't read--you're five. Honey, your brother's five, don't tease him about not being able to read."

      *tears hair*
  • I was wondering about giving this a try, but maybe I'll skip it.

    And I know exactly what you mean about the competitive thing, it drives me up the wall (just as bad with my boy/girl pair, even at the grand old ages of nearly 14 and nearly 12... it's like they just can't help themselves, and it brings me the nearest to wanting to whack them both that I ever get... *sigh*).
    • Well, the first six episodes are pretty damn entertaining--I just thought it would develop into something more, the way H50 did. But see for yourself--I don't want to put you off something you might enjoy.

      It makes me want to wack them too--and I fully expect it to last their whole lives. Though maybe it will even out. Right now they get themselves into races, etc.--even though the older one is a good foot taller (and four years older) than the younger one. Then the younger one wails, "H. always beats me" and the older one says "J. is a sore loser" and I'm like, okay, you have longer legs right now, but just you wait.

      *tears hair*

      I've been raiding the BBC vaults lately for entertainment--I watched The Hour and the John Simm-Jim Broadbent thing, Exile. Anything else I should try to watch?
  • Ironically, I think I like it better than you do now. I'll be sad when it's over. I totally see what you mean though, it does get a bit grating after awhile, the dickwagging, lol. I keep expecting Louis to have some kind of character development, but he always ends up the bad guy.

    I loved Harvey getting thrown off his game with the DA plotline and the DA telling Harvey he just helped rich people keep their money. Because that's pretty much what most lawyers are paid to do.

    This is so obscure, but it drives me crazy that Jessica has glass walls to her office. I really don't think a managing partner would have glass walls so people could see everything that happens in her office. (Like Donna coming in and giving her that file.)

    • I really enjoyed the DA plotline, too--and I will watch the last episode just to see where they take that. It's interesting that somehow Harvey has gotten the most character development--I really am curious about his past, and what seems to be the tension between his principles and his desire to be rich and safe and emotionless.

      I wish they'd give Louis and Mike some similar depth (or suggestion of depth).

      I hadn't thought about that with the glass walls, but you're so right! Style over substance, eh?
  • Ahem. Okay, I didn’t mean to go off like that—I just had to get that off my chest. I’ll have a post about stuff I actually enjoyed watching later.

    May I say that I absolutely love how you get something off your chest? It was both spot-on and hilarious, and, sadly, I know exactly what you mean!
    • *G* glad you enjoyed! And it is so sad, that we've all experienced enough dick-wagging to recognize it immediately :(
  • Hee! I can totally imagine how the dick-waving would be really annoying to the mother of two boys.

    I don't love that part of the show, but it doesn't dominate for me, and so I rather liked this episode. Harvey's past is interesting, and the competition with Louis actually worked for me because he was the one for whom cheating to win was okay, and at least the resolution of Mike's girl troubles was calling himself and Rachel on their bullshit. So this ep gave me hope, but I can totally imagine your perspective . . .

    Anyway, you don't need to watch the show to enjoy the fic, or some of it.
    • lol--it's possible I should have watched this episode sometime when I was missing the boys, instead of having just spent a whole weekend of quality time with them!

      I though the stuff about Harvey's past was fascinating, actually--the whole "could have been" about him being the next DA was something I didn't expect. So I'll definitely watch next week to find out more about it. Then I'll have watched the whole season.

      I just find the whole taunting Louis thing grating. He must bring in a lot of revenue, because if I were Jessica, and I had two employees who ate up so much of my time and patience with their bickering I would found a way to get rid of one of them long ago (ie, Louis, since she clearly loves Harvey beyond reason).

      I'm still enjoying the fic, though! (and it was show imitates fic in that one, with Mike begging not to be sold :))
  • Considering the writers apparently think it's perfectly reasonable to give grown men the same character arcs as small boys, I don't mind taking your word for it that this probably isn't the show for me. :)
    • lol--well, in my (admittedly embittered) experience, grown men often do have the same character arcs as small boys, so I'm not saying it's unrealistic--just that I'm not sure how much I can stand of watching it.

      The first half of the season was very amusing (and well-tailored) so I wouldn't want to put you off from watching.
  • I haven't seen the latest episode yet and I don't feel so urged to watch it, so that's already saying a lot. I agree, to be honest - I'm not a lawyer so I guess I can imagine that in that world, they act that way, but it's making me roll my eyes a lot. It doesn't make them attractive...
    • yeah, my urge to see it has been dropping steadily :( I think they might actually really act like that--but that doesn't mean I need to be entertained by it.

      Still, I'm sure I'll watch the last ep of the season, just to see what goes on with Harvey.
  • I have to admit I'm invested in Harvey's story arc, and I think Jessica (OH GOD GINA TORRES, HOW HOW ARE YOU SO CONSISTENTLY AMAZING?) and Donna are amazing, but Mike's love triangle bores me to tears, and I find the fandom tragically dissatisfying.
    Unfortunately men at large (and lawyers in particular) are just as spatty and immature sometimes as show makes them out to be, luckily it doesn't bother me very much, but I can totally see why it would.
    One of the the many things that intrigues me about Harvey's characterization is the number of close loyal platonic (or neo-platonic at least) female friendships he has... Not just Jessica and Donna, but the lovely PI lady, and in a sense Scotty. He seems to be closer to women than to men, which is something I don't see enough on TV
    I'd have loved to see more Suits fic from you, but since I love pretty much everything you write in every fandom, I'll settle for whatever you do next :)
    • I am pretty invested in Harvey's story arc too, and will definitely tune in this week to find out what happens. Give what a smug jerk he seemed at the beginning, that's quite an accomplishment for the show!

      That's an excellent point about Harvey's friendships with women. It is an unusual thing on TV--to see a man who not only likes women but likes strong competent women because they are strong and competent. The show plays it very straight--without smarm or innuendo--and I do really like that.

      And yeah, men, of all stripes, really often act like little boys (I'm not a lawyer, but they sure do in my profession)--I'm not saying it's unrealistic. I guess I just find it grating that the show expects us to enjoy it the way men enjoy it--does that make sense? People's mileage really does seem to vary of this point, though, which is all to the good.

      Thanks for the kind words--they are much appreciated!
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