Suits Season Two DVD Review
Suits Season Two has arrived on DVD ahead of the July premiere of its 3rd season. The series, continuing to air on the USA network, is a legal dramedy with a decided emphasis on its comic aspects. Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams lead the cast in this lightweight show, which takes the usual case-of-the-week law firm idea and gives it a silly fantasy twist. People who know much about legal work will still probably not believe this, but more casual viewers may enjoy the show anyway. The Season One set comes with all 16 episodes of the second year, along with a brace of extras, including deleted scenes, commentaries, a web series, a pair of featurettes, a gag reel and a “punch” reel.
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 480P/MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDH
Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 11 Hrs. 35 Min.
Package Includes: DVD, UltraViolet
Disc Type: DVD-9 (dual layer)
Release Date: 05/28/2013
The Production Rating: 3/5
Suits continues to be a fun show to watch so long as you don’t think too much about the basic premise. As before, the core of the series is a ruse played by ace attorney Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) where he hires Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) to be his new associate at the firm. Ross has high intelligence and a photographic memory, which should be an asset anywhere. But he’s never been to law school and has no law degree. The series revolves around how Ross can figure his way through the case of the week and the two guys can come out on top without people figuring out what’s really going on. On multiple occasions, Harvey or Mike will run into obstacles set by the firm’s founding partner Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) or by Harvey’s in-office nemesis Louis (Rick Hoffman). Now, in the first season, things were kept decidedly light and bubbly. With the second year, and more episodes to fill, the situations become a bit more serious.
SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T SEEN THE 2ND SEASON EPS, REMINDERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE: The big switch that happens right away is that in the first episode, “She Knows”, the show adjusts its premise to say that Jessica is now aware of Mike’s ruse, having been informed by an embittered friend of Mike’s in the first season finale. Initially, she takes the expected step – telling Harvey to immediately fire him. But then she backs off, mainly due to the intrigue of the potential return of the other original partner in the firm, Daniel Hardman (well-played by David Costabile). So she’s willing to have Mike impersonate a lawyer in her firm so long as she has deniability – which is a plot twist from a science fiction series and it’s the kind of thing that could well be the “jump the shark” moment for the series. Beyond that twist, the series continues as before, with Harvey and Mike confronting the case of the week and the various challenges mounting against the firm by Hardman and other parties. The tone of the series adjusts a bit as the show really begins to play the continuing stories of drama within the firm and with the people challenging it. By the end of the season, both Harvey and Mike have been through two or three major wringers, and the finale throws each of them a major curveball. In the case of Harvey, his plans to fight a merger with a British firm come to naught and he suffers a humiliating defeat. In the case of Mike, he is intimidated into siding against Harvey by Jessica, who strangely comes to his rescue when Harvey tries to fire him. Still reeling from that irony, Mike closes out the season by blurting out his situation to his paralegal girlfriend Rachel and then finding a new use with her for the firm’s file room. All the intrigue is interesting, and there are some fun character dynamics at work throughout the year. But one has to wonder how much more the show can play on it what is an impossible premise – the idea that a person with no education can impersonate a Harvard-graduate attorney. At the rate they’re going, the whole firm will know about Mike’s situation before the end of the third year, carrying the premise farther and farther into comedy.
As I did last year, having worked for three years as a litigation paralegal, I need to repeat the problem with the central concept of the show. While the character of Mike Ross is clearly smart and has that eidetic memory, it’s more than a stretch to think he could be hired by any firm without any paper trail, or that he could bluff his way through the kinds of situations the series presents. Starting to have the other attorneys in on the gambit just makes them complicit in what is a serious act of fraud.
But if you can look past those problems, the series can be a fun ride. The usual law firm show clichés are spun in different directions here, sometimes with pretty funny results. The scripts delight in setting up one expectation and then delivering the complete opposite. And the performances of the cast, particularly Rick Hoffman as in-house villain Louis Litt, are appropriately light and fun. At the end of the season, Louis memorably meets his match with his British counterpart Nigel, leading to several scenes of high snootiness from both Hoffman and guest actor Adam Godley.
About a month in advance of the show’s 3rd season premiere this summer, fans are being offered this 4-disc season set. Included here are all 16 episodes of the second season, with audio commentaries on the four episodes, including the season opener and finale. Deleted scenes are included for most of the episodes. The third disc includes an 8 episode webisode series. The fourth disc includes a gag reel, two featurettes and a “punch” reel. The packaging includes an episode guide on the inner sleeve and instructions for downloading a digital copy or Ultraviolet copy of the season.
I should note that the episodes all run about 43 minutes with credits, with the exception of the season finale “War”, which runs about 50 minutes with credits.
The discs’ specific episodes are:
“She Knows” – This is the season opener, dealing with the fallout of Jessica’s new information from the end of Season 1. A deleted scene is included separately, running 0:57. This episode also features a breezy commentary by series creator/producer Aaron Korsh, Gina Torres and actor Rick Hoffman. (Hoffman actually shows up late to the commentary, and is greeted by the mutual razzing that fills this one.)
“The Choice” – A deleted scene is included separately, running 1:54.
“Meet the New Boss” – Deleted scenes are included separately, running 2:14.
The disc also includes a previews menu for other television DVD releases by Universal. (See the Special Features sections.)
“Break Point” - A deleted scene is included separately, running 0:38.
“All In” – Deleted scenes are included separately, running 2:26.
“Rewind” – This could be thought of as the show’s flashback episode, where we get to see what everyone was doing five years ago, and how they all looked. A deleted scene is included separately, running 0:34. This episode also features a commentary with Aaron Korsh, writer Rick Muirragui, Meghan Markle and Sarah Rafferty.
“Asterisk” – Without spoiling why, I’ll just say this may be the most significant episode of the series to date for Mike Ross, and it’s
another indication of the show’s turn toward the serious. Deleted scenes are included separately, running 2:19.
“High Noon” – The fallout from the prior episode plays out here. Deleted scenes are included separately, running 2:40. A commentary is included for this episode, with Aaron Korsh, writer Erica Lipez, Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams and Rick Hoffman.
“Blind-Sided” – A deleted scene is included separately, running 1:21.
“Blood in the Water” – A deleted scene is included separately, running 0:50.
The disc also includes the Suits Recruits webisode series. (See the Special Features section.)
“Zane vs Zane” – An extended scene is included separately, running 0:58.
“He’s Back” – Daniel Hardman makes his return with a fresh attack on the firm.
“Normandy” – This episode lays the groundwork for the series finale, as an attorney returns to the fold, this time with a British firm that could merge with our heroes.
“War” (Extended Episode – 7 Minutes Longer Than the Usual) – The season finale throws the balls up in the air at the end, setting up what could be an interesting change in relationships for the characters and the firm. Deleted and extended scenes are included separately, running 4:33.This episode features another breezy commentary by Aaron Korsh, Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle and Sarah Rafferty.
The disc also includes the gag reel, the featurettes and the “punch” reel. (See the Special Features section.)
Video Rating: 3/5 3D Rating: NA
Suits Season 2 is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer that feels like an accurate representation of the intended look of the show. As with the first season there is a certain slickness here, which belies the lower cable budget at play in the production.
Audio Rating: 3/5
Suits Season 2 is presented in an English Digital 5.1 Dolby Digital Mix which, like the first season, mostly lives in the front channels but which gets some punch from the music in the surrounds. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand.
Special Features Rating: 3/5
All of the discs feature deleted scenes from multiple episodes. The deleted scenes can be accessed either in the episode choice menu or via the special features menu. The scenes can be played individually or via a “Play All” option for the scenes on each disc. The scenes typically begin with the last moments of the prior scene in black and white and then switch into color as the new material begins to play. On the fourth disc, one of the episodes actually features an extended version of one scene.
On each disc, one episode will feature a commentary with Aaron Korsh and various members of the cast and writing staff. These include the season opener “She Knows” and finale “War”, as well as the crucial episodes “Rewind” and “High Noon”.
The additional special features are broken up as follows:
Previews – A separate menu option for Previews allows access to trailers for the DVD sets of the following Universal television series: House, 30 Rock, In Plain Sight, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights, The Office, Parks & Recreation and Monk.
Suits Recruits Webisodes – (15:17 Total, Anamorphic) Eight installments of the Suits webisode series are included here in anamorphic widescreen, totaling about 15 minutes. The segments range from 1 to 3 minutes in length. Segments are titled “The Can Opener”, “Busted”, “Quote for Quote”, “The Match”, “Firing Norma”, “El Mensaje”, “Getting Litt” and “The Spot”.
Gag Reel (8:22, Anamorphic) – The gag reel this year is about twice as long as the one for the first season. It’s the same mixture of blown takes and gag expressions. In several cases, we’re shown a situation where the actor is going up on their lines and then proceeds to go for multiple takes in the cellar, as it were.
Suits: Sophomore Success(8:28, Anamorphic) – This is an agreeably fluffy featurette celebrating the show’s second season, with the cast and the writers mutually complimenting each other. The more serious issues grappled with this year are discussed at least in terms of the show having a bit more backbone to it.
The Style of Suits (7:24, Anamorphic) – This featurette focuses primarily on the wardrobe and production design of the series, giving time to both the costume designer and the production designer. In the case of the former, the various outfits given to Jessica Pearson and the attorneys get some attention. In the case of the latter, the use of Canadian locations to stand in for New York is the primary point of discussion. The designer walks the viewer into the office set, noting that this is a constructed replica of a real location used for the pilot’s shoot in New York City. To match that location, photographs of the viewer taken and a large translite was created to give a convincing New York backdrop to the show’s many window office scenes.
Suits Punch Reel (2:24, Anamorphic) – Here we have an oddity. Apparently, the actors on this show enjoy playing a game with the camera where they appear to punch each other and a boxing sound effect is thrown in to complete the effect. Over 2 ½ minutes, we’re given almost every variation of this, from close-up masked punches, slaps, backhands, and even pantomimes between a foreground actor and a deep background actor. Frankly, this material is, well, a bit punchy...
Subtitles are available in English for the episodes and the special features. Each episode can be viewed separately or via a “Play All” function. The episodes have internal chapters but there is no menu for them.
The packaging includes a guide with summaries of every episode on the inside sleeve. An insert in the packaging has instructions for downloading a digital or Ultraviolet copy of the season.
Overall Rating: 3/5
Suits Season 2 continues to be a fun series so long as you don’t spend too much time thinking about it. The premise is now firmly on the far side of impossible, but the dialogue and plot twists are still clever enough to amuse a forgiving viewer. Fans of the show will enjoy this season set. More casual viewers may want to rent it. But I should throw in a caution that it would definitely help to have seen the first season to truly understand what is going on here. It is quite possible to just jump in with the top of the second season, but the added history helps.
Reviewed By: Kevin EK
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