Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Negative Review: Suits Sucks (partially)

I've long since learned not to take anything on USA seriously, but Suits is, more or less, pretty good for how bad it is. Great actors, bizarre movie references, witty dialogue… it has a lot going for it. On the other hand, however, its Rachel Zane is one of the most revolting characters in recent TV history and is an absolute joke in the face of equalism. Without further ado:


Hm.

So this show isn't about Rachel, or the rest of the female cast – that's fine; it's about Harvey and Mike, and their misadventures. These two characters have always been the center of the show, and every seasonal arc thus far has revolved around them. Other characters have held the limelight, briefly, but their sub-plots were then either scurried off hurriedly when the writers remembered what they wanted to do with Mike and Harvey, or these sub-plots eventually went from transpiring concurrently with Mike and Harvey's doings to coinciding with them, at which point the focus would once again shift to the latter. So again – that's fine. 

Recently, however, Rachel has become increasingly central in Mike's life (not the show's). They are in a relationship, and it's had its share of difficulties – whether she'll attend law school in a different state thus ending their relationship, what the two of them will do about Mike's secret, various bits and pieces of office politics, and the latest addition, Logan Sanders. It's with this last one that I take issue, since it offers a wonderful insight into how this seemingly intelligent, attractive, well-off, educated woman is really portrayed.

So Rachel and Logan have a history. A long time ago, in a flashback far, far away, Logan was cheating on his wife with Rachel, and intended to leave the former for the latter, and blah blah blah, it didn't work out. Fast forward to now, and you've got a Rachel that's mistrusting of Logan due to the way in which he ended his relationship with her (but, for whatever reason, her mistrust does not stem from the fact that she knows Logan is an adulterer). When Logan then comes back into Rachel's life, after Rachel is already deeply into her relationship with Mike, with all the corresponding love and dependency, and whatever other shit-tier melodrama this show's been throwing around, it just seems a bit contrived that Rachel has such a hard time holding back her feelings for Logan. This would be fine if it was a superficial attraction, since especially in this kind of show (the one where every actor has more invested in their appearance than McDonalds spends on advertising), decisions are based around people's appearances, but Rachel and Logan begin to mesh after spending a few scenes with each other on more than a physical level. This is where the trouble begins.

Consider the following: Mike has given Rachel his love, his trust, and his life – he acts compassionately pursuant to the fullest extent a cable show allows, confides in Rachel about workplace problems, and does, obviously, place a great deal of trust in Rachel by telling her about not having attended Harvard. In return, it's shown, too, that Rachel feels the same way about Mike – she gives up her dream law school in order to stay with him, revolves her life around him, and also eventually admits to him about having kissed Logan.

So, why does Rachel kiss Logan? Yes – Logan initiates this kiss, but Rachel is in a position to know years in advance that it's coming. In fact, she does nothing to stop it, only acting after the fact – is she suddenly powerless because this young, urban professional, douchebag, venture capitalist, handsome white guy has her under his spell? Is it because she's a weak, frail, stupid girl that's gotten to where she has in life because of her appearance? Up until this point in the show, there is nothing to even remotely indicate that Rachel is fazed by difficult or emotional decisions; the whole arc about her going away to law school delivers the point quite clearly that Rachel is capable of weighing the pros and cons of various decisions absent the complications of feelings. Yet, when a guy from her past, whom everyone in her life informs her is a piece of shit comes onto her, after her repeated warnings to him to do exactly not that, she does nothing. The character that's been built up as strong, independent, and intelligent, is relegated to "cheating girlfriend" because there is no such thing as a woman who can control herself – they're such stupid little things, the Suits writers must think. Is it any coincidence that around this same time, Donna mentions to Rachel that she slept with Harvey despite her philosophy of not getting in bed with her coworkers? Surely not, as the entire time this is going on, the managing partner of the firm all aforementioned characters work at is also fucking one of her employees, and even Louis has a brief semi-sensual encounter with Katrina.

Solution: all Suits writers are to be locked in a room with a complete set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that Rachael is one of the most unattractive characters in the series, mainly because she is so self-centered and stupid. She is completely ruled by her emotions and her self-interest, and has nothing to talk about except her job and her desires. The writers have failed to make her a multi-dimensional woman.

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