Suits v/s Boston Legal
Who’s been raving about the latest legal drama series on TV? Well, everybody to be honest. Suits fever has swept over all of us and the show has been rated an 8.8 on 10 on IMDb. With over 6.1 million viewers for its premier season, many have already (and maybe prematurely claimed) that Suits is the best legal drama series ever to air on TV.
Well, many of these individuals have either forgotten about or never viewed Boston Legal (the latter a more likely possibility). In contrast to Suits, Boston Legal has attained a net score of only 8.3 on IMDb. To my Suits-crazy readers, I beg to tell them that my opinion differs. Though both these series are quite akin in style and concept, they do have some subtle differences. And, it is many of these factors which set the shows apart, where I feel Boston Legal totally trumps Suits.
- Harvey Specter v/s Denny Crane
Both these characters are the ‘been there done that’ legal experts of their individual series. It’s almost as if they have been practicing law forever. They have the charm and they know how to win a case regardless of the situation or forces working against them.
Harvey specter is a smooth man. With his slick, expensive suits and his ‘I only care for myself’ panache, he has won over the hearts of many viewers (and many, many women). He’s smooth, he’s got charisma and he can sweep you off your feet. He knows how to ‘settle’ a case. He knows how to read his opponents. And, he’s got a ‘class A’ attitude. What’s not to love about him? Well, he may be great, but Denny Crane is way more than little Harvey Specter. And here’s why:
For true Boston Legal fans, this is all you need to know:
Denny Crane: What’s my name?
Mark Harrison (Witness): Denny Crane.
Denny Crane: (say it) Like you mean it!
Mark Harrison: Denny Crane!
Denny Crane: What’s my name?
Mark Harrison: [shouts] Denny Crane!
Denny Crane: No further questions.
However, for the unfortunate few who haven’t viewed Boston Legal, here’s part of an an endless list of what you need to know:
- He’s unbeaten. His record is 6043-0. That’s right, hes won all of the 6043 cases that he had tried.
- He’s WON the cases for millions and not simply ‘settled’ like Harvey. A true man has the balls to go to court.
- He’s a scotch drinking, cigar smoking Republican.
- He’ll do whatever he wants to and his excuse is – it’s the mad cow.
- Only Denny Crane can shoot a man with a gun and get away with it. Yes, it may have been with a paintball gun but I’m guessing here’s where entourage got the idea to have Ari Gold use one too.
Boston Legal 1- Suits 0
- Mike Ross v/s Alan Shore
Mike’s a smart guy. Smart may in fact be an understatement. He’s a human computer who can process and memorize words and numbers like a robot capable of rote learning. He’s quick and he understands the way of the world. He’s charming and like Harvey he’s won the hearts of many women around the world with his good looks. He cares about his clients, which is heart warming. But, there’s no way he could beat the great Alan Shore in a case; even on Alan’s worst day. Let’s face it, there’s no way Mark could even keep his job at a real law firm anywhere in the world.
What can I say about Alan? He’s a hoot! He’ll ‘harass’ any woman in the office and back answer any superior at Crane, Poole and Schmidt. Hell he’ll even mock the judges and flirt with the females one’s on the odd occasion. His closings are to die for. He may not have a super human memory but he can capture and move a jury pool even in the worst scenarios. Deep within him he cares about ‘the right’ even though he is often considered as a lawyer who is capable of using ‘questionable means’. A Democrat at heart, he cares more about balcony chats and sleepovers with his ‘spouse’ Denny than other things such as becoming a partner and rising up the corporate ladder. He’s got wit which Mike cannot remotely match. Hate him or love him, he’s the best lawyer around in both these shows combined.
Boston Legal 2 – Suits 0
- Jessica Pearson v/s Shirley Schmidt
Every show requires a strong leading lady. And these two women have performed their part. Both are co-founders of their respective law firms and in addition to excellent skills in handling cases, they have the power and charisma of truly successfully women, almost Marissa Mayer like. Not to mention both of them are stunningly beautiful in their own way. Jessica has the guile and knack to solely handle her firm and is looking to capture complete power in the face of any opposition. Shirley, on the other hand, is more concerned with the cases at hand and her true legal skills have been given full justice. Jessica, although involved in the main plot, does not have a chance to fully exhibit her legal talent at any point in the show so far. She’s simply to busy involved in the game of thrones for her law firm. My score card leans towards Shirley for this sole reason (and the fact that we have a Shirley Schmidt doll).
Boston Legal 3 – Suits 0
- Rachel v/s Jerry Espenson
Both these sharacters are under performers in their own way. And, both of their have an affinity to the corresponding lead character in their respective shows i.e. Rachel to Mike and Jerry to Alan. Rachel fails to rise to a lawyer from her position as paralegal due to her tendency to bomb tests such as the bar exam. Jerry, on the other hand, has more serious issues such as his Asperger syndrome which makes it impossible for him to have appropriate social contact. However, Jerry does succeed to come out of his failures and show his true skills as a lawyer. He even succeeds to trump Alan in a case against him. If that wont count for something, what will? I am sure Rachel will go on to become a successful lawyer but despite her absolutely gorgeous looks, her character will fail to live up to the class, the ups and downs and the stunning acting performance of Jerry ‘Hands’ Espenson.
Boston Legal 4 – suits 0
- Lewis Litt v/s Paul Lewsiton
Every character needs a ‘bad wolf’. And Paul has been a great bad wolf in Boston Legal. Always undermining Denny’s ability to perform because of his ‘mad cow’ and erratic behavior. Always demeaning Alan and threatening to fire him for his ‘misconduct’. He lives up to his role as the hated man on the show. But, here’s where Lewis schools Paul in the part of being the maligned man on the show. You may hate him for his love of ballet, or for always condescending other associates. You may frown on his behavior for pushing Mike to ‘immoral means’ of chasing potential clients. You may despise him for his absolute hatred towards Harvey for getting partner before he did. You may mock him for his rabbit like face and his recorder on which he compliments himself in a British accent. But, the fact that he managed to get us to hate him more than Paul did underscores how great Lewis’ contribution to the show is. Suits finally scores!
Boston Legal 4 – Suits 1
- Donna v/s All other characters on Boston Legal
Brad, Denise, Clarence, Edwin Poole, Betty White and any associates and characters who have featured on Boston Legal have played their part excellently. However, in the short span of 15 episodes, Harvey’s loyal assistant (it would be more appropriate to call her his wife) has won all our hearts. She is hot! And, in my opinion, she’s the hottest character on the show. She knows everything that is going on in Harvey’s life and is always listening in on his conversations. She knows more about Harvey and cares more about Harvey than Harvey does himself. Let’s face it. Regardless of how many ever of the above characters entered and exited their stints on Boston Legal, none of us felt as terrible as the time when Donna walked out of that elevator at Pearson-Hartman. The scene ripped my heart to pieces. I do predict that she will be back very soon though and if she isn’t, Suits may just lose a regular viewer.
Boston Legal 4 – Suits 2
- Settling v/s Court
Harvey’s philosophy is – ‘always settle, never go to court’. While it may be one that is helping him in his legal career, the lack of court room drama is a major negative point of the show. Watching Shore, Schmidt and the various other lawyers from Crane, Poole and Schmidt perform their magic in the courtroom is the best part of Boston Legal (aside from the mad cow and balcony of course). Shore and Co. speak to our hearts with their verbose closings, or should I call them speeches. These closings are powerful enough to move the entire human race, forget a jury pool. They speak to our hearts and at the same time maintain that intellectually stimulating quotient which Suits simply lacks. Many of these cases and closings tackle real world problems and issues such as gay rights, tobacco, cancer, euthanasia and much more.
Boston Legal 5 – Suits 2
- Other Points
- Harvey’s office is magnificent.it is the center point of most interactions between the 2 main characters. A beautiful view of the city and several autographed tennis and basketballs plus a record collection. What more could a person ask for? Well, I’d take cigar and scotch on a plain, simple balcony with my best friend any day over all the royalty in the world.
- While Suits focuses on office politics in a law firm (at least this forms the main plot in the second season), Boston Legal focuses on court cases which affect human lives. Every night, Crane and Shore sit on the balcony and talk about the day’s cases and ponder about the depth and reality of life. There’s also a little wit and humor in the discussions till one finally asks the other for a ‘sleepover’. It is one of my favorite parts of the show. And this balcony nightcap features at the end of every episode of the show without fail. It is one reason why Suits will never ever match Boston Legal.
- Boston Legal packs a punch of humor (with Crane’s stupidity), intellect (with Shore’s closings), wit and entertainment all in one TV show. Much, much more entertainment value than Suits.
- While the relationship between Harvey and Mike is one of mentor-student, Shore and Crane are best friends, partners, brothers – Flamingos!
Net Score on 10: Boston Legal 8 – Suits 2
In my opinion, Boston Legal completely ousts Suits as the best legal drama series to have featured on TV. Yes, Suits is in its early stages since it is just at the mid point of its second season. But, to be honest, the only thing keeping me glued to the show is Donna’s return. While many critics like IMDb have rated Suits higher than Boston Legal, there are several aspects of the show the creators of Suits need to hone. Else, they run the risk of having the show fizzle out.