Review: "Suits"

Reason to watch: Another slick franchise kick in the pants from cable.

When/Where: Extended premiere Thursday from 10 to 11:22 p.m. on USA

Lawyers plead to being wacky on 'Suits'

Pictured: (l-r) Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter, Patrick

Pictured: (l-r) Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter, Patrick Adams as Mike Ross in SUITS -- Season:1. (Credit: Frank Ockenfels/USA Network/)

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Lawyers, this time, on USA. Wacky lawyers. Like the wacky detectives of "Psych," the wacky feds of "White Collar," the wacky spies of "Burn Notice," the wacky doctor of "Royal Pains" and, oh yeah, that wacky lawyer on "Fairly Legal."

Not wacky in the ha-ha sense but the eccentric sense. Breaking the rules. Indulging their demons, while exploiting their talents. Taking care of business at the same time they play.

Gabriel Macht plays The Grownup in this relationship -- because there's generally one (mostly) upright partner and one oddball. Macht's quick-witted corporate attorney elegantly bluffs both clients and poker opponents. But lest he get bored at work, he proceeds to hire "another me."

That turns out to be Patrick J. Adams' stoner slacker with a voracious reading list and a photographic memory, and -- because there's usually this, too -- a sad/touching back story. He got kicked out of college thanks to his pot-dealing pal, and now needs beaucoup bucks to help his Grammy stay in the nice old folks' home.

MY SAY OK, that last part's a bit much. But "Suits" aspires to delve a little deeper than the usual USA spree of loose goofballs besting the uptight, well, suits. Stay tuned for Episode 2's ethical minefields.

Gina Torres ("Firefly") carries gorgeous authority as Macht's boss, while LI-bred foil Rick Hoffman continues to forge a sharp career as the corporate rival/bully. (Next week's hour gives Hoffman a bigger spotlight.)

Just don't think too hard about the fact that "new associate" Adams is no lawyer, and none of the high-powered pros in this sleek glass-walled Manhattan high rise seems to figure that out. Not the hot paralegal (Meghan Markle) who helps with all that research, or Macht's on-top-of-everything assistant (Sarah Rafferty). They're too busy whipping banter around the office like racquetball champs.

BOTTOM LINE These stylish suits aren't empty, by any means. But we'll have to see if USA is truly willing to let its heroes' souls get emotionally naked.

GRADE B+

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