It’s been over a year since Gina Torres last appeared as high-powered Manhattan attorney Jessica Pearson on the USA legal drama “Suits.”
That episode, which aired in April 2018, was used to establish the narrative template for Torres’ spinoff series, “Pearson,” in which the now-disbarred Jessica has relocated to Chicago to work as the no-nonsense fixer for sketchy mayor Bobby Novak (Morgan Spector) — trading Manhattan’s corporate boardrooms for the down-and-dirty world of Windy City politics.
With “Suits” ending its run this summer, USA is hoping that “Pearson” — premiering July 17 at 10 p.m. following the Season 9 premiere of “Suits” — will prove to be a worthy successor.
But “Pearson” lacks the humor, quirkiness and cast chemistry of “Suits” embodied by mudding, cat-loving attorney Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman). It’s a solid, by-the-numbers drama that checks off all the usual boxes but doesn’t offer much that’s new, other than some nice location photography (most of the series is shot in LA, but there are establishing shots using Chicago landmarks and streets). At least that’s a change from “Suits,” in which Toronto (very obviously) subs for New York City.
Viewers tuning into the “Pearson” premiere would be well-advised, if possible, to go back and watch last April’s episode of “Suits” to get up to speed on relevant plot details, since “Pearson” picks up right after the events of that episode. In a nutshell, Jessica had relocated to Chicago and gotten involved in a brutality lawsuit against the Chicago PD — which she dropped, only after being offered the fixer job by Mayor Novak after she began snooping into his business with a shady politico.
In the first two episodes of “Pearson,” straight-shooting Jessica charges full-steam ahead into the city’s political muck and mire making enemies, allies and even some friends as she helps to keep a school open in an underprivileged neighborhood and solve the mayor’s problems with an electric-bus initiative — all while suffering the slings and arrows of being a carpetbagger “from a New York law firm.” F-bombs are dropped (USA can get away with this) and earnest pronouncements are made: “You brought me in to put out your fires, Mr. Mayor,” says Jessica to hizzoner. “Not the ones you start,” he replies wearily. That kind of thing.
The intrigue here, such as it is, revolves around Novak cheating on his wife, Stephanie (Betsy Brandt, currently on CBS’ “Life in Pieces”) with city attorney Keri Allen (Bethany Joy Lenz) and his relationship with his secret half-brother/driver Nick D’Amato (Simon Kassianides).
Meanwhile, Jessica suffers some growing pains with her live-in love, Jeff (DB Woodside).
There’s been a big buildup to “Pearson,” which was first announced over two years ago and is from “Suits” creator Aaron Korsh (and Daniel Arkin). There’s no doubt that Torres can carry a series on her own, but she’ll need a better support system in terms of snappier writing and more inventive plotlines to help get “Pearson” over the proverbial spinoff hump and out of the long shadow of “Suits.”
Source: Read Full Article