7 Lessons We Can Learn from the Rerun of “Suits”

Despite its last episode airing on USA Network in 2019, “Suits” has made a remarkable resurgence, captivating audiences across various streaming platforms like Netflix and Peacock.

According to Nielsen, it has now broken its record for most watched minutes on an “acquired” TV show (not one debuted by a streamer), with 3.1 billion minutes viewed in a single week in July 2023. 

The show centred around a genius masquerading as a lawyer and the high-stakes world of a prestigious New York law firm, and it has garnered newfound attention, breaking numerous streaming records and sparking discussions among critics and viewers alike. 

So, what exactly makes “Suits” such a hit even years after its initial run?

7 Key Lessons We Can Learn From its Unexpected Resurgence.

#1 – The Allure of Middlebrow TV.

In an era dominated by high-concept dramas and formulaic sitcoms, “
Suits” stands out as a prime example of middlebrow television. It may not sweep award ceremonies or delve into profound philosophical themes, but it strikes a delicate balance between entertainment and substance, appealing to a wide audience seeking engaging yet accessible content.

For example, the show’s focus on legal intricacies and corporate power struggles offers enough depth to satisfy viewers looking for substance, while its witty dialogue and charismatic characters provide entertainment without overwhelming complexity.


#2 – The Power of Predictability.

While viewers crave novelty, there’s a comforting appeal in predictability, especially in the realm of television. “
Suits” masterfully navigates the fine line between familiarity and surprise, offering episodic plots peppered with occasional twists, keeping viewers hooked without overwhelming them with complexity.

For instance, the dynamic between Harvey and Mike follows a predictable pattern of mentorship and camaraderie, providing a sense of continuity amidst ever-changing case scenarios.



#3 – The Sweet Spot of Character Development.

Unlike sitcoms with static characters or intense dramas with exhaustive character arcs, “Suits” finds its sweet spot in character development. Each primary cast member is meticulously crafted, with compelling personal arcs that unfold alongside the main storyline, adding depth and relatability to the narrative.

For example, Donna’s evolution from a witty secretary to a strategic powerhouse showcases the show’s commitment to nuanced character growth.


#4 – Competency Porn and Workplace Dynamics.

With its sleek portrayal of competent professionals navigating high-stakes scenarios, “Suits” exemplifies the genre of competency porn. The show’s focus on workplace dynamics, from intricate office politics to interpersonal relationships, resonates with audiences seeking escapism within a familiar setting.

For instance, the firm’s strategic manoeuvres and legal acumen offer a glimpse into the exhilarating world of corporate law, while the interpersonal conflicts and power struggles add layers of intrigue and tension.


#5 – The Art of Banter and One-Liners.

A hallmark of “Suits” is its witty banter and memorable one-liners, which inject humour and levity into tense situations. From Harvey’s sharp retorts to Donna’s quick wit, the show leverages dialogue as a powerful tool to engage viewers and infuse the narrative with personality.

For example, Harvey’s iconic line “I don’t have dreams, I have goals” encapsulates his pragmatic and ambitious demeanour, while Donna’s quips add a touch of humour to even the most serious discussions.

Mike and Harvey have great banters, but their regular pop culture references add a layer of entertainment to their fun conversations. They usually quote movies to each other and even assign big screen characters roles depending on the case that they are dealing with. While the duo tends to do this the most, the rest of the firm actually also does it. Jessica quotes Top Gun, while Rachel recites Dirty Dancing. These function as some Easter eggs that make Suits so much more enjoyable to watch.

#6 – The Blend of Procedural and Serialized Elements.

Balancing episodic procedural storytelling with overarching serialised arcs, “Suits” caters to viewers’ preferences for both standalone episodes and long-term narrative threads. This hybrid approach ensures that each episode offers resolution while contributing to the larger storyline, maintaining momentum throughout the series.

For instance, while the show features self-contained legal cases in each episode, it also weaves ongoing conflicts and character dynamics into the fabric of the narrative, creating a cohesive and engaging viewing experience.

#7 – Nostalgia and Comfort Viewing.

In an ever-changing landscape of television, there’s a nostalgic appeal to revisiting familiar favourites like “Suits.” As streaming platforms compete for viewers’ attention with new releases, timeless shows like “Suits” provide a sense of comfort and familiarity, making them ideal choices for binge-watching and relaxation.

For example, the show’s return to streaming platforms allows both longtime fans and new audiences to indulge in the nostalgia of past seasons while discovering or rediscovering the charm of its characters and storylines.

Additionally, the disappearance of “Blue Sky” TV, characterized by light-hearted and easy-going programming like “Suits,” has inadvertently benefited streaming platforms like Netflix.

As traditional networks like USA Network shifted away from producing such content in favour of chasing the prestige television trend popularised by streaming giants, a gap emerged in the market for the kind of shows that offered viewers escapism and comfort. 

Streaming platforms like Netflix capitalised on this void by acquiring and promoting shows like “Suits,” which perfectly catered to audiences seeking easy-to-watch, binge-worthy content. This shift in programming preferences underscores the evolving dynamics of the television industry and highlights the adaptability of streaming platforms in meeting viewer demands.

Now it’s YOUR turn – I would love to hear why YOU think “Suits” suddenly became so popular.

Would love to get your input in the comment box below.

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