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Harvey Specter's (Gabriel Macht) most iconic scene from the Suits pilot is when he explains that he loves to live life at a more reckless pace than everyone else. For the next six seasons of that show, Jessica Pearson's (Gina Torres) main role was to make sure that Harvey's adrenaline addiction didn't blow up his life or run the law firm she spent most of her life building into the ground.
Now, Jessica centers her own story in Pearson, the Chicago-set spin-off that explores the former managing partner's new life as a fixer for the corrupt mayor's office. The idea was spawned by Torres, who was inspired to put Jessica into the middle of a political quagmire as she watched the 2016 election unfold. She recruited Suits executive producer Aaron Korsh and Daniel Arkin and the trio put their heads together to map out Jessica's next chapter.
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While Harvey's iconic line does ironically roll around again within the first season of Pearson, that is where Suits fans should stop looking for comparisons. Pearson follows a different structure than its predecessor, choosing to tease a flash-forward mystery that's solved in the final moments of the first season. It looks different, as well. While Suits is all shiny glass and brightness to represent the white-collar world of corporate law, Pearson is dark and muddy as a metaphor for the dirty business that Jessica is getting herself involved in. Differences are not necessarily a bad thing, and I applaud Pearson for going the extra mile to establish itself away from Suits, but the stark contrast could make it hard for many suits fans to make the jump. Meanwhile, new fans will have to wade through some identity issues before Pearson finds its true groove.
When it comes to plot,...
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