When USA's legal drama "Suits" premiered back in the summer of 2011, it made quite an impact. But despite positive reviews, many TV fans dismissed "Suits" as nothing more than a cheap re-tread of "Mad Men" set in the modern day.
For "Suits" fans, that's a baffling statement. On the surface, "Mad Men" and "Suits" couldn't be more dissimilar: One show is about 1960s ad men, while the other is about modern corporate attorneys. Now that "Suits" has finished its second season and proven it's worthy as a unique series, however, the parallels between USA's "Suits" and AMC's "Mad Men" really are quite pronounced. Here are some of the surprising similarities between these two shows.
1. There's tons of eye candyThe most superficial similarity between legal drama "Suits" and period drama "Mad Men" is the sheer amount of eye candy. Both shows feature handsome men and beautiful women wearing tailored suits and beautiful office-appropriate designs.
2. The British invasionMuch in the same way that Lane Pryce arrived from across the pond to shake things up at Sterling Cooper in Season 3, the last few episodes in Season 2 of "Suits" also featured a "British invasion," where a company from the U.K. wanted a stake in an American firm.
3. Both shows focus on client relationshipsMore specifically, both "Suits" and "Mad Men" focus on powerful men (Harvey Specter and Don Draper) who must help powerful clients make the best decisions. More often than not, those same clients are resistant to what are obviously very good ideas.
4. The women want more from lifeIn both "Mad Men" and "Suits," the female characters are just as aggressively upwardly mobile as their male counterparts. Peggy Olsen rises from secretary to top-rated copywriter because she wants a job that satisfies her. Likewise, Rachel Zane applies to Harvard and seeks to become a lawyer because she has tired of being a paralegal.
5. There are always rivals that must be outsmartedIntelligence and crafty behavior are at the heart of both shows. Whether it's Harvey Specter trying to outthink the amoral Daniel Hardman or Donald Draper playing off a rival firm's weaknesses to erode their market position, the heroes of both shows are wickedly intelligent. Even when they have to play dirty, we still root for them.
6. The main characters are both keeping a huge secret about their pastDon Draper's real name isn't Don Draper: It's Dick Whitman. The real Draper was killed overseas and Don took his name to escape his old life. Likewise, Mike Ross isn't actually a lawyer, a fact that only a few characters know. Both Mike and Don endanger the very existence of their respective firms by continuing to work for them.
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- Mad Men
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