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Character Appreciation: Harvey Specter from “Suits”


I love it when a show I randomly started on a whim turns into a show that I start watching regularly. That’s exactly what happened with Suits, and I’ve grown to “like but not quite love it” over the roughly two-and-a-half seasons I’ve watched so far.

Out of all the characters, my favorite one has to be Harvey Specter. It’s odd because so rarely does the main character of a TV show land on my favorites list. I don’t know what it is about them, but I usually prefer the “five minutes of airtime” underdog.

Since he’s managed to do something so rare, I figured it was time to send a character appreciation post his way.

H is for Hotheaded 

Usually, this Senior Partner keeps things cool and clam. He might throw a casual insult Mike’s way to light a fire under his apprentice, but it’s always in an innocent way. So, when he really gets mad, it’s kind of terrifying.

Take the time he found out Louis was partly responsible for him getting moved out of his office to a lower floor of the law firm. When Harvey catches the rat-like, newly-minted Senior partner sniffing around the new digs, he literally makes Louis cower in the corner with fear.

A is for Assistant

There would be no Harvey Specter without Donna Paulsen. While he manages to practice law on his own just fine, he’s not nearly as good with the day-to-day inner workings of office life.

Donna’s the one who manages to keep his head on straight and keeps him from throwing himself off the roof (or, more likely, onto Louis in a stabby way) when things are looking bad. The show would be much worse off without the witty repartee between the two.

R is for References

Donna and Harvey’s back and forth is great, but it does lack a certain something. That something is movie references. Once you pair Harvey with Mike, the cinematic quotes will be flying in no time.

It’s a great way to have the two main characters bond, and adds layers to Harvey without them needing to be explicitly shown (how boring would it be to get scenes of him sitting at home watching tons of movies).

V is for Victorious 

Harvey never loses. In fact, he live so strongly for this mantra that he always tries to settle rather than go to trial. The winning streak wouldn’t mean much, except for the fact that he takes the law incredibly seriously.

Most people who work against him in the court room expect him to win by any means, but Harvey never does anything illegal to win his cases – to everyone’s surprise.

E is for Enigma 

Mr. Specter is not one for gushing about his home life. In fact, most characters know so little about him that we – the audience – didn’t find out anything about his personal life until midway through season 2 (Dad was a jazz musician, who knew?).

Keeping things from the audience is great – it makes finding out little tidbits, like Harvey’s drinking ritual at his father grave, all the more special. It works great character-wise, too, since he’s so closed off.

Y is for Yuppie 

Harvey is the guy you see across the room in an upscale bar and think, “Hell, that guy looks like a douche.” Never mind the fact that he’s got a gooey interior – the outside looks as preppy and as evil as you can get.

Plus, there’s the fact that Harvey constantly gives speeches about how he wants the best (money, career etc.) out of life. So it’s nice to see little moments where Harvey gets dressed down. Little moments like Louis forcing him to reveal his funny middle name on the stand are great.

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Who’s your favorite Suits character?