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'Suits' analysis: Is Harvey Specter TV's coolest character?

As Suits wraps up season four this week, we have just one question: Is Harvey Specter the coolest character on TV? We’re hard-pressed to think of someone more attention-grabbing than the hotshot über-lawyer played to perfection by Gabriel Macht on USA’s legal drama. Harvey is supercool, and not just because he’s friends with Michael Jordan. Whether it’s the image he puts forward, the way he goes about his business, or what he adds to our enjoyment of Suits, he’s one of a kind.

Here’s why we believe there’s no one cooler than Harvey—and why we can’t wait to find out what he’ll do in the Suits season finale this Wednesday.

He has the cool persona in spades

Harvey has everything on the “cool guy” checklist. He’s got an A-list job as name partner at Pearson Specter Litt, a personal driver (when he’s not behind the wheel of some expensive car that would make the hosts on Top Gear jealous), an apartment that any New Yorker would kill for, the attention of most women in the state of New York, and Jordan on his speed dial.

On top of the material things, he’s pop culture–savvy enough to quote everything from Top Gun to Star Trek, always looks sharp in his tailored suits no matter how much stress he’s under, is never short of a smart response when one is needed (and sometimes when it’s not), and doesn’t take crap from anyone. This is the guy women want to bring home and men want to be.

Underneath that swagger, he really is all that

How many TV main characters are supposed to be the best at what they do? There’s the brilliant doctor, the maverick detective, the expert problem-solver. But most of the time, those characters never fulfill the hype; we’re told how great they are more than we get to see it. Suits may have introduced Harvey as the best closer, but he’s never stopped proving that those words are true. Over four seasons, he’s fought tough legal battles, come up with cunning strategies, and sparred with impressive opponents.

Half our anticipation for the season finale is wondering how Harvey is going to tear into persistent SEC operative Sean Cahill (Neal McDonough), after having dispatched ruthless District Attorney Wolf (Chi McBride) last week. With matchups like those, we’re able to believe that he really is as good as advertised. If it were up to us, we’d take him as our lawyer in a heartbeat.

He’s deliciously different from the rest

Want to know why Suits is USA’s most popular show? That has got something to do with how it’s incredibly well-developed, and particularly in how it crafts its characters. Harvey is written with more depth and layering than almost any other protagonist on TV. He can be the favorite son one week and an insufferable pain in the neck the next—yet everything he does is in character.

The show doesn’t try to make him overly likable, or edgy, or anything in particular; it just lets him develop organically. He’s enigmatic in a compelling way. He’s not “the lawyer” or “the maverick” or even always “the good guy.” You can’t put him in a stereotypical box. He’s just Harvey Specter.

He plays well with others (most of the time)

Harvey’s relationships with his colleagues make him cooler, because they all show us different sides of him. Harvey’s long-running friendship with assistant Donna (Sarah Rafferty) represents one of the rare platonic male-female relationships on TV, and certainly the strongest. They bring out the best in each other and have a chemistry you can’t deny. On the flip side, boss and mentor Jessica (Gina Torres) is turning into somebody whom he’s had more sparring with now that they’re both name partners. We’re intrigued when they can’t agree on what they should do. Running a law firm has never sounded so interesting.

Mike (Patrick J. Adams) is the Robin to Harvey’s Batman, yet they’ve so clearly made each other better lawyers and better people. When they were split up at the beginning of season four, there was a marked difference in both. Even Louis (Rick Hoffman) proves that Harvey has an unapologetically ambitious side. There’s no weak link at Pearson Specter Litt; every character brings something, and Harvey can play off every single one of them brilliantly. No matter who he’s talking to, you want to hear what Harvey is going to say.

Things just get more interesting when he’s around

We can analyze all we want, but TV ultimately comes down to how it makes us feel. Do we want to invest an hour of our lives every week into watching the same character? In the case of Suits and Harvey Specter, that’s a resounding “yes.”

Gabriel Macht should have won some sort of award by now for his portrayal of Harvey, which is as perfect a combination of actor and character as you can ask for. You can tell from his subtle, nuanced performances that he’s put serious thought into the character. He’s got all the goods, whether it’s the brazen confidence for the cocky moments or just enough emotion for the vulnerable ones.

Most important, he can communicate all those things to the audience. When Harvey is on screen, you don’t want to get up. And we can’t think of a bigger coolness indicator than someone who keeps us in our seats.

What are you hoping to see for Harvey? What have been some of your favorite Harvey Specter moments? Tell us why you love him!

The Suits season finale airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. on USA.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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