Monday, June 30, 2014
So it only stands to reason that show producers take a little creative license to find ways of getting people to confront each other in person and not just on their devices. And let me say that I too have been guilty of this. On several occasions on CHEERS we would have somebody come from the airport directly to the bar to see Frasier or Diane or whoever. They wouldn’t check into the hotel first, then call the bar to make sure the person is even there before grabbing a cab and barreling across a town they don't know?
So I’m hyper aware of the convention. Nowhere is it used more often and more glaring than on SUITS. Now I love SUITS. It’s one of my favorite shows. And one of the many things I like about it is how sleek and cool the show looks. And they understand that face-to-face confrontations are way more compelling than phone spats. But in a world where people lock themselves in their office and talk to everyone by phone (including their assistants only five feet away), how do you get characters together? SUITS does it in a variety of ways and these are the scenes if they were to be played for real. If you’re not familiar with the show, Harvey (played brilliantly by Gabriel Macht) is a super-slick cocky lawyer and Mike (Patrick J. Adams) is his genius protégé. This season they are working at different firms and at odds with each other. These are typical conceits the series does:
EXT. STREET – MANHATTAN – DAY
In the heart of the skyscraper business district. Harvey gets out of a towncar. He crosses to the building where Mike intercepts him.
MIKE: Got a minute?
HARVEY: What are you doing here?
MIKE: We need to talk.
HARVEY: You couldn’t phone me?
MIKE: I wanted to do it face-to-face.
HARVEY: You couldn’t make an appointment?
MIKE: I wanted to do it now.
HARVEY: How long have you been waiting?
MIKE: 45 minutes.
HARVEY: You don’t have better things to do with your time?
MIKE: I do but I wanted to get this out of the way.
HARVEY: What did you do for the last 45 minutes?
MIKE: I just stood here, sent a few texts.
HARVEY: Building security didn’t find it odd that some guy was just loitering outside the building?
MIKE: Well, I got a cup of coffee from the corner.
HARVEY: So you left your post?
MIKE: Well, yeah, for maybe two minutes.
HARVEY: What would have happened if I just arrived during those two-minutes? Would you have stood out here all day?
MIKE: I would’ve just waited and caught you when you left.
HARVEY: So you’d stand out here for another ten hours? Boy, your clients sure get their money’s worth when they’re billed by you.
MIKE: Will you let me talk?
HARVEY: What if I said, “I’m busy. I really can’t now. Call me.”
MIKE: Harvey!! Jesus!
HARVEY: Alright. Fine. What is it?
MIKE: My client is going forward with the lawsuit.
HARVEY: (AFTER A BEAT) That’s it?
MIKE: Pretty much. So I’ll see you in court.
HARVEY: You couldn’t text that? (TAPPING HIS PHONE) “My client is going forward with the lawsuit.” Yep. It can be done.
MIKE: I wanted to see the look on your face.
HARVEY: They also have this thing called “Face Time” now.
MIKE: Okay. I left my wallet at home and the office is 25 blocks away. Could I borrow a few bucks or your Metro card?
INT. MIKE’S OFFICE – NIGHT
The skyline of the city is behind him as he works at his desk late into the night. He’s the only one on the floor. Harvey taps on the door.
HARVEY: Got a minute?
MIKE: What are you doing here?
HARVEY: I need to talk to you.
MIKE: How did you know I was here?
HARVEY: I waited outside the building for three hours and you never came out.
MIKE: How’s you get past building security?
HARVEY: The guard was drunk and asleep.
MIKE: Okay. That I buy.
HARVEY: So here’s the deal…
MIKE; How’d you get in the elevator? There’s a key after business hours.
HARVEY: I waited until someone else who had a key came along and shared the elevator with him.
MIKE: How long did you wait for him?
HARVEY: Another hour.
MIKE: The guard never woke up?
HARVEY: He could be dead. I didn’t check.
MIKE: The firm is locked. How’d you get in?
HARVEY: I promised the cleaning lady a car.
MIKE: Why didn’t you just call?
HARVEY: It was after 9. I didn’t want to be rude.
MIKE: So what do you want?
HARVEY: Nah, It can wait until tomorrow.
MIKE: No. You’re here already. What is it?
HARVEY: My client won’t be bullied.
MIKE: (AFTER A BEAT) And…?
HARVEY: That’s it. My client won’t be bullied.
There’s a knock at the door. It’s Alicia Florrick.
ALICIA: Mike Ross?
MIKE: Yes. Who are you?
ALICIA: Alicia Florrick. I just flew in from Chicago and thought I’d come to this empty office building at midnight to see if you were here.
MIKE: I am. So what do you need?
ALICIA: Do you know how to get to the Wellington Hotel?
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM