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Is the 'Suits' Spin-Off 'Pearson' Worth Watching on Peacock?

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 1, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 1, 2023 |


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Short answer: No.

Here’s the longer answer: In an effort to capitalize on the summer popularity of Suits — mostly due to Netflix — Peacock has added the spin-off to its streaming lineup. Peacock is also the only platform offering the final season of Suits. Despite the presence of both Dulé Hill and Katherine Heigl, the final season is underwhelming, though still better than Pearson.

Indeed, there’s a reason USA Network canceled Pearson after just one season. The main issue for fans of Suits is that Pearson diverges significantly in tone and subject matter. Suits is a snappy, brightly-lit series that focuses on high-powered corporate attorneys in New York City, whereas Pearson is a darkly-lit drama that delves into the murky world of Chicago politics.

The two shows are radically different. Suits is to a Huey Lewis pop song as Pearson is to jazz. Nothing’s wrong with jazz, but if you’re expecting a catchy pop tune and someone puts on John Coltrane, you’ll likely be disappointed—even if you’re a Coltrane fan. Pearson clearly aimed to be more than just a Suits clone, perhaps inspired by the success of grittier shows like Mr. Robot, which seemed to be the future of the USA Network when Pearson went into development.

However, even without comparing it to Suits, Pearson falls short as a gritty, serialized drama. It’s drab, glum, and slow-paced, with unlikable characters. Like Suits, its writing is heavy-handed, but it lacks the snap that makes Suits engaging. The show even attempts to convey grit through a terrible color scheme.

I enjoy a solid drama about Chicago politics — Kelsey Grammer’s Boss on Starz is criminally underrated — but Pearson misses the mark. The series lacks a clear vision for much of its run, and while it shows slight improvement toward the end, it only teases a more promising future that was never realized because the USA Network canceled it.

I had high hopes for this show. I’ve been a fan of Suits since its inception and adore Gina Torres. Jessica Pearson was a compelling character. But Aaron Korsh, the creator of Suits, bit off more than he could chew with this spin-off. He deserves some credit for not simply repackaging Suits in Chicago — though I probably would have enjoyed that — but ultimately, the show didn’t work and is not worth visiting even for the most hardcore of Suits fans. The ingredients exist for a good drama, but the execution fails miserably.