Suitors' Apathy: How Suits: L.A. Already 'Fails Its Spinoff' with Calamitous Casting

Suitors' Apathy: How Suits: L.A. Already 'Fails Its Spinoff' with Calamitous Casting
By: TV Fanatic Posted On: February 20, 2024 View: 15

We're living a Suits Renaissance!

The former USA Network series that dominated cable television during the golden era of Blue Sky Dramas has found an unprecedented level of success across streaming platforms, building an entirely new audience since the series signed off its original run in 2019.

For those of us Suitors who have been on this ride since the series' inception, it's been exciting to see this cult hit resurge and become a bonafide hit.

Stephen Amell in 2018

What's even more surprising and delightful is seeing how the series that singlehandedly (and ironically) held viewers down during the strikes has sparked a spinoff that has surpassed the talking stages and is actually in the works.

The prospect of a spinoff had Suitors old and new stoked at the chance of recapturing some of the magic of the original series.

A Formidable Opponent - Suits Season 7 Episode 13

Regardless of what those behind the series have stated, we're all still holding out hope that this spinoff could potentially feature some, if not all, of the original cast members from the mother series in some capacity or another.

And yes, we're even talking about the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, too.

Rachel Zane was that girl, and we're going to put some respect on her name here, folks.

From the Emmys to the Superbowl, we've been inundated with Suits cast members making appearances and getting recognition and well-deserved flowers for their fantastic work on what is inarguably one of the most sensational and greatest legal dramas of the 21st Century, if not ever.

Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane - Suits

Coming off the delightful Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams reunion in a T-Mobile commercial, along with Gina Torres, Sarah Rafferty, and Rick Hoffman in an E.L.F. commercial during the most insipid Superbowl in years, we were excited to hear that that spinoff had a casting announcement.

That is until we heard it.

To be fair, there are probably legions of Arrow fans who are thrilled about the spinoff's lead.

Hell, some of them may even be part of our staff.

Stephen Amell in 2019

But there's also no denying that the announcement that Stephen Amell will be suiting up for this highly-anticipated new series has elicited mixed and certainly strong reactions.

Fresh off the cancelation of his underrated wrestling drama, Heels, Amell gets to waltz into a beloved franchise and helm it; frankly, it's a headscratcher.

Setting aside his many controversies and how people feel about them, Suits LA's spinoff invites comparison to the mother series, and Amell simply isn't a Gabriel Macht.

Stephen Amell can corner the market on "All arrogance and bravado but no charisma."

Stephen Amell at Heels Season 1 Premiere

But that's not what one expects nor desires for a Suits spinoff.

Suits' appeal is largely due to the casting itself. It boasts one of the strongest casts that hit the airwaves, and the chemistry among the members, even as the cast evolved over the years, is unmatched.

And the glue that holds that cast together was charming, talented Gabriel Macht as the affable asshole Harvey Specter.

And that's what we're looking for when we imagine an actor and a character who can dare to step into Macht's designer shoes.

Harvey Wants the Truth - Suits Season 9 Episode 1

Stephen Amell has the acting chops. He's done well in previous roles.

But Macht's Harvey Specter possessed a deceptively skilled ability to be a charismatic, arrogant asshole.

And thus far, Amell can notoriously pull off the wrong two out of those three.

Whether it was Harvey or Mike, their quick wit and cocky, dickish charm still made them endearing and likable, and Macht and Patrick J. Adams were able to pull off that balancing act well enough that they didn't put off the viewers most of the time.

Sulking it Out - Suits Season 9 Episode 10

If anything, they lured them in further and deeper with their portrayal of profoundly flawed and complex characters you simply couldn't get enough of, no matter what they did.

And make no mistake, Harvey was a g*ddamn shark while possessing his own moral code of ethics, and Mike Ross's chronic do-gooder, self-righteous quality was warped and hypocritical but still engaging.

Suits is flashy and stylistic. It's a true work of art, from costuming and signature dialogue equipped with a distinctive cadence that damn near rivals Scandal to fast-paced plots, character dynamics, and genuinely compelling characters.

Hell, even the needle-drop opener with its throwback sequence is iconic.

Alex and Louis Bowl - Suits Season 9 Episode 2

Ima Robot's "Greenback Boogie" is the very definition of an earworm with lyrics so perfectly suited, pardon the pun, with the entire theme of this series, you'd swear it was written specifically for it.

One would hope that the spinoff is more than simply a quick attempt to capitalize off the original series' success to the detriment of quality and style.

The cast is EVERYTHING for this franchise, and admittedly, Stephen Amell's choice as lead is enough to give many Suitors pause, especially those wary about the prospect of a spinoff and its ability to even hold a candle to the original.

Stephen Amell is many things. He's gruff, capable of pulling off stoic and guarded, and he retains a more traditional and one-note masculine flair.

Dumbfounded - Heels Season 2 Episode 3

But for a franchise that thrives off of its characters, particularly its leads having that "rizz," as the kiddies say, Stephen Amell is lacking.

Regarding charisma, Stephen is the wrong Amell for the job. His cousin, Robbie Amell, however, has that charm in spades.

One can understand the desire to have someone more high profile or well-known helming the spinoff of a massive hit like Suits.

It's the business-minded, capitalistic choice rather than the more interesting and creative one.

Waiting for Nora - tall - Upload Season 3 Episode 8

In the perfect world, Suits LA would be the prime opportunity to launch a lesser-known but truly talented actor to household name fame.

It's genuinely fun when series and networks take risks with their cast choices and prioritize being star makers more than star procurers.

Wasn't that part of the appeal of series like Grey's Anatomy in its heyday?

Macht, Hoffman, and Torres' credits ahead of Suits were pretty solid, but they also may not have been considered "mainstream" to a larger audience.

Gina Torres Stars as Jessica Pearson

It's refreshing when a series takes a less "stunt-casting" route. It gives audiences a bit more of a blank slate to work with, and we don't immediately compare and contrast between said person and one of their many previous roles.

But even with a focus on procuring a familiar face to lead the series, Stephen Amell is certainly a choice.

Related: Stephen Amell Suits Up for Suits: LA!

At the very least, we know he can fill out a suit nicely.

It's a buzzworthy cast announcement for a series in which everything else has been largely kept under wraps.

Rick Hoffman, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle, Sarah Rafferty, Gina Torres and Gabriel Macht  - Suits

But it's possible that the announcement didn't have the intended results and potentially backfired.

We know nothing else about the rest of the cast, which is unfortunate. Because if a cast is only as good as its lead, Suits: L.A. may be off to an underwhelming start if some of us already fear Amell is ill-suited for the role.

Of course, we'll likely have to wait for more information.

All we know is that Amell will play a former New York prosecutor turned L.A. transplant, Ted Black.

Stephen Amell Attends CW Presentation

The name itself is a bit flavorless, lacking the sexiness and pizazz of a Specter. The moniker, sure as heck, isn't something that catches the eye when putting a name on the coveted door of a law firm.

Amell's character, Ted Black, is described as "a charismatic force of nature who puts his own needs above others."

Related: What to Watch If You Love Suits

We essentially get a classic character strength and flaw within one with that description, but can Amell pull off the charismatic part enough that he'd be interesting enough to watch and enjoy when his character is being a selfish dick? Meh.

I welcome the opportunity for him to prove me wrong. I just don't believe he will.

Stephen Amell Attends 2016 MTV Movie Awards

The basis of what "Ted Black" will be doing differs wildly from Suits' original concept. That's another reason why the casting for this series was so crucial.

We already have a lot to contend with, as high expectations must continuously be course-corrected with every tidbit of information we learn.

It's not a revival nor a reboot, and there is no discussion of the original cast returning in any capacity. It's considered an "extension" of the original series.

The entire concept behind Suits: L.A. is so significantly dissimilar that the only thing that seems to connect it to the mother series is who is behind it and "Suits" in the name.

The Cast of Suits Season 8

What separates it from another attempt at a run-of-the-mill legal drama is something we've yet to learn, but audiences can vibe with key components of the series and what they loved about it remaining intact.

I don't feel Amell's star quality as a lead embodies the coveted vibe and essence of the original series.

Related: Can Justin Hartley Carry an Action Show Like Tracker?

And if that's not a selling point, then what is?

Stephen Amell can fill a suit nicely. But can he fill the shoes of Macht and Adams?

Looking for Ace - Heels Season 2 Episode 3

Amell can suit up, but can he meet the high expectations of leading an extension of a franchise with an impressive precedent?

Over to you, Suits Fanatics. What are your thoughts on this casting choice?

Are you interested in Everything We Know About the Suits: LA? Let's hear it below!

You can stream Suits on Netflix and Peacock if you haven't done so already!

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.

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