‘Pearson’ 1×01 Review: It’s All About Gina

I have maintained a love/hate relationship with Suits for many, many years. I loved it at first, loved the characters, felt very connected to the environment. I hated it at times, too, hated how I felt like the plot was stringing me along, how the writers were purposefully keeping what we wanted from us.

One thing I always, always loved, though: Jessica Pearson.

So, of course, when Pearson was announced as a Suits spinoff that was actually going forward, I was intrigued. Not just because Jessica had always been the kind of character that compelled you to pay attention, no matter who else was on screen, but because Gina Torres.

There’s very little to be said about Gina Torres that hasn’t been said before, but for me, as a Latina, to see a latinx woman – an afro-latinx, to be exact – out there, being confident, successful and playing a confident and successful woman that is so unlike any stereotype we’ve ever known they might have to come up with a different category just for her, is not just amazing, it’s inspiring.

Which is why I’m here, reviewing this show. And why today, we’re going to talk mostly about Gina as we review the Pearson Pilot:

JESSICA PEARSON AND THE OTHERS

PEARSON — “The Alderman” Episode 101 — Pictured: Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson — (Photo by: Scott Everett White/USA Network)

If there’s one problem with this episode it’s that there’s Jessica, and there’s everyone else. No other character has the same gravitas, in fact, no one even comes close. I think I’m supposed to care about Mayor Bobby Novak, but I’m, at best, mildly interested in whether he’s a good guy who ended up in a bad situation or a bad guy pretending to be decent.

As for Keri? Well, I only care about her in the context of the previously mentioned two, so I’m gonna need a hell of a lot more in that regard. Same goes for Angela, who right now is just anger and Jessica.

Plus, am I even supposed to get attached to DB Woodside’s Jeff Malone? He might say he has Jessica’s back, but he was barely around, and Woodside still has a whole season to film for Lucifer, so forgive me if I’m cautious.

To be totally honest, the only character that feels like I could grow attached to him and pronto is Derrick, because that blend of savvy and optimism is hard to pull off, and somehow he manages – in an episode that doesn’t really give him much to do – to transmit that.

But, as it stands, this is Jessica’s world, and the rest of the characters are not even living in it, they’re existing. That sounds like a bad thing, but for a Pilot that was all supposed to be about one character, it sorta works.

In two or three episodes, we’ll need more from the rest. Right now? Right now it’s enough that we got what we got from Gina.

WHAT IS THE PLOT AGAIN?

PEARSON — “The Alderman” Episode 101 — Pictured: Morgan Spector as Bobby Novak — (Photo by: Scott Everett White/USA Network)

Presumably this show is going to be about Chicago politics, and about the underbelly of the city and about how freaking hard it is to do politics and good at the same time, and all that fun stuff, and though it worked for Suits to go right into the legalese without much explaining, I’m not sure the same is going to work as well for Pearson.

Mostly, because, in general, people are used to not understanding what lawyers do, and a large percentage of the people watching Suits didn’t really care to understand the intricacies of the case and the clients and all of that, but people want to believe they understand what politicians do.

That being said, the plot is still a bit up in the air right now, just some brush strokes to give us the idea that Jessica is going to get in everyone’s way as she tries to do good – even in spite of the man who hired her. At some point, though, we’re going to need a little more explanation about …well, I’m not even going to say Jessica’s plan, though that wouldn’t go amiss, but the inner workings of the Mayor’s office.

For now, though, I think it’s really good that we care about what happened enough to tune in next week, and the week after that.

Agree? Disagree? Have any more thoughts on the Pearson “Pilot”? Share with us in the comments below!

Pearson airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA Network.

 

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