Will they ever find out that Mike is a fraud? No, not Mike my husband. I’m talking about Mike Ross, attorney at Pearson, etc.
I really worry about Mike, even though he’s not real. Actually, I worry about him because he’s not real. There’s almost no plausible scenario that would put us in the same circles. No, I only care about him because some screenwriter got the formula just right.
My husband and I owe a great Mike and his colleagues on Suits. Over the last few months, their high stakes corporate takeovers, epic spats, and captivating wardrobe choices have been like a trip to the spa (even better than “mudding”). Because absolutely no one on the show has children, it packs an even more satisfying escapist punch than Game of Thrones.
But then, there was the episode we watched last night - dead parents, infidelity, professional betrayal, fear of being alone, Catholic guilt, and being found out as a fraud. Messy, human stuff that you couldn’t tune out after a five-season investment. So much for escape!
This is what stories are supposed to do, you see. They’re supposed to be addictive excursions that open us to experience terrible, wonderful, tantalizing things. When the fear and pleasure centers are triggered, the brain honestly doesn’t know the difference between fiction and reality. That's why stories make us care and cry and even change the way we think.
And the ending of this particular episode was devastating. Usually, of course, autoplay would do its magic and we’d only teeter on the cliffhanger edge for a few moments. But it was a Tuesday night, and husband was feeling strong and virtuous, so he clicked the TV off.
Here's the thing about story addiction: when you don’t get your next hit, you just might have to feel something for a while.
Both of us sat there staring at the blank screen willing the clock backward so we could dive deep into this pinstripe sea and put off real life for another 44 minutes. In this silence, I felt the swell of unbidden emotions. My husband sensed the rush within me - it’s quite easy to hear your partner’s ragged breath when it’s not competing with “Previously, on Suits…”
All those lawyer problems had triggered my own doubts and fears, and though the details are as different as a Hyundai and a Bentley, the pain was universal enough.
In this binge watching culture, we’ve denied ourselves access to the real power of all these stories. We revel of the abundance of “more good TV than one could watch and still have a job!” and deny ourselves the divinely unsatiated state when we see just enough to feel something real.