ATX Festival Opening Night with USA’s Suits and Royal Pains
The first year of the ATX Festival kicked off with a bang! Last night at the opening night screening industry peeps and sponsors were treated to a screening of the season finale of USA Network’s hit Suits and the first episode of the upcoming season of Royal Pains. I watch Royal Pains every summer and really enjoy it. It’s such a great alternative to the average doctor show. The characters are all extremely strong and portrayed perfectly. Watching the Suits finale, I realized that the same dynamic is in effect with this show as well. It has piqued my interest and I am getting caught up on the back episodes as soon as I can!
The screening was followed by an excellent panel including Suits Executive Producer David Bartis and Royal Pains Executive Producer Michael Rauch as well as Reshma Shetty who play Divya Katdare on Royal Pains and one of my favorite actresses! It was a great panel, Reshma was charming and funny as were the others on the panel. For those unfamiliar with the show, a condensed version of the USA Network description is below.
Once a rising star in the New York City medical community, Hank Lawson found himself out of work, dumped by his fiancée and out of options after a dustup with some hospital honchos. Fed up with Hank’s personal pity-party, his younger brother, Evan, convinced Hank to join him on a last-minute trip to the HamptonsBy the end of the weekend, HankMed was born. With Evan as the company’s CFO and the whip-smart, ambitious Divya (Reshma Shetty) as Hank’s physician’s assistant, Hank becomes the Hamptons’ new in-demand Doctor-for-Hire.
The panelists shared that in this season of Royal Pains we can expect a lot more from Divya, who will be living life for herself rather than for her parents; including taking up with several love interests. Things will come to a head this season between brothers Hank (Mark Feuerstein) and Evan (Paulo Costanzo), Hank will have a few new girlfriends himself with Jill leaving and the first episode of the season ends with quite a cliffhanger. I’m looking forward to getting into this season and watching Divya blossom, as well as seeing if Hank and Evan can resolve their differences in opinion.
While I don’t have a lot of background on Suits, it looks as though a pretty major secret is about to be revealed, which will catapult the show into a strong start for the upcoming season. Fans will know this as the secret the show is based on, which seems to be a ballsy thing to divulge at this point in the game, but from what I saw they can pull it off. The USA Network describes the plot as follows:
While running from a drug deal gone bad, Mike Ross, a brilliant young college-dropout, slips into a job interview with one of New York City’s best legal closers, Harvey Specter. Proving to be an irrepressible duo and invaluable to the practice, Mike and Harvey must keep their secret from everyone including managing partner Jessica and Harvey’s arch nemesis Louis, who seems intent on making Mike’s life as difficult as possible.
I was very impressed with the seamless intensity, sincerity and comedy which Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams bring to their characters Harvey Specter and Mike Ross. To match their wits their are three of the strongest female characters I have ever seen on the TV screen, Donna (Sarah Rafferty), Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), and Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) who plays the head of the law firm Mike and Harvey are part of. USA seems to be cluing in to the idea that strong females are in short supply on television but are very well liked. Again, a must see for me this summer, no doubt.
I think the USA Network gets a bum rap from some, or maybe it just gets overlooked, but it really has stepped up it’s game and brought us these shows as well as two of my other favorites Burn Notice and Psych. My generation grew up on Rhonda Shear’s, Up All Night series in the nineties and though we thoroughly enjoyed it, it is hardly something anyone could take seriously. This seems to be what we relegate USA too (though I do wish this show were back now), but these actors, writers and directors are proving the USA Network is a contender in the TV game, and is holdings own alongside AMC and FX.
Royal Pains picks up Season Four Tuesday, June 6 at 9/8c with “After the Fireworks”. Suits returns Thursday, June 14 at 10/9c, catch the series recap at USA Network’s website.
What are your must-see shows this summer? Answer in the comments below!