Monday, July 8, 2013

Jenn's Pick: 10 Reasons Why Donna Paulsen Should Be Your Favorite TV Character

Sometimes peer pressure can be a good thing.

A while ago, I began to notice a pattern among my Twitter timeline on Thursday nights. While I was busy hammering away at my Community blog-review notes, others were animatedly tweeting about a show on USA called Suits. After a few weeks of this excited tweeting, I began to feel like I was missing out on something rather entertaining. And my middle school mentality of not wanting to be left behind while all of my other friends bonded over something began to gnaw at me. So, in my intrigue, I decided to marathon Suits.

I fell completely and totally in love with the series.

Suits is a cable drama, but it is chock full of hilarious moments, fantastic one-liners, and great inside jokes. Each character is effortlessly and powerfully portrayed by their actor or actress. These are characters who are independent, strong-willed, and extremely intelligent. I love Harvey Specter’s resilience. I love Mike Ross’ charm and his compassion. I love Jessica Pearson’s take-no-prisoners attitude. I love Louis Litt’s soft side. And I love Rachel Zane’s determination. But there is one character on Suits that stands out above the rest for me – Donna Paulsen.

It’s not very difficult to explain WHY Donna is my favorite – she’s sassy, quick-witted, hilarious, and she’s got perfect red hair, to boot. But there’s a lot more to Donna that makes her such a strong, solid character in this series. She’s Harvey’s anchor, his conscience, and his other half. She’s a role model for Rachel. She’s just as tough as Jessica. She can go toe-to-toe with Louis as well as Hardman and emerge victorious. She’s confident in who she is as a person and has never lost sight of that throughout the series. And I admire Donna Paulsen (and Sarah Rafferty, who does such an excellent job portraying her), because she is flawed, too.

Donna proves to us all that you can be both confident and imperfect, both loyal and vulnerable, and both strong and compassionate. Plus, she also loves ice cream and coffee drinks with lots of whipped cream, solidifying why she is awesome. Below the cut, I decided to list ten reasons why Donna Paulsen should also be YOUR favorite character on television.

Grab that can opener, because here we go!

#10: She loves sweets just as much as you do.

“Do you want to talk about it? I have ice cream.” “It’s 8 AM.” “Which is why God made Chunky Monkey. It has chocolate and bananas. Bananas are part of a healthy breakfast. And who cares about the bananas? It has chocolate. … Okay, you caught me. I don’t even eat the bananas.”

I think we all have friends like Donna when it comes to ice cream.

Or we ARE Donna when it comes to ice cream.

Either way, Donna is amazing because she doesn’t eat the healthy part of the ice cream and also because she HAS ice cream for emergency situations around the office somewhere.

Additionally, Donna loves her coffee like I love mine:

It’s a perfectly rational explanation, too – if you use skim milk, you’re totally justified in using as much whipped cream and sugar as you’d like. Right? Right. Basically, as someone who has a weakness for anything sweet, I would be best friends with Donna. She knows what’s up.

#9: She has a flair for the dramatic.

I love Donna all of the time, but I love her most when she is able to put her infamous acting skills (her fake crying is off the charts, everyone) to the test. She enjoys being dramatic, being loud and noticeable, and she doesn't shy away from an opportunity to shine. She was ecstatic to be a part of Mike’s mock trial, simply because she would be able to delve into actress-mode.

And I couldn’t love her more for it.

#8: She knows she’s beautiful… and doesn’t appreciate limitations being placed on that.

Donna is not the type of woman who knows the word “maybe.” She is intelligent, resourceful, and determined. She is confident in who she is as a person and a woman, and doesn’t appreciate it when others believe her to be less than she is. As a force to be reckoned with, Donna knows that she’s beautiful. Just… make sure you don’t place any sort of limits on that beauty, okay?

#7: She’s the fax whisperer.

In addition to being extremely sassy, witty, and hilarious, Donna does her job very well. She knows how to manage Harvey’s entire life and is respected by others in the office (and is the one person who has a good relationship with Norma, Louis’ secretary).

Also, Donna is the fax whisperer. Like, MACHINES obey Donna. If that’s not enough to skyrocket her to the top of your favorite television characters list… well, I can’t help you much.

#6: She doesn’t like orange.


#5: She can tease Harvey mercilessly and he never gets upset.

Harvey and Donna have a fantastic relationship. They’re extremely close and in-tune with one another. Harvey, in fact, can barely function without her by his side. It’s actually a really sweet, intense friendship (that, you know, I wouldn’t mind heading in the romantic direction since they already love each other but just haven’t said it yet) centered on loyalty.

But beneath all that heavy, emotional (and wonderful) stuff is the tiny kernel of bantering that Harvey and Donna always return to. And I love it.

#4: If you’re weird, Donna will be your friend.

I think that this is one of the things that I love most about Donna – she doesn’t care who you are, so long as you treat her well. She’ll befriend you if you’re weird or off-beat. She may tease you endlessly, may make jokes about you and create nicknames for you.

But she genuinely CARES about the people around her – about Mike and Harvey, about Jessica and Rachel, and yes… even Louis. Donna’s a wonderful friend because she’s the person who will listen to you, will tell you when you’ve messed up, and will set you straight. She’s the person you can eat ice cream with, drink with, and laugh with, too.

(Basically, in case you haven’t noticed the theme yet, Donna is awesome.)

#3: Donna is fiercely loyal.

Donna is the person you want by your side going into battle. She cares about Harvey so much that she loses her job for him. She puts her own career on the line to save hers. And, as he yells later on, he never ASKED her to do that. But what Harvey doesn’t understand is this: no one will EVER need to ask Donna to do something for the people she cares about.

She just WILL.

And that is what makes her such a fantastic character in Suits and a human being. While others may disregard her as unimportant because she’s not a lawyer or even a paralegal, they should never underestimate the power of her devotion and loyalty to those she cares most about.

#2: Harvey needs her.

Harvey never needs ANYONE.

But he needs Donna. And he admits this to her, telling her that he cannot be himself without her. It’s a deeply sentimental statement that would sound trite and overwrought coming from the mouth of anyone else. But for Harvey, it comes from a place of sincerity. Because until Donna left, he never truly understood how much she impacted his life.

It says a lot about Donna’s character that Harvey – the hot-shot lawyer who never needs anyone’s help – admits to needing HER in his life.

#1: Donna never apologizes for who she is.

Crazy, weird, eccentric, or otherwise… Donna accepts herself for who she is as a person. And she LOVES the weird things about her – the little quirks are something she embraces. She knows she’s strange, but she embraces others who are. She is never going to apologize for the elements of her personality that make her unique.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all take a leaf from her book and do the same?

So there you have it, readers! I’ve given you ten reasons why Donna Paulsen should be your favorite character on television at the moment and I hope you agree. What are some qualities about Donna that YOU love the most? Hit the comments below or tweet me and let me know what it is about this feisty redhead that makes her your favorite. Finally, just remember that Donna knows everything.

And basically, that (coupled with the other ten reasons I gave you) makes her the best.

And be sure to tune in for the season three premiere of Suits on its NEW night – Tuesday, July 16th at 10 PM EST on USA! See you all then. :)


  1. Ah, this article is excellent! Love it!
    Excellent job!

  2. Donna comforts the sad/grieving. Donna gives people hope. Can Donna please be POTUS ? Like seriously, if we have a president that's that fun, witty but at the same time very serious and loyal , hot and....funny...omg


  4. Yes Donna is awesome, great writing for her dialogue and great character portrayal by Sarah Rafferty, and what a Gem of a find in her, she came out of nowhere
    Good to see I am not alone.....
    Loved the article great job!

  5. Donna is awesome :)

  6. Superb article and i so agree with all the points..donna Paulsen is the Queen of Suits..i watch the show for her..

  7. I've never watched the show. After reading this article, I can't wait to watch it! Thanks!

  8. I love you article, I reading waaaaaay to late and I've been on the Donna bandwagon since the show first started.... but every season I fall in love with Donna all over again :D :D

  9. I live for this woman! Without Donna, Pearson (and the rest) would be long gone!