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It usually takes me about three episodes of a new series to decide if
it's worth continuing to watch. With "Leverage" I was hooked after the
first 15 minutes. I think it's because it seemed to be an amalgam of
some of my favorite TV shows of the past. This includes "The Equalizer"
(righting wrongs using unconventional methods), "Mission Impossible"
(the TV series)(putting a great team together to work towards a common
goal), and "Banicek" (solving seemingly perfect crimes).
What I really like about it is the team. It is made up of very independent individuals who are master criminals. The key is how they have been enticed to work for Nathan Ford (Timothy Hutton's character). They all contribute to the cause and, because of it, find they are a very powerful force that can get them more of what they are looking for. There is also a camaraderie that I haven't seen in a long, long time.
What I also like about this show is that it is not dark and seedy. While there is violence, it is not gratuitous. And, so far, there have been no plot lines that involve stalkers or other misogynistic individuals. One can only hope it continues that way.
While there are great special effects, great sets, great actors and great acting, etc., I find that it is the writers who deserve the lions share of praise for concocting such an enjoyable storyline.
I am REALLY looking forward to more "Leverage" episodes! 10 out of 10
"Leverage" is an entertaining, fun show. The cast is stellar, the
writing snappy, and the characters are likable. It's nice to see a show
that doesn't focus too heavily on the "dark side" of everything and can
exist without a message.
That's not to say that there aren't poignant moments. (Nate in "The Snow Job" and Parker in "The Stork Job" are particularly memorable.) But they aren't in the majority. Although not every episode is brilliant, none have failed yet to make me laugh at least once.
The show follows a group of thieves who take on corporate villains who have too much power for their victims to defend themselves under normal means. Timely? Oh, yeah.
Timothy Hutton is the much-advertised Oscar-winning face of the team's leader, ex-insurance investigator Nathan Ford. At first, I was incredibly underwhelmed by Hutton's performance. After a few episodes, however, I started to think that maybe he was deliberately underacting (while the others are overacting) to contrast Nate's "honest man" to the thieves who make up the rest of the cast.
Gina Bellman plays a sympathetic Sophie Deveraux. Sophie is the team's "grifter" who moonlights as an actress. How well does that go? As Nate puts it, "she can act... when it's an act." Although she's hilarious, Bellman isn't the funniest of the cast by any means. Christian Kane, the badass Texan you might remember from "Angel," is even tougher, funnier, and angrier as the team's strangely likable fighter Eliot Spencer. Beth Riesgraf contrasts his deadpan humor perfectly as Parker, the crazy but lovable money-obsessed thief. And Aldis Hodge is hilarious, playing the cool geek of their techie, Alec Hardison.
The group has their conflicts, and in the first season, it looks like their biggest problem might be staying together. But the quirkiness and bickering creates a team of misfits that will have you rooting for them from the beginning.
"Leverage" is a good, escapist show where everything is sexy and exciting and the good guys always win. I can see this show becoming a cult hit, or I can see it failing after only a few seasons. Either way, if nothing else, it's fun!
Finally there is a show that combines all the charm and intelligence of
the Ocean's 11 franchise with the uniquely memorable personalities of
the A-Team. Watching the pilot episode of Leverage was really a treat.
It's been a long time since I've seen a show at the end of which I
found myself truly satisfied.
There is a depth to Nathan Ford's plans that constantly leaves you guessing what will come next which makes every episode so much more than just the two-dimensional plot-lines that we have come to expect with even the "deepest" of today's shows. And the individual members of his team are every bit as interesting. The combination of an arrogant, sociopath of a combat expert, a psychopathic thief, a brilliant improv actress and a savvy tech genius come together to give us a TV family that we can actually get behind.
The concept of a Robin Hood-esquire plot-line seems almost to be grossly overdone in today's culture, but by accomplishing it through the use of some truly colorful anti-heroes, who truly are in it just for the money, we end up with some great House-Like characters. It's never the client who is truly important, they're just the justification.
In short, Leverage is a truly refreshing experience that should attract fans of a number of different prior franchises. The acting is superb, as is the writing. All these factors combine to make a show that is truly original and a joy to watch.
After catching the first few episodes of TNT's new series "Leverage" I
can honestly say that I'm hooked on the adventures of Nathan Ford
(Timothy Hutton) and company.
The series involves Mr. Ford, formerly an insurance investigator, and his crew of felonious recruits: Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), a very technologically savvy cyber-criminal. Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), the muscle man with sincere martial arts training and speed that would make Jet Li envious. Parker (Beth Riesgraf), an expert cat burglar and thief. And Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), a charismatic con-artist with aspirations to the acting world.
I believe Nathan Ford says it best, "I am an honest man leading a team of criminals." And I find that premise to be truly entertaining with Timothy Hutton at the helm.
Each episode Nathan Ford and his team are hired by individuals looking for their own brand of justice. Ford and company provide the means to an end, focusing on gathering a form of leverage to force the villains to pay their due.
All in all, it's a series I would recommend for those who like a bit of comedy with their justice. Or at least comedy with their criminal activity.
I love all the characters, edgy, sporty, funny, brilliantly written, entertainingly presented and just plain "COOL". I hope this one stays on TV as long as some of my other favorites. (Law & Order, NCIS, CSI and Criminal Minds). I like TV that entertains with a story, twists, turns, doesn't insult my intelligence and keeps me guessing until the very end. Happy Endings are definitely an incentive to keep watching. I can see character development possibilities galore with each team member and I want more back story on each one already. The nostalgic references to old TV Shows is brilliant, this could be the new A-Team, MacGiver, Mission Impossible and does anybody remember the "campy" Charlies Angels? Yes, I will admit to watching all of the above.
At an advance preview in Chicago (where much of the "Nigerian" pilot was shot), stars TIMOTHY HUTTON (as Nathan) and GINA BELLMAN (Sophie) agreed the first entry in their TNT series is somewhat like an updated "The 'A' Team" meets "Mission Impossible". Along with Christian KANE (as Eliot), BETH RIESGRAF (Parker), and ALDIS HODGE (Alec), they use high-tech methods to get back at a white-collar CROOK (& the series is scheduled to continue the "Robin Hood-ish" adventures against criminals and corporate scammers in subsequent episodes). The main characters start out as distrusting of each other, but eventually use their various individual expertises to create a cheeky, fast-moving and enjoyably clever series of retributions against the liars and other baddies in their world. An agreeable and promisingly well-acted start (well shot on HD cameras that allow fast work with much available-light conditions).
When I was a kid, one of my favorite shows was the A-Team. I loved the
show because the heroes were themselves criminals who operated outside
of the law to help people. Leverage is like a modern A-Team for adults.
The actors are also well cast in their roles. Each one of them brings
something interesting to the show. I think what I love the most about
this show is that it is FUN!! I don't mean fun as in stupid, brainless
reality show fun. It's a fun show to watch and you won't loose any
brain cells doing it. I sometimes feel like TV nowadays is so ultra
serious. There's no fun in TV drama anymore. I feel like adventure
caper TV is back, but in a slick, smart format.
Oh, and strictly from a guys perspective-Beth Riesgraf is totally hot! She reminds me of Katee Sackhoff!
I could tell from the trailers that Leverage would be the kind of show
I'd enjoy - good guys vs. bad guys without the ambiguity of the legal
system to get in the way. It did indeed deliver on that promise. It was
cleverly paced and scripted and populated with interesting, likable
So why is the jury still out? The short answer is that I DVR'ed it and watched it more than once.
Although it's slick, the script had holes it just hoped you wouldn't notice. When compared to a show with really clever scripts (e.g. Burn Notice), I found too many "wait a minute" moments - places where your successful suspension of disbelief depends on the viewer's short attention span or lack of reasoning ability. I won't drop spoilers to name some of the more obvious ones - if anyone doesn't notice them, who am I to point them out?
There's a lot of talent in this series. I only hope that in the future they allow the scriptwriters a little more time to work out the kinks before shooting.
"Leverage?!!!" People said when they first saw the name of the television series when it came out in 2008. I asked myself the same question when I saw the preview for it on TNT, but when I saw that Timothy Hutton was in it I wanted to see it no matter what the name might be. We all know the Timothy Hutton from the Nero Wolfe T.V. show, on which he played Archie Goodwin, who was a smart, wisecracking, and handsome assistant to the detective of the same name. How could Timothy Hutton be in a movie that is about bad guys? I asked myself after looking up to him most of my life. "Sometimes bad guys make the best good guys" which is the motto of the television show. Even though I had my suspicions about it being another profane T.V. show it turned out to be a great show that had great messages in all of its episodes. My brother turned to me one day and said to me about Leverage that "all of the episodes would make great movies!" And now after watching all of the first season and part of the second I am convinced of this statement. Is there bad stuff in this show? You are asking yourself at this point and with good cause, but the answer is: no. There are some innuendos in it, but they are very minor. It is basically what you might call a Robin Hood tale of today. The show is worth the watch and should be enjoyed by everyone from 12 and up. Enjoy! -Duke
Leverage might after a first show look like a series replica of Oceans
Eleven with even the same generic music attached to some scenes, it
fares deeper into a storyline you might expect being left on the
cutting room floor of that same movie. Revenge being a large element of
the series and changing plots, schemes and situations putting a viewer
on the wrong foot this show delivers what all the polish and high-speed
actors in forenamed picture couldn't actually deliver: credibility!
Many TV fans were loving a show like Thief (2006) but for the big audience that's called TV this is too grimy and realistic. Don't expect somebody to get actually hurt in "Leverage". The grimy and therefor risky aspect of the show has been rooted out carefully and in comes a storyline that could have been a "A-team" episode. Maybe halfway the season Colonel Decker will start chasing the headliners of this show but until then it's a risk-free show that won't be canceled.
Agreed, whoever thought of this format was far from a genius (the genius invented "Thief 2006") but he'll have a job for that much longer mixing Oceans Eleven, Thief and the A-team together in a show that doesn't offend, hurt, kill or mame people and yet stays funny and interesting to watch.
Leverage is a good TV-show among other good TV-shows but will eventually wind up in decay like other good TV-shows will. In one more season it will be more boring to watch then the new episode of Prison Break. Maybe it will generate the same cult status and devotion with viewers they will keep watching and it survives 2 seasons more. I hope so since this quiche of TV-shows is the most entertaining and relaxing show i've seen this year...
9/10 (won't last 2 seasons)
P.S A delight to see Gina Bellman again after a brilliant role in Coupling. She's a under-appreciated actress if u ask me.
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