The team is trying to take down a corrupt local mayor, even with the stakes rising to dangerous levels.The team is trying to take down a corrupt local mayor, even with the stakes rising to dangerous levels.The team is trying to take down a corrupt local mayor, even with the stakes rising to dangerous levels.
What can be said about Leverage though? I have already reviewed the first season and sadly I could probably just copy/paste that review into this one since the approach of the second season appears to have been "whoa, people are watching this – don't change anything in case it upset the viewer base". As a result we get essentially a re-run of the first season – OK things are different because the characters are in a different place but mostly the basic plots run the same and the same things happen. Of course this is not to say that "sticking to formula" is a bad thing and for those that love the show it will be a subject to celebrate that it does maintain, but for me it was disappointing to see it lack ambition as a show.
I continued to "enjoy" the show as a distraction while I could watch while easily doing something else. Flicking through a magazine, browsing the internet – then Leverage is the show for you. It is really not the type of show that demands you pay attention to the finer details of the plot or the characterization. This is only a criticism though because the show itself doesn't do enough to make these things being basic a non-issue. It should be a non-issue because the show is all about having fun, being polished and having a real spark to it. After all, this is a comic-con-caper show – a genre (whether on TV or film) that is always accompanied by comedy, cool soundtracks, sparkle, fizz, twists and fun. Leverage sort of does all of those – and this is where the potential remains, to do them better. But season 2 doesn't, it retains the same "low rent" feel and keeps trying to do "meaningful" or "emotional" moments in each episode – even though these are generally attempted simply by having the score "go sad" for a bit and, related, they don't really work.
Such moments sit aside the lack of real sparkle. Each episode has funny moments and decent enough little cons but very few of them really flow and glide in a way that is effortlessly enjoyable and it is this presentation that I'm waiting for. It never comes though – or if it does it comes very sporadically and feels more like the exception than the rule. The cast continue to be good in these moments and they deserve better material and less of the clumsy attempts at depth and character that they (and we) have to endure.
Leverage has the potential to be a really enjoyable show – superficial perhaps but full of sparkle and fun. Sadly this season shows that perhaps it has no ambition to get to this point and that being "OK" is enough. The fact that the second season is currently being screened in weekday afternoons on heavy rotation as some sort of cheap filler suggests that maybe that is what this show is only going to be about – being good enough to attract a solid number of viewers, "safe" enough for all timeslots, steady enough as a formula to retain viewers – but not good enough to impress, ambitious enough to expand or good enough to be protected from daytime-TV status so soon after its first screening. I'm pretty sure that my relationship will see me watching season 3 when it gets to the UK, my hope is that between season 2 and 3 that someone decided to be more ambitious with it.
- bob the moo
- Dec 3, 2010