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So, did you check out Leverage on Sunday night? The second episode, “The Homecoming Job”, airs tonight at 10 PM on TNT with this description: “Leverage Consulting & Associates opens for business as the crew reunites to help a reservist who’s been wounded in Iraq by private military contractors.” The mercenaries are refusing to pay for his medical care, so the team gets involved.

I was pleasantly surprised by it, enjoying it enough to keep watching. Timothy Hutton does a good job as an honest guy at the end of his rope put in charge of a group of super-thieves with flexible morality. I appreciate the way he motivates them to do the right thing by using the way they think about things instead of arguing from his perspective.

And there just aren’t any other good caper shows! The double-double-crosses are fun, as is the acknowledgment that someone who would think about hiring them in the first place may not be the most trustworthy client. I liked that there wasn’t just one big set piece, but several smaller cons.

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The characters are all cliches — super-hacker (the black guy, who usually gets to be tech-savvy in some way), the crazy-damaged-beautiful sneak thief, the silent-but-deadly tough guy (Lindsey from Angel), the con artist chameleon (if this was The A-Team, she’d be Face) — but they’re played with charisma, enough to make them watchable on a weekly basis. And seeing underdogs get the better of corrupt corporate big-wigs is immensely appealing these days.

(The way Beth Riesgraf, as thief girl, says her deadpan crazy lines has just the right level of “is she serious?”, while Christian Kane’s laconic modern cowboy is attractive in the way he wisely says what everyone else is thinking.)

This isn’t a rave, but it is a recommendation. The show is fun light entertainment.


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