December 9, 2008

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.

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. There’s also an online game at LeverageHQ.com with a top prize of $100,000.

9 Responses  
Beau Smith writes:  

Your recommendation is right on the money (The kind they take back in the show.) It has the same great tone that BURN NOTICE does on the USA Network as well as EUREKA on the Sci-Fi Channel. Really nice to have some shows that aren’t all reality, gross/dark or silly soap operas. The more folks on board for this the better.


Beau Smith

Johanna writes:  

Oh, great comparisons! And yes, it is a pleasant change for the reasons you suggest.

David Oakes writes:  

“If” it was the A-Team?

And I third the comparisson to Burn Notice, and the inherent recommendation therein. Hopefully now that we have gotten the “high concept” out of the way, it won’t focus on the “mythos” as BN did in it’s sophmore season, and just get on with the capers.

Brian McDonald writes:  

I tivo’d the show sight unseen, as I was willing to give a lot of leeway to the guy who wrote Blue Beetle, and I was not unhappy with the choice.

The show reminded me of the British show ‘Hustle’, which was also about a group of grifters. The characters are less Whedonesqe, but the writing was never less than brilliant.


Bill D. writes:  

I went to record it Sunday night, but when I work up, the DVR seemed to have had other ideas and I got a big ol’ RECORDING ERROR message next to the show’s name, dammit.

Is tonight’s episode new, or just the one from Sunday with commercials?

Johanna writes:  

The premiere repeats tonight at 9 with the new episode at 10 (Eastern).

Deb writes:  

I loved the show, I don’t watch to much tv because there is nothing on that I like , but this is a very good show. I will make sure to watch this show. The characters are great.

Leverage: The Miracle Job » Comics Worth Reading writes:  

[…] TNT airs the Leverage episode “The Miracle Job” at 10 PM Eastern. It’s not a Christmas episode as such […]

Leverage: The First Season » Comics Worth Reading writes:  

[…] found the opening season of the TNT original series Leverage — the Ocean’s 11-style TV show about a group of semi-reformed thieves working for […]


»  Substance: WordPress   »  Style: Ahren Ahimsa
Copyright 2009-2015 Johanna Draper Carlson