Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You Won't Have To Force Me To Watch Leverage From Now On

Looks can be deceiving. I had no intention of watching TNT's new show Leverage (Tuesdays at 10pm) but they were nice enough to send some screeners and I was slightly intrigued because of one of the stars. No, not Oscar winner Timothy Hutton. Not Angel alum Christian Kane (though more on that later). No, it was Brit Gina Bellman from the UK Coupling (which seems to pop up a lot in my life recently). Still, the posters and ads looked kinda terrible so I wrote it off, but then the reviews came out, they were good, and then I still continued to ignore it until last week.

Because I was still on my Coupling high (I re-watched the entire series last last weekend), I decided to check Leverage out (finally, for my love of Bellman) and boy, it is a LOT of fun! It's actually quite sly and clever disguised under a dumb procedural show, and it turned out far wittier than I thought it would be.

The basic premise is this. Timothy Hutton is Nathan Ford, someone who used to work for the good guys, but then gets screwed over by the same insurance company he has helped for so long. He gets recruited to help a friend and do right, all while screwing said insurance company. Nathan recruits a ragtag set of criminal experts, including a computer nerd Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge, Voodoo from Friday Night Lights), the expert muscle Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane in dire need of a haircut but won't cause it adds "character", Angel), the spy gadgets expert Parker (Beth Riesgraf) and the actress Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman).

If you haven't seen the pilot, I won't spoil it for you but basically there are double crosses and triple crosses but in the end, it leaves our characters extremely rich and ready to be true do-gooders and thus it sets up the series. From there, the group decides only to help those in dire need, becoming sort of vigilante spy angels, a modern day group of Robin Hoods. It's a feelgood premise that is extremely fantastical and winning but the series melds it with some nice plot twists and interesting cases that are clever and exciting. It's Veronica Mars and Alias with less of the darkness.

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com

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