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Leverage January 14, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in What we're watching.

You know how you see a commercial for a new show on TV, and you think, “huh, maybe”?  Then you forget all about it until you hear what a great series Sopranos or The Shield or 24 is, but, gee, you didn’t get in on Season 1, so you have no idea what they’re talking about?

Yeah.  I’m telling you, don’t let this happen to you with TNT’s Leverage. Dude.  This show kicks butt.  😯

And, if you’re not watching it, it’s on Tuesday evenings at 10PM real (eastern) time.  And several episodes are available to watch online on TNT’s website.

Seriously, there’s some serious talent here.  I’ve become a huge fan of Timothy Hutton, since I was first introduced to his Archie Goodwin in the Nero Wolfe Mysteries on A&E.  To be honest, Hutton is what actually got my attention in the first place.  😳

Then there’s Gina Bellman.  I first “met” Gina Bellman as the “unflushable” Jane in the BBC series Coupling.

So here’s the deal.

Remember in school when you learned about the “willing suspension of disbelief?”  Well, just employ a little of that while we set up the story, that’s all.  Once the parameters are in place, we’ll be all set.

Timothy Hutton’s character, Nathan, is, for all intent and purposes, a retired insurance investigator.  He was the best of the best, had a corner office, the whole works.  He tracked down thieves and made deals with them to save the insurance company from having to pay out on its policies.  Well, it seems that Hutton Nathan had his health insurance though his employer, and when his kid came down with some hideous disease, the Company refused to pay for experimental treatment.  Even for its loyal employee.  Kid dies, Hutton quits his job, starts drinking, loses his wife.  Becomes a sad and bitter man.

One day, he’s approached by a guy – played by Saul Rubinek.  The guy offers him the opportunity to correct a terrible wrong – AND to “stick it” to his former employer – he just needs to just pull this scam caper.  🙄

So.  Our Hero lines up a “crew” of the best and brightest from his days as an insurance guy – that would be the best and brightest of the criminals.  After all, anyone who’s ever watched TV knows that most criminals really have a heart of gold and are dying for the opportunity to use their powers for good rather than evil.  🙂

So.  The Crew. I capitalized that on purpose.  This is the cast of the show, and they’re going to work together every week, attempting to, for their own reasons, redeem themselves and do good.

Sometimes the bad guys are the only good guys you get.

There’s Spencer.  He’s an angry man, but he’s calm.  He’s accomplished at martial arts.  Or something.  The dude is fast.  He can kick your butt before you realize you have a butt to be kicked. 😯

Then there’s Hardison.  The biggest geek ever.  Yet not really geeky.  He’s a techno-wizard who doesn’t do Trek. He can hack anything.  Credit cards.  Traffic lights.  Swiss banks.  Anything.

Add Parker to the mix.  You see an  innocent, helpless waif.  Yet  she’s really an accomplished cat burglar with a bad attitude.

And, of course, there’s Sophie.  The world’s worst actress – except when she’s pretending to be an actress.  The stage itself isn’t her stage – the “mark” is.  There’s some sort of “history” between Sophie and Nathan, but we don’t (yet) know what it is.

For the past several weeks, we’ve enjoyed watching this unbelievably believable band of crooks, with Timothy Hutton as their moral compass, rescue a race horse, save an orphanage, put away a corrupt judge, save a church, and all sorts of other altruistic missions, while revealing, bit by bit, what made each of the characters the criminals they are today.

Besides the characters, the dialogue is witty, and the plots are . . . interesting.  I’m interested in the characters, and I look forward to the show each week.  It’s like a mix of Ocean’s Eleven and The Italian Job.  I like to think of it as a series of Dortmunder stories, only, well, competent.  🙄

Seriously, I love the way we watch them plot the caper, pull off the caper, something invariably goes wrong, but they pull it off anyway, and then they show, via black and white flashbacks, HOW they pulled it off.

It’s great fun, and there are certainly far worse ways to waste an hour. . . 😉

However, I feel that it’s only fair to warn you.  For the most part,  of the bright, witty, intelligent shows I’ve found on TV, the majority of them don’t last long.  I’m not sure if it’s coincidence, or if I, and the producers of such shows, are just ahead of our time.  😕


1. Mazco - January 14, 2009

Thanks Toys! I enjoyed the few episodes I saw. It’s a very enjoyable series.

And as for the suspension of belief, my favorite show starts up next Thursday: “Burn Notice.” Gabrielle Anwar and guns – whew!

Makes me want to go and get one of those cable recorder boxes!

2. Nanny Goats - January 14, 2009

Well, all right, as long as I can start with episode 1, I will give it a try. I can’t stand starting a show in the middle. Don’t know why.

3. Toy Lady - January 15, 2009

Maz – we LOVE Burn Notice, too! I’d almost forgotten that’s starting up soon. I guess I don’t need to think about it – Peeps has programmed it into the cable box thingy, and it just magically records. . .

And NG, I know exactly what you mean. You don’t get the buildup from the first couple of episodes. You don’t know anyone. It’s like moving to a new school in 8th grade, where everyone else has known each other since kindergarten – there’s no familiar face, no one to talk to. . . they just look at you like you’re weird or something. 😥

Tangent? Me? 😯

Anyway. Surely, if they renew the series for another season, TNT will do a marathon or something. Woo Hoo – 13 hours of Timothy Hutton!

4. Them’s the Breaks « Dark Side of the Fridge - March 4, 2009

[…] here’s the thing.  The new (second) season starts this Sunday, just as Monk and Psyche and Leverage have ended for the season.  Yay!  New […]

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