Leverage

When I saw the first preview for this show I could tell you right away how the initial concept meeting went:

Overly Excited Producer: Ok, ok! Dude, I have an idea~
Studio Executive: I’m listening…
Overly Excited Producer: What if we did Robin Hood!
Studio Executive: BBC has that one already.
Overly Excited Producer: Um… I mean modern day Robin Hood!
Studio Executive: OOh~ It’s new and edgy and I like it!

Plot: 5/5
Ok, now that I’m done making fun of the show let me come clean: I actually like it. Yes, the concept is pretty dull and flat- it is Robin Hood meets Oceans Eleven, but notice how I said “Oceans Eleven” and not any of the sequels, that means I liked it (the sequels were crap.). For those of you who aren’t familiar with this TNT show it is about a man named Nathan Ford. Nate, as he is more commonly referred, is a former insurance investigator who ended up at odds with his company when they refused to pay for an operation that would have saved his young sons life. He is a divorced alcoholic when he is convinced to help a former client steal back some top-secret plans that were leaked. Nate agrees reluctantly and seeks help from four people he previously nabbed in his other line of work: Grifter and con woman extraordinaire Sophie, vaguely sociopathic cat burglar Parker, overly harmless super hacker Hardison (who is EXTREMELY cute), and violent muscle man Spencer.

The group works together unwillingly, but they pull the heist successfully. Now comes the hard part: turns out they were set up and actually stole the plans for a rival company. The client handsĀ  them over to the police. Nate comes up with a plan to steal back the plans and ruin the business of their original client. It goes well and they make a ton of money off of it.

The crew is ready to go their separate ways when they realize they can make a career out of stealing and helping people. They can still be bad guys (what they want), but at the same time be good guys (what Nate wants). The show features a new challenge in every episode in which a penniless victim hires them to help get aid after some kind of personal tragedy or disaster.

I know the plot sounds kind of thin, but I’ve not missed an episode since the show began. I love watching the complex heists and so far I can’t predict how they will pull it off, so the writers are OK in my book. There is a background story with Hardison and Parker, as Hardison begins to fall for her, but that is 3 seasons in the making, so it is a very slow falling in love. Parker is one of my favorite characters of any show- she never seems to understand why something is wrong or why she shouldn’t be perfectly happy jumping from a 50 story tall skyscraper.

Acting: 5/5
For a cast made up largely of previously unknown actors (they worked, you just won’t recognize them most likely) this show has a lot of power. The acting is actually flawless, with no period where the actors are still getting a feel for their characters. While there isn’t much eye candy (Hardison for the girls, Parker for the guys) the whole cast works off one another very well.

I highly recommend checking this out. If you have on demand TV you can find episodes in the “TV Shows” section or under “TNT” in the network section. You can really start anywhere, as the background story between the team takes a back seat to cases (which is why it takes so long to develop things). It is nice to watch because you don’t have to put much effort into remembering what just happened. In fact, you don’t even need to watch the pilot now since I told you how the group got together.

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