2 February 2009 | FreakierThanThou
"Leverage" is an entertaining, fun show. The cast is stellar, the writing snappy, and the characters are likable. It's nice to see a show that doesn't focus too heavily on the "dark side" of everything and can exist without a message.
That's not to say that there aren't poignant moments. (Nate in "The Snow Job" and Parker in "The Stork Job" are particularly memorable.) But they aren't in the majority. Although not every episode is brilliant, none have failed yet to make me laugh at least once.
The show follows a group of thieves who take on corporate villains who have too much power for their victims to defend themselves under normal means. Timely? Oh, yeah.
Timothy Hutton is the much-advertised Oscar-winning face of the team's leader, ex-insurance investigator Nathan Ford. At first, I was incredibly underwhelmed by Hutton's performance. After a few episodes, however, I started to think that maybe he was deliberately underacting (while the others are overacting) to contrast Nate's "honest man" to the thieves who make up the rest of the cast.
Gina Bellman plays a sympathetic Sophie Deveraux. Sophie is the team's "grifter" who moonlights as an actress. How well does that go? As Nate puts it, "she can act... when it's an act." Although she's hilarious, Bellman isn't the funniest of the cast by any means. Christian Kane, the badass Texan you might remember from "Angel," is even tougher, funnier, and angrier as the team's strangely likable fighter Eliot Spencer. Beth Riesgraf contrasts his deadpan humor perfectly as Parker, the crazy but lovable money-obsessed thief. And Aldis Hodge is hilarious, playing the cool geek of their techie, Alec Hardison.
The group has their conflicts, and in the first season, it looks like their biggest problem might be staying together. But the quirkiness and bickering creates a team of misfits that will have you rooting for them from the beginning.
"Leverage" is a good, escapist show where everything is sexy and exciting and the good guys always win. I can see this show becoming a cult hit, or I can see it failing after only a few seasons. Either way, if nothing else, it's fun!