Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Awesome TV: Leverage

So for the last couple of months I've been dealing with a herniated disc in my back. This has left me unable to do much when I get home from a very long day at work, so what I have been doing is reading more, and watching movies and TV more.

But because I hate commercials I avoid actual TV, or if it's a current show that I'm watching (like Modern Family which I love, or NCIS and Supernatural which I love and am already caught up on) I DVR them so I can fast-forward through the stuff I don't want to see.

And yet, still, I have a lot of time on my hands. So I started watching TV shows I hadn't seen before. I've found some good ones, some okay ones, and some that were just plain awful. But there is one that is by far above and beyond the rest.

I know, I know - this is a book blog...mostly. But I just have to share.

This was recommended to me by a friend, and I can't stop raving about it! I started getting it from Netflix and ended up loving it so much I went out and bought both seasons. Already I've gotten a lot of use out of them.

Leverage is kind of a Robin Hood story. Five thieves team up to help the innocent and powerless against the rich and powerful. Each week they run an elaborate con to accomplish their goals. When I first started talking about this I likened it to Ocean's Eleven, and I'd still say that likeness is there, but it's so much more too.

There is not one thing lacking in this show. There's action, intrigue, adventure, humor, and fabulous characters. Seeing the corrupt, greedy and powerful corporations and people get their just desserts is truly a pleasure. The way the team does it often makes me grin and I spend a good portion of the show trying to figure out how the con is going to work, or when things start to go wrong - how they're going to get out of the mess they're in.

A truly wonderful cast brings this show to life though. There's Timothy Hutton staring as Nate Ford, a former insurance investigator. He was one of the 'good guys', working to get back stolen or lost property so the insurance company didn't have to pay the claims. But then something happens, and suddenly things aren't so black and white anymore. He's the mastermind behind the cons. He knows all of his team's strengths and weaknesses and has the knowledge, and guts, to bring it all together.

Then there's Sophie Devereaux, played by the fabulous Gina Bellman. She's the Grifter, and as she said in one episode, when things are going right the mark just hands over whatever it is she's trying to take. Gina has a real gift for accents and truly does a great job as Sophie. I'm always excited to see what she's going to pull off next.

Next is Alec Hardison, played by Aldis Hodge. He's the Hacker. And if it involves computers you can count of Hardison to get the job done...and then some. He's totally easy going, and has a wonderfully dry wit.

Eliot Spencer is the Hitter, played by Christian Kane. Self-described as a 'retrieval specialist' Eliot is a highly skilled fighter and weapons expert. Often his job is to protect the team, though he also has a vastly underestimated intelligence. While highly skilled with firearms Eliot doesn't like them because of their 'limited range of effectiveness' and spends a good deal of time disarming his opponents before taking them down.

Lastly, but most definitely not least, is Parker played by Beth Riesgraf. She's the straight up Thief of the group. Parker grew up in the system and doesn't have a lot of people skills. She doesn't know how to relate to others and that causes her some problems. But give her an impossible location to break into and she can crack it like no one else. She's the world's best thief. She'll jump off a building and suspend on a rope forty stories off the ground, do acrobatics to get past laser grids, and be gone before you even knew she was there.

What I didn't mention is the great relationships that build between each of these characters. Sometimes you have a cast that while great separately, doesn't work well together. Not so here. Not only is there plenty of action and intrigue there's a ton of emotion and heart in this show. I can't recommend it enough!

Leverage starts again on December 12th on TNT at 9pm/8pm Central

What are some of your favorite television shows? Have you found any new ones lately that you're just absolutely loving? Is there anything else I should be checking out?

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