Con artists, hackers and thieves, oh my!
That’s only the beginning of what TNT’s hit drama Leverage (airing its fifth season Sundays at 8 p.m.) has to offer, but it took me nearly four years after its premiere in 2008 to fully appreciate what the show brought to prime time television. Now, I can’t get enough of the elaborate plans laid out in each episode that always keep me guessing. And the lovable cast of Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge make things that much more enjoyable.
Leverage focuses on what happens when the “bad guys” go good. Everything revolves around a team of five individuals with specialized skills; scheming, acting, stealing, hacking and hitting. After living the not so “straight and narrow” lifestyle individually, they all work together towards the common goal of taking down the rich and powerful a few pegs in order to level the playing field for the people whose lives they destroyed.
The team is led by Nate Ford (Hutton), a former insurance investigator turned thief and mastermind with a drinking problem. By his side are Sophie Devereaux (Bellman), a grifter with the ability to transform into any character she chooses, Parker (Riesgraf), an eccentric thief with a penchant for jumping off buildings, Alec Hardison (Hodge), a miracle worker with technology who might have an unhealthy adoration with his van named Lucille, and Eliot Spencer (Kane), a rather secretive figure who can take down even the most muscular of henchman but can also make a mean risotto.
Over the seasons of Leverage, cons have been pulled at high school reunions, murder mystery dinners, on top of mountains and even inside of a greeting card company. There is conceivably no limit to the places this show could take the characters and creativity.
It was actually the long-haired, country boy Kane, a former Angel alum, who peaked my interest in the show after I rediscovered the huge celeb crush I had on him. I figured I would look up the first episode and see if the show could catch my attention. I ended up breezing through the first three seasons in just over a week, and have since watched every episode as it aired. The mix of drama, humor and heartbreak makes for a compelling show that keeps individual story lines exciting while building onto a season-long problem every year. Add that to an impressive array of guest stars like Mark Sheppard (Supernatural, Dr. Who) and Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights) to name a few and you’ve got a the makings of a show that I hope will be around for a long time to come.
So if you’re looking for a new television obsession that has fresh and interesting characters, humor, adventure, heartache and even a little romance, Leverage could very well be the show for you.