TV Review: ‘Leverage’

Image Credit: TNT (Photo by: Erik Heinila)
Image Credit: TNT (Photo by: Erik Heinila)

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.

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I'm a book-addicted, TV-obsessed, Ohio University Bobcat for life who majored in smoothie consumption, Netflix and, oh yeah, journalism.

22 thoughts on “TV Review: ‘Leverage’

  1. A great article Holly. Like you, I started later into Leverage – Season 3 – went back and watched the first two and haven’t missed an episode since. Leverage fans want a Season 6. So help us steal a season 6.

  2. Great article!! I admit I 1st started watching Leverage because I’m a huge Christian Kane fan (Long time Kaniac) but the entire team has grown on me! This show is so much better then I could have ever imagined! Now here we are 5 seasons later and it’s even fresher and better than ever! I wish I knew what TNT was waiting on? The numbers are great and the show is amazing. This season has some of the best guest stars and directors! This is hands down the best show on TV!!!

  3. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Finally a review done by someone who has actually watched the show! Having been a fan of the show from the start, as well as a fan of Timothy Hutton and Christian Kane for years it has been very disheartening to see how this show is treated by most “Reviewers” and especially by the very station that airs the show. So enjoying Season 5 and looking forward to a Season 6! Reviews such as your’s will surely help us “steal a Season 6”!!!!!

  4. Great article! You really pinpoint how many of the Leverage fans feel. Thanks so much for such a wonderful review! Praying for season 6!

  5. This is a greeat write up thankyou I did the same as you since I can’t get it thru my normal channels here in Canada I watched the first 4 seasons on Netflix and fell in luv with the show…now I watch it every sunday nite…

  6. Thank you for the wonderful article! I have been a 5 year fan,missing Only the pilot that was shown commercial free,but I later saw it & was hooked!..It is well written,interesting,fun & never dull. I am puzzled that a network would not give much press to a really great show. It’s almost like they don’t want it to continue! I have never seen any of the cast on any talk shows to promote the series,other than Portlands local shows. It seems odd that they got an Oscar winner as lead but don’t try to promote . Shame,shame TNT!

  7. Been watching Leverage since it first aired. Love this show. Love how the characters have grown and evolved. The creativity of writers and directors, make it always entertaining. And I agree the possibilities are endless where the story and characters could go.

  8. Thank you for the wonderful article about Leverage! I love all the characters. They have such great chemistry. As you said, the mix of humor, drama, action, and heartbreak is what brings me back week after week and year after year. This is one of the those shows that has been overlooked by many. They have no idea what they are missing. 🙂

  9. Wonderful article…thank you so much! I have been a Leverage fan since the first episode and have never missed an episode in 4+ years…The best show and cast on tv!

  10. Great article. Leverage is one of all time favorite shows and I look forward to Sunday evenings to see what the team will be up to. This Sunday’s episode looks like it’s going to be phenomenal. Can’t wait. If you haven’t seen this show yet, tune it .. you will be pleasantly surprised and will definitely add it to your ‘watch’ list!

  11. Thank you so much for a great article on my favorite on tv.. LEVERAGE is the best show out there..a show the whole family can watch and enjoy together.. watch this Sunday and find out for yourself..

  12. Thank you for your wonderful article about Leverage. It’s been my favorite show since it first aired. Hoping TNT announces it’s renewal for a season 6 very soon.

  13. Thank you for such a great article! Leverage is the best show on TV and the only one my whole family (including grandchildren) love! It’s also the only show we never miss.

  14. Absolutely Wonderful Article. Thank You!! I first started watching because of Tim Hutton and GIna Bellman(I had seen her in Coupling,Jekyll) I had also seen Aldis in an episode of Charmed then I heard Christian Kane was in it as well,and I was in. Since that first episode it has been the show the entire family takes the time to watch.

  15. That is a great article, Holly! Thank you! I first started watching Leverage because of Christian Kane, too. But already after the first episode I was hooked and haven’t missed one episode since. I hope that TNT will renew for season 6!

  16. I too started watching during Season 3… a few family members watched from the beginning and finally got me to sit and watch. Now I never miss an airing if I can help it. The show is addicting. The cast is perfectly set, they feel like family- with each other and the audience. You feel for them and the clients so much. And the fact that they do draw the villains from the headlines, you really connect and want to see them taken down. I can easily say I have never been drawn into a show and the cast as much as this before. Close, but this show definitely takes the cake for emotional investment. It is great stress relief with the humor and geek pop culture references, and also dramatic and heart-wrenching with the back stories that make up the scars on these characters. I have yet to introduce someone to the show and NOT have them fall in love with it. 🙂
    And I have to agree with other comments- you are one of the few reviewers who SHOW us that you watched more than ten seconds of the episode before writing a review. That is very refreshing to see real effort put into understanding the show before writing about it. Thank you SO much!

  17. Leverage is my favorite show and has been since season one. I too was initially drawn in by Christian Kane, but was so pleasantly surprised by the show that I found. Hopefully great articles like yours will get those who haven’t yet tuned in to give it a chance. They are missing out on something good.

    RENEW SEASON 6

  18. Thank you for a great article! You have expressed our joint thoughts and feelings because we have one truth for all us in this case. I like this TV show, although I became a fan of the “Leverage” completely random. The series just took up space on my hard drive and I didn’t remember where I found it. I needed more free space and through a couple of minutes I would not know neither Eliot Spencer nor Parker and no one else from this wonderful team! But my destiny had other plans for me. Thank you again! Sorry, I’m not good in English.

  19. I agree Hustle was similar except that everyone was a Grifter. But Leverage really is a well rounded movie …always exciting and amusing and satisfying.

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