It has been said that we are living in the “golden age of television,” which is just a fancy way of saying that there is a lot of good stuff on TV. As much as I like “prestige” shows like Mad Men, and the grim and gritty action of Sons of Anarchy, I cannot live by “serious” drama alone. I know this is starting to sound like a Marvel vs DC debate, but it’s not.
Sometimes I wan a bit of fun from the programs I watch. It’s nice to sit back, relax, and have a good time in front of the TV. For five seasons, I got a lot of enjoyment from Leverage, which is more than I can about a lot of “better” shows.
Leverage was a throwback to shows like Mission: Impossible, The Rockford Files, and The Saint; with a bit of The A-Team thrown into the mix. The series has been desribed as being about a team of “high tech Robin Hoods,” but there’s more to it than that.
The Leverage team lineup consists of a Hitter, a Hacker, a Grifter, a Thief, and the Mastermind. Timothy Hutton played Nathan Ford “The Mastermind.” Nathan’s previous job was as an investigator at an insurance company. His life has been turned upside down for reasons I won’t get into, and in the first episode, “The Nigerian Job,” he is hired to retrieve stolen blueprints for a new airplane. He recruits some criminals he used to chase around the globe to help him with the job; which goes well, until it doesn’t. Anyway, stuff happens, and the the team ends up being the good guys. They like the idea so much that they decide to help others in need of… Leverage.
When I heard about the premise for Leverage, I was intrigued. It also helped that I am a fan of Timothy Hutton, especially the film Beautiful Girls. I gave the show a chance and it was love at first viewing.
The only other cast member I was familiar with was Gina Bellman who played Sophie Devereaux, “The Grifter.” I really liked her on Coupling–the original BBC series, not that abomination that was on NBC.
Rounding out the cast were: Aldis Hodge, (“Hacker” Alec Hardison) Christian Kane, (“Hitter” Eliot Spencer) and Beth Riesgraf (“Thief” Parker).
As I said, the series was a lot of fun. Like most shows, some episodes were better than others, but it had a very high batting average, and it was never boring. Besides, how could I not love a show with so many Doctor Who references? The thing is, they were doing this back in 2008, a few years before Doctor Who became a cultural phenomenon in the US.
Yes, I am aware that the first Doctor Who reference on Leverage was in “The Mile High Job,” which was broadcast on TNT on January 20, 2009; but it was filmed in 2008. So there.