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25 June 2008

Pilot Watch: Leverage

Leverage leads with Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People, Nero Wolfe) and is executive-produced by Dean Devlin and John Rogers. It also stars Aldis Hodge, Beth Riesgraf, Christian Kane, Gina Bellman.

Heist show anyone?

Leverage is about a team of lawbreakers who were first brought together for a heist job where they successfully steal plans from an airline company.

When it turns out that the one who hired them, a corporate bureaucrat, didn't have plans of paying them, the team goes on the offensive and brings the bureaucrat and his company down.

Realizing they can make a lot of money off it, and in the process really pounce on the big fishes (such as those criminals in business suits), these freelancers, who're really used to working alone, have decide to work together and use their skills to go after the rich and powerful oppressors. (Why can't someone come up with the same idea and go after Meralco?)

The pilot episode is directed by Dean Devlin, a Filipino-American.

What I liked about it:
  • Heist jobs! The A-Team, Mission Impossible, Ocean's 11... Who doesn't find stories like this exciting?
  • The obvious stereotypes in the cast --- we've got a hacker (Aldis Hodge as Alec Hardison), a professional thief (Beth Riesgraf as Parker) and a thug (Christian Spencer as Eliot Kane). It's a heist job, what should you expect?
  • Stories like this must be a mix of popcorn fun fare and a smart elaborately written set up. These elements have to marry together properly. Did it have any spark? Oh, yes. I think Leverage is electrifying.
  • Gina Bellman as the grifter/actress, Sophie. Gina Bellman! She finally breaking into American TV? Love her. Love her range as an actress.
What I don't like about it:
  • I'm still not warming up to two characters, it's the last two guys in the photo above --- the retriever specialist (also known as the bouncer, the thug) and the tech guy (the hacker who is giving me a Chris Tucker vibe). Might take a few episodes more before I can finally say I like 'em.
Watchin' it or ditchin' it? WATCHING IT! I have another show to look forward to from the crop of new series debuting this September.

Leverage will air on TNT (CableTV) in the US.

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