On 'Leverage' (Sun., 9PM ET on TNT), Parker (Beth Riesgraf) starts to realize that she has feelings for one of the team members. But she only really understands that she likes Hardison (Aldis Hodge) once she sees him talking to another girl. The two of them are in a bar, and Parker twice crushes a glass beer bottle in her hands, just from annoyance at witnessing the scene.
But once Parker gets Hardison to come over and is finally able to talk to him, she actually can't say what is on her mind. First, Parker starts to confess her attraction: "So I have to tell you something," she says.
"Okay," Hardison replies.
But then, Parker seizes up. "So, the thing is, I think that maybe I might be having ... weird, weird feelings for -- pretzels!" Obviously, this is based on Parker just looking for the first around her in the bar, and then coming up with a lie.
Oh, Parker, will you ever say what is on your mind? And, oh -- dramatic TV shows! Would you ever be able to stretch things out without an endlessly protracted romance?
(S02E12) "[Nathan's] drinking is not a problem. It's a symptom." - Eliot to Tara
Action dramas don't have to be so layered. As long as the screen is filled with lots of explosions and tough guys with their backs to them, smirking at the camera as if to say, "Oh yeah, that's an explosion behind me and I caused it. I'm a badass, even if I would face federal charges for detonating an explosive device in a public area. So who out there wants to sleep with me?"
Even though this week's Leverage had a couple of moments like that, it still managed to be more layered in both its plot and characters than it has a right to be.
The second season saw them lose their stately headquarters and tackle these jobs in a much more street level fashion, and in several ways the show got better. At the same time, rather than the heist always taking center stage, at times it was our five characters that shone brightest.
By that I'm referring to the quirks of their individual personalities, because we haven't gotten a great deal of character development this season. The banter and camaraderie within the crew gives us some great lines and moments each week, though. Now that a third season is secured, I'd like to see the character arcs for those great personalities pick up again.
Have you seen TNT's new show, Leverage yet? It's been called a new age A-Team, but I see it more as a lighthearted combination of Ocean's 11, Alias, Burn Notice and even How I Met Your Mother.
In fact, I'm willing to go out on a limb and state in no uncertain terms that Leverage is the best new show to premiere this season. I would have given the title to The Mentalist previous to Leverage's premiere, but since then, it has continued to steal my heart a little more each week.
What makes Leverage the best new show this season? In no particular order ...
(S01E02) "The world doesn't work this way." --Dr. Laroque
"Then change the world." --Nathan Ford
Oh, I really do like this show. It looks like the fine folks behind Leverage are going to use this platform to "expose" the kinds of corporate corruption that we all know are there but may just not be able to prove. As established over the past several years, a lot of these bastards at the top of the corporate world are just as bad, if not worse, than the common street criminal. In fact, I'm going to go with worse. Tonight's target: Castleman, a company that provides a private "army" to the U.S. Government. You know, Blackwater.
In keeping with the Robin Hood concept, the idea behind this heist is to ensure that PFC Dwight Caplan can get the rehab he needs to get out and start working. The kid's not looking for a handout, just a fare shake in life. And since it was Castleman, and not insurgent fire, who took that away from him, he's looking for justice. Which is what Leverage is all about.
(S01E01) Now that's what good television is all about. This slickly produced show managed to keep things light and fun in the world of high-stakes criminal espionage. It makes sense since executive producer Dean Devlin directed the pilot and slick and fancy is what he's all about. Certainly Independence Day got by on its look and feel rather than any great plotlines or dialogue. Devlin's production company has also been behind the very successful The Librarian series of films for TNT which are also very high on style.
I've said it before, I'm a sucker for a series that casts actors from my favorite shows. It's really all it takes to get me to watch something at least once. I suppose that means I'm going to have to give Leverage at least a three episode run. Look at that cast photo. Christian Kane from Angel, Gina Bellman from Coupling, and Aldis Hodge from Friday Night Lights. And as a bonus, Timothy Hutton. That's a pretty good start.
If that's not enough, one of the executive producers is John Rogers. TNT lists him as being from Cosby, but I remember him for writing and producing one of the best pilots that didn't go to series that I've ever seen, Global Frequency.
(S02E22) "Something big is going down. End of the world big."
The big season finale picked up right where we left off. Sam really is dead. As we found out later in the episode, Jake (Aldis Hodge) cut right through his spinal cord. It made for a nice scene for Jensen Ackles. We've seen time and again how focused Dean is on protecting Sam. So, in a move that surprised nobody, Dean went down to the crossroads, fell down on his knees...
As Bobby said in the opening, "A storm is comin' and you boys, you are smack in the middle of it." It's been a long wait getting to that storm, but here it is, and it looks like it is going to be a heck of a ride. Some old friends are back, along with an old enemy. There are answers to some lingering questions, and twists and turn aplenty.
The writers continue to strike a nice balance between the four major story lines. Those being the football team, the Taylor family, Street, and Saracen. I really liked the Eric and Tami story tonight, with one little exception. We already know that Eric was Street's coach when he was younger. That kind of implies that they have been in the community for a while. How on earth could the "tradition" of the party at the coach's house have taken everyone by such surprise?
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