"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Friday, April 3, 2009

Leverage: The Homecoming Job

"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 I know is 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.

I loved the cover corporation, complete with a painting of Nathan's ancestor and founder of the company in 1913. Hardison is on his way to becoming my favorite character. I love that the "computer geek" is absolutely brilliant at what he does, but in no way personifies the stereotypes of a typical computer geek. Still, couldn't his wall of screens have been seamless? Those black bars get in the way of everything and I know we have the technology to have a seamless integration of multiple screens. I'm disappointed Hardison!

Wait, Eliot Spencer may be my favorite character. He's a very particular character. From identifying firearms used based on the sounds of their gunfire to a branch of the military based on a knife fighting style, Spencer is one knowledgeable and resourceful guy. I'd like to say that the girls are my favorite characters too, but I'm not as excited about what they bring to the table yet.

Don't get me wrong, I totally dig how crazy Parker is and loved when she shoved Hardison off the roof to test her new pulley system, but even so she's not as much fun to watch as Spencer and Hardison. The same goes for Sophie. In fact, in her case I'm not seeing why she's so much more effective acting like someone she's not when I've seen other people on the team doing it as well. I do enjoy her forays into attempted "real" acting, though. God, she's terrible.

Two episodes in, and everything I loved about the series from the pilot is still here. The method used to set up both Dufort and Congressman Jenkins to take the fall for the container of money was brilliant. The false back to the truck seemed almost too simple when Hardison was tearing it down, but it was effective. I'm not sure how Dr. Laroque and her staff are going to move two giant pallets of money out of the back of a truck to use for the hospital without drawing a lot of attention on a busy street, but I guess that's their problem, and a problem I'm sure they're only too happy to have.

This was a melding of sorts of The A-Team and Mission: Impossible, which is exactly what I was thinking as I was watching it. There was always an element of comedy and fun on The A-Team and Leverage is finding the same balance. Already, the camaraderie between this disparate group of criminals is starting to develop. There are so many great lines of banter packed in each episode I could fill an entire article just running through them.

This is one of those shows that can appeal to everyone. Action, humor, snappy dialogue, humanitarian, topical, and getting to see the little guy come out on top every week. What's not to love?

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