Leverage: Season 1
DVD | Box Set
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LEVERAGE is a slick and crafty drama following a team of expert thieves that take down corrupt corporations in elaborate high-tech schemes. Insurance investigator Nate Ford (Academy Award-winner Timothy Hutton) exposed scams and recovered stolen items worth millions. But his life hit the skids when his insurance company allowed his ailing 8-year-old son to die. Years later, Nate gets even as the leader of a specialized team of thieves, computer experts and con artists that right corporate and governmental injustices against honest citizens. To expose corruption, Nate will do wrong for all the right reasons he will provide Leverage.
TNT's Leverage takes a Robin Hood approach to criminal justice. After losing his son, ex-insurance investigator Nathan Ford (Timothy Hutton) reinvents himself as an avenging angel who rights wrongs for victims of organized greed with the skilled support of thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf), hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), grifter Sophie Devereaux (Coupling's Gina Bellman), and retrieval specialist or “hitter” Elliot Spencer (Angel's Christian Kane).
In the spirit of Mission: Impossible, each episode revolves around a different job, and though producer/director Dean Devlin (Independence Day) shot the pilot in Chicago, Leverage Consulting sets up shop in L.A., where the rest of the series takes place. Hardly original--even the jazz-funk score sounds familiar--it's still a breezy lark that moves easily between drama and comedy, and the flashbacks to the team's past are a fun touch. During their inaugural year, they represent clients ranging from a wounded reservist to Nate's pastor (D.B. Sweeney). Other notable guests include Buffy's Danny Strong as a conscience-free contractor and Popular's Sara Rue as an endangered whistleblower. All the while, the hard-drinking Nate's attraction to the increasingly alarmed Sophie grows at the same rate as his alcohol consumption (Alec also develops a crush on the oblivious Parker).
Despite Hutton's Oscar credentials and top billing, 21-year-old Hodge often steals the show with his hilarious line readings and the deleted scenes reveal some equally amusing adlibs. Other extras include five featurettes and commentary on the 13 episodes from Devlin, creators John Rogers and Chris Downey plus key writers and directors, like Tony Bill (My Bodyguard) and Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation), who directs Trek veterans Brent "Data" Spiner and Armin “Quark” Shimerman in "The Juror #6 Job." In response to strong ratings, TNT renewed Leverage for a second season. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
- Deleted Scenes
- Leverage: Behind the Scenes
- Anatomy of a Stunt Fight
- The Cameras of Leverage
- Leverage Gets Renewed
- Beth Riesgraf Crazy Actress Spoof Video
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Nate, the mastermind, is grieving for his son by drinking too much as his anger grows toward the man who let his son die. Anything he can do to hurt his former employer is icing on the cake of his new profession as a modern day Robin Hood with a kooky gang of merry thieves he chased down while working as a stolen items retriever.
Sophie, the grifter, so obviously in love with Nate that it's sometimes painful to watch - I love the flashback when she shoots him and then calls him a wanker when he shoots back! She dreams of a career as an actress but is so bad at it that she gains sympathy from the others over it. It's so much fun to see the other identities she's played in the flashbacks and to get a peek at her storage shed - her really good retirement plan - full of boxes and crates of who knows what!
Parker, the thief, and the only one without a last name! She is my favorite character, what a hoot to watch her dive off of buildings, bridges, stairwells, out windows or whatever she needs to do - sometimes not even knowing if there's a net ready to catch her!
Hardison, the hacker, easily my second favorite character, is like the wide-eyed innocent of this gang. With all the highest tech toys and a few he designed himself, we call him 'tech support' and depend on him to rig elevator systems and even land a plane from thousands of miles away! Also not a bad painter and sculpter.
Eliot, the hitter, is the muscle and is very good at what he does ... and he cooks! He rides horses, plays chess and he plays poker but his main talent is that he hurts people. Also able to identify things by their very distinctive sound, fighting style, facial expression or whatever!
Then along comes Maggie, Nate's ex-wife, in the two part season finale. You want to dislike her because you love Sophie but you just can't. She's a natural at this, too! Well, once she finally is told that a cure for her son was available but cost too much and the insurance claim was denied. Now you double hate Nate's nemesis, Ian Blackpoole.
I totally love the series but the DVD really needs a 'play all' button!!