My Current Guilty Pleasure: ‘Leverage’



So, apparently I’m on a catching-up streak now. Back in November I mentioned that I was catching up on Chuck on Netflix. I wrapped that up last month, and it was interesting to see where the story went: Chuck loses the Intersect for a while and has to figure out how to be a real spy without a supercomputer in his head. The last season gets pretty dark, actually, with a lot of skeletons coming out of closets you didn’t even know were there, and the ending was bittersweet.

Since then, I’ve moved on to Leverage. The show first aired in 2008, and we here at GeekDad were big fans of it. I even got to participate in a phone press conference with Aldis Hodge and Wil Wheaton near the end of Season 3.

In case you’re not familiar with the show, Leverage is a fun, fast-paced heist show. The premise is that Nathan Ford is an honest man who gets put in charge of a group of criminals to recover some stolen property. And then they just stick together, running cons on all the horrible people that the law can’t catch. It’s part Robin Hood, part The Italian Job, and you watch because you love seeing the bad guys get their comeuppance.

When I first started watching the show, I was living in Tribune, Kansas, and my wife and I were feeling a little nostalgic for Portland. So it was a lot of fun watching Leverage–set in Boston but actually filmed in Portland–because we would recognize some of the locations. Now that I’m currently living in Portland again and have re-familiarized myself a little, I’m recognizing even more places. One museum heist took place in the same museum where Wordstock was held last fall. The convention center stands in for an airport on more than one occasion.

Although most of the episodes are one-off heists of some sort, there are some overarching plotlines for each of the seasons, and the characters do grow and change a little as you go. I’m currently a few episodes away from the end of Season 4, with one more season to go after that. In the later seasons, they have fun with the storytelling. One of my favorite episodes is “The Rashomon Job” (Season 3 Episode 11), which tells the story of the same heist from 5 different perspectives. Another fun pair of episodes is the one I just finished watching, Season 4 Episodes 13 and 14, “The Girls’ Night Out Job” and “The Boys’ Night Out Job.” Two different stories take place, connected only briefly at the beginning and end, and with a couple of phone calls between Parker and Hardison. When you watch the first one, you just see glimpses of Hardison as Parker is calling him. In the next episode, you see what Hardison was actually up to when the phone rang.

The other thing that happens as the show progresses is that the morality gets a little murkier. Sure, the whole premise is about how “sometimes bad guys make the best good guys,” but there are episodes where they find out their mark is actually not such a bad guy. Or where they end up helping somebody they don’t really like. In the world of Leverage, I think you never really know who’s good–or perhaps a better way to say it is that nobody’s entirely good.

Overall, it’s just a really fun, witty show with great characters and over-the-top stories, and I think I’m enjoying it even more this time around.

Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix Stream Team and have been provided with Netflix access for review purposes, but opinions expressed are my own.

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19 thoughts on “My Current Guilty Pleasure: ‘Leverage’

  1. One of the things I really enjoyed about the show was that the writers were obviously fans of Science Fiction and often worked in references. Particularly Doctor Who. You had to be a fan of Doctor Who to get it all, but I really liked the way they worked it in.

    1. I first time I came upon Leverage, I was in the hospital recovering from my 4th kidney transplant and and I could not sleep. So I was scanning the TV channels and came upon Leverage, so I started watching. As I watched it became more and more interesting, I loved each character and their rolls and so I watched and watched and watched. Even now I record the shows so I can re-watch them.

  2. Oh, and if you like Leverage, you’ll probably like The Librarians which also stars Christian Kane and I believe has some of the same writers and producers as Leverage. While it’s not quite a heist show in the same way Leverage is, there’s a very similar “feel” in the fast paced dialogue and character interaction.

    1. You know, I did try watching the first episode of The Librarians and it just didn’t quite click for me, but I’ve heard good things so I may give it another shot. And I do like Christian Kane—I remember him in ‘Angel’ first, but I really liked his character in ‘Leverage.’

      1. I also had to force myself to keep watching The Librarians, the first episode seemed awkward to me. But as Season 1 progresses, the cast starts to click, and Season 2 was awesome!!

  3. I can’t get enough Leverage. I only wish there was more. This world needs more modern-day Robin Hoods in my opinion.

  4. LOVE Leverage! Best show ever!!! Those RobinHoodlums make the best team ever.. Christian Kane is my favorite ♥ being #ProudToBeAKaniac I also would suggest checking him out on The Librarians.. It is a fun wacky and zany show.. Very smart too and yes indeed does have the same writers/producers/directors as Leverage.. Those are some amazingly talented people.. and if you should get a chance check out Wizard World Comic Con website for dates that Christian Kane is going to be in Portland OR for the Wizard World con there this coming Feb 19-21…. and in August he will be at the one in Chicago ♥ Christian Kane’s music can be found on digital download at his website store.. and He COOKS too .. multi talented man. He has an online show called Kane’s Kitchen… you can watch from website or itunes, amazon etc.. The Librarians Seasons 1 & 2 can be found online too.. itunes, amazon etc.. Thanks for sharing!

  5. So hoping we get a Leverage movie, but until then, I’ll just keep watching my DVD’s of the shows 5 seasons. And at least I still have Christian Kane dropping by each week, on my television in the wacky & fun show, The Librarians.

  6. I can’t get enough of Leverage on Netflix! Cast and crew always did an amazing job. Since I absolutely adore Christian Kane, I encourage anyone to check out his other projects too. The Librarians is a great show, and he has a bunch of great movies as well. Plus, he has a cooking show Kane’s Kitchen, which is awesome. And he is a very talented singer.
    The rest of the Leverage crew is fantastic as well. Can’t say enough good things about the show. Hoping they make a movie too!

    1. Wait, Christian Kane has a cooking show? That’s awesome. I’ll have to look for that.

      1. I bought the 6 episodes of Kane’s Kitchen on itunes, but I’m sure there are other outlets for them! He’s a damn great chef and don’t forget to ✔ out his singing/songwriting on his website, christiankane.com. Most talented entertainer on this earth right now. Started watching Leverage because of Tim Hutton but fell in love with Christian and the rest of the cast as well! I’ve been extremely happy that Ion TV has been having Leverage marathons for the last 4 Sundays! I always have my 5 seasons of DVD’S to fall back on, too!

  7. Thank you for your great review! I think you really capture the great things about it. I fell in love with Christian Kane on Leverage and can’t get enough of him ever since.

  8. About once a year, I watch the entire series on whichever network is airing it. I love this show. I just don’t get tired of it. My husband and I were very disappointed when it ended. We have a joke about there being new episodes. Whenever he sees me watching the re-runs, he asks me if they started making new episodes.

  9. One of the most interesting changes that happens in Leverage is Parker.. She goes from being “nuts” to showing feelings and Beth plays it incredibly well.. The other thing that happens is the evolution of Nate… His various stages of alcoholism and his views on the what is right and wrong…

  10. You have great taste! Chuck is one of my favorite shows, and Leverage is my MOST favorite show! I am currently rewatching Chuck right now, for the first time in its entirety since it originally aired. <3 But I'm ALWAYS rewatching Leverage! I have two sets of the DVDs – one for home, one for travel! I also have my DVR set to record it any time it comes on, and I never delete those. I always have Leverage at-the-ready! And I never, ever get tired of it. It makes my heart happy, and if I'm being honest, not many things really do, so I'm grateful for it.

    I didn't really know who Christian Kane was before Leverage, but completely fell in love with Eliot Spencer and CK within a day of discovering Leverage! He is amazing! A great actor, singer, fighter, and cook, who is also funny and attractive? Talk about perfection!

    All the Leverage players (the main cast and Dean Devlin) keep talking about a movie, so I have high hopes that it will really happen! And if anyone can do a movie right, I do believe it is them. I can't wait! <3

    Thanks for your awesome review!

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