Leverage is a light-hearted and fast-paced US TV show, that hasn't really had the audience it deserves on British TV. Embittered ex-insurance investigator Nathan Ford is hired by a company to steal back some plans taken by a competitor. To do so, he assembles a team from those criminals he could never quite catch in previous years.
The team are computer hacker Hardison, sneak thief Parker, enforcer Spencer, and grifter Sophie Devereaux, played by the delightful Gina Bellman. The relationships between the team members are what makes the show really sparkle, with witty dialogue and light-hearted bickering. After the initial job, the team are kept together by Ford, who insists that they use their talents to help the helpless.
Each story follows a strict formula, with a target being selected, investigated, and then conned, each time culminating in the great theme music playing over a flashback which reveals how the con was done. Some of the episodes are a bit too samey, but when it works, it's excellent, and leaves you grinning contentedly at how the plan came together.
Leverage has some similarities with the BBC show "Hustle", but is probably more influenced by US films such as "The Sting". It maintains a real sense of style and fun throughout, and is definitely a cut above the usual level of US import.