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Leverage - Complete Season 1 [DVD]
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All 13 episodes from the first season of the American crime drama series starring Timothy Hutton. Former insurance investigator Nathan Ford (Hutton) leads a team of professional criminals - cyber-geek Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), martial arts expert Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), acrobatic cat burglar Parker (Beth Riesgraf) and charismatic con-artist and actress Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman) - in a quest for revenge against people and companies who misuse their power. Episodes are: 'The Nigerian Job', 'The Homecoming Job', 'The Two-Horse Job', 'The Miracle Job', 'The Bank Shot Job', 'The Stork Job', 'The Wedding Job', 'The Mile High Job', 'The Snow Job', 'The 12-Step Job', 'The Juror #6 Job', 'The First David Job' and 'The Second David Job'.
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Although less glossy and character driven than "Hustle", which in several ways it resembles, "Leverage" entertains agreeably enough. Some viewers may wonder if Timothy Hutton has what is needed as Nate, he lacking the charisma so evident in the four others. It is wise also not to examine the storylines too closely - slickness often substituted for plausibilty.
Here is a series getting into its stride, this first season uneven but full of promise. Although not quite won over this time round, I look forward to giving future seasons a try.
Modest extras include a commentary and deleted scenes.
Highlights almost raise this to four stars - especially episodes featuring the trial, bank robbery, climatic museum showdown.
The idea of a Robin Hood-like brainy group should please the general public - so I hope that series avoid the common fate of most of the smart and tactful ones - cancellation. I have already pre-ordered the second season and hope for more.
The characters are well defined, and their interaction provides a lot of the humour. Of the characters I actually found Timothy Hutton a bit tiresome, as the alcoholic team leader, he was entirely wonderful in A NERO WOLFE MYSTERY - Series 1.
The series starts off in tremendous style, with the first episode easily being the strongest of the bunch, the series really does start to sag in the middle. The nature of a show like this is that you get the same basic plot every week, so with a box set it is easy to overdose and find it all a bit samey, better to ration out the episodes. I suspect that a writers pool was maybe relied on mid season to produce episodes, with the proviso that they were not allowed to actually develop any of the characters, hence proficient but not dazzling episodes.
The series does go up a notch for the conclusion, and I will be ordering the next series for family viewing.
I would however pitch this below Burn Notice - Season 1 [DVD]  for family entertainment. Definitely try out Burn Notice first, but if you have run out of Burn Notice series to watch then you might be pleasantly surprised by this.
The Brains: Nathan Ford (Timothy Hutton -T.A.P.S.).
The Grifter: Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman- Coupling)
The Hitter: Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane -Angel).
The Thief: Parker (Beth Riesgraf)
The Hacker: Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge)
The show attracts some well known faces as regular guest characters & special guests, with the likes of Jeri Ryan (Star Trek Voyager), Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13), Mark A. Sheppard (Supernatural) , Will Whaton [Johnathan Frakes directs some episodes] (Star Trek: The Next Generation) , Tom Skerritt (Top Gun) & Richard Chamberlain to name a few. There are also many tongue in cheek reference's to other t.v shows, films or famous real life people that you will notice or not with some of the character names, alias used, special guests etc.... from the likes of Dr.Who, Star Trek or The Godfather etc... quite clever & rewarding if you spot them.
(Trivia, some may remember Gina Bellman as the holiday rep in the Only Fools & Horses episode where Rodeny's painting wins a cereal competition).
With series 4 just finished on t.v screens, Leverage has come along way since the first couple of series. It started a bit slowly for me, but i stuck with the show as i saw the potential, and so it took me a while to really get into it. Season 3 & 4 are the ones where i think the team have clicked & settled down really well & the banter, relationships etc.. between the cast of characters has come into it's own, with the love/hate between Nathan & Sophie, Hardison & Elliot's bickering geek v's matcho tough guy & Parker...well she's....Parker, and hilariously quirky. I have to admit that i prefer Hustle when it was still on our screens, but this is very much worth watching if your looking for an alternative, albeit more pacey alternative, to the now shelved Hustle. Recommended.
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The first two are ok, but then there's "the wedding job" instead of "the...Read more