Under The Radar 05: Leverage

When I was a kid all the best TV shows were on the “Big 3” of CBS, NBC and ABC. As I grew up, soon the best shows were on FOX and sometimes even the WB. Today that has all changed as many award winning TV programs can be found on cable and premium channels like HBO and Showtime. In the past few years, TNT has been one of the channels to step up its original programming and one of the products they’ve brought out has been the action/comedy/drama show Leverage. Get ready to get even with a team of thieves who are modern day Robin Hoods.

Starting in 2008, Leverage has become a hit for TNT as it drew nearly 4 million viewers in its’ first season and 4.5 million in its’ second and third seasons. The Pilot episode itself does a great job of setting the mood for the entire series. Timothy Hutton plays Nathan “Nate” Ford, a former insurance investigator who after the death of his son puts together a team to help victims get revenge on those who’ve wronged them. The Leverage team consists of Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman) who is the team grifter, an actress who gains their targets confidence by any means necessary. Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) is the team Hacker and all around geek, able to get into any computer system and take over and usually the one to make pop culture references. Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane) is the Hitter, who is exactly what it sounds like. Eliot hates guns, but is all for head-butts! The final team member is Parker (Beth Riesgraf) who is the team thief. Parker is an orphan whose step father would take her toys away and lock them up, telling her to either stop “or become a better thief.” So she did.

Whether they’re taking on a corrupt judge, loan sharks, the mob, or a crooked housing developer, Leverage is always packed with action, drama and a surprising amount of comedy. I had caught the show by accident one day and soon was caught up in what I would find out to be season 3 of the show. If you’re like me you may feel awkward about tuning into a show if you haven’t watched from the start, but Leverage is easy to get into no matter where you’re starting off at. Though it does occasionally have story arcs that carry over through the season, the majority of the episodes are self-contained, allowing new viewers to jump in at any point. Still not comfortable jumping in? Season 1 and 2 are currently available on DVD and TNT.com offers episodes for free to view online. Season 3 will be released on DVD on June 7, 2011 and season 4 will premiere on June 26th! Now is the perfect time to get caught up and see why some of the best TV, isn’t on network television anymore!