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Thoughts on Leverage (Season One)

Well, it took me an entire season -- 13 episodes -- to form an opinion on TNT's new series Leverage. I've decided I like it and will continue watching when the series returns this summer. There are a few minor things I don't love, but it's a solid show overall.
 
The episodes are a bit predictable (Of course they're going to pull of their latest heist by the end of each episode!), which is why it took me so long to warm to the series. However, the point of the show isn't whether or not the Leverage team is going to succeed, it's HOW they're going to do it. Once I started watching the show from that perspective, it became ten times more enjoyable. Several critics have noted the similarities to Ocean's 11, and I have to agree with them. It's like watching a mini-Ocean's 11 movie each week, which is fun.

I've grown very picky about dialogue over the last few years (probably because I've been spoiled by Aaron Sorkin's amazing talent), and while the writing is definitely not West Wing-caliber, there is some nice banter between the characters.

Speaking of characters, my only real beef with the series is that, at this point, the only truly three-dimensional character is Nathan Ford (played by the always incredible Timothy Hutton). We know more about his character than any of the others...he's a former insurance investigator, his son died, his wife divorced him, and he's a self-described functioning alcoholic. We've learned little things about the rest of the team throughout various episodes, and I'm hoping we learn much more as the series progresses.

I've had the most difficulty warming up to Gina Bellman's character, Sophie Devereaux, and I can't really pinpoint why. I think I just don't know enough about Sophie to feel connected to her. She's grown on me a bit over the last few episodes, though. She obviously has a thing for Nate, and was quite upset when his ex showed up unexpectedly. By the way, Nate's ex-wife is played by Kari Matchett, who was the lawyer for Gage Whitney in the last few episodes of Studio 60 (How sad is it that I can find Sorkin connections in practically every TV show?).

Right now I only watch House, Bones and The Office regularly, and I'm trying to cut out any unnecessary TV viewing to prepare for next year (Going to law school and watching TV all the time do NOT mix!). The good thing about Leverage is that it's on TNT, and everyone knows how cable networks like to rerun their original programming all the time. So I shouldn't have a problem keeping up with a fourth show, even though I'll be DVR-less when I move.

My grade for Leverage: B+