The Modest Pleasures of Leverage

The Classic TV History Blog


Leverage is the kind of modern show that people who don’t like modern television tend to like.  It’s old-fashioned: formulaic, familiar, minimally serialized.  It’s a genre show – a weekly caper, Mission: Impossible retrofitted for an era where capitalists, not communists, are the bad guys.  Usually I hate contemporary TV shows that try to be like old TV shows.  But Leverage is special.  It’s a lot of fun.  And it kept getting better as it went along – I have to switch to the past tense now, because its cancellation was announced while I noodled with this piece.

The heroes of Leverage are a quintet of criminals who do the Robin Hood bit: they use their skills to avenge the little guys who have been wronged, usually by some legally untouchable corporate fatcat.  It’s a show about the 47% versus the 1%, and although its politics are smart and…

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