Ever find yourself watching a TV show and wishing it was real? It would be nice to think, for example, that Jack Bauer really was racing around saving the world from terrorists.
Or that the FBI actually does have a little basement office containing a cynical redhead and a wisecracking hunk who go out and solve supernatural mysteries.
When it comes to Leverage, we’d like to think that somewhere out there’s a team of con-artists-turned-do-gooders who spend their time plotting ever more incredible schemes to turn the tables on rich bad folk who’ve been exploiting the helpless.
Hey, we can dream...
If you watched season one of Leverage you’ll already know the show had a lot of potential – fast, funny, unashamedly clever – but it wasn’t quite hitting all the marks.
Season two is where they’re not so much ‘hit’ as ‘stomped on’. Each week there’s an ingenious con pulled by our heroes as they wreak retribution on a bad guy; each week the writers knock it out of the park.
This is superlative telly for anyone seeking a bit of feelgood fun, perfect for all the family (though younger kids might have trouble keeping up with the complex plots), showcasing a cast who’ve gelled and become a well-oiled machine.
Timothy Hutton’s Nathan Ford, who spends most of this season battling to stay sober when he actually works better drunk, is the lynchpin, but this is an ensemble piece through and through.
Even the departure of Gina Bellman midway through the season (she left to have a baby, but isn’t gone for good) isn’t all bad: it gives Star Trek: Voyager’s onetime Borg Jeri Ryan the chance to shine as she steps into her shoes for a few cons.
However, it’s the three-handed banter between geek Hardison (Aldis Hodge), burglar Parker (Beth Riesgraf) and fighter Eliot (Christian Kane) that makes the show fly, as their funny, quirky characters make every con a delight to watch.
Back when we reviewed season one it looked as though the boxset would have no extras but, after we went to press, we were pleasantly surprised to see a few levered onto the discs.
This time around, we know they’ll be there but they’re not ready for review – a couple of featurettes, a commentary and something rather naughtily titled ‘The Hand Job’ sound enticing.
It’s great that Leverage is getting some love on DVD , as it’s a show that deserves it. Ah, if only these con artists were real...
Wacky, witty and endlessly enjoyable, Leverage’s second year is a treat. And no, we’re not Hustle-ing you...