Sunday, December 07, 2008

Leverage, "The Nigerian Job": It takes five thieves

I shared most of my thoughts about the "Leverage" pilot in Friday's column, but feel free to share your own thoughts here.

18 comments:

elliott said...

Ala,
this is off-topic, but are you still watching Skins?

If so, are you still enjoying it?

elliott said...

"Ala" should have said "Alan"

Chris said...

Hey Alan,

Have you watched this past weeks Pushing Daisies? I thought it was fantastic but I didn't notice any post from you. Have you got off the show?

Anonymous said...

I guess no one wants to talk about leverage? I liked it and it'll definitely be in my regular rotation while all the other shows are on winter hiatus, but unless the show gets better or I find myself getting more invested, I probably won't keep watching it once the rest of my shows start back up again. At least this way it has a month to convince me to stick around...

Mac said...

I liked it well enough to keep watching, for now. Though I can't take Christian Kane as a badass seriously.

Alan Sepinwall said...

this is off-topic, but are you still watching Skins?

Yeah, but I've been way behind and have been watching in chunks, and at some point decided I wouldn't write about it again until I saw the season two finale.

It's been interesting so far, and we'll save the rest of the discussion for when I actually write about it.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Have you watched this past weeks Pushing Daisies?

I'm only about 20 minutes in, as other stuff keeps jumping the queue ahead of it for one reason or another. I liked what I saw so far, and will finish with it eventually.

elliott said...

Thanks Alan,

Im glad you are still watching. I look forward to hearing your thoughts after the season.

Anonymous said...

Leverage felt very familiar. A little too cutesy in its characterizations (I saw the "This is what I do" line coming a mile away), a little too on the nose with its jokes (the IT guy feeds crazy thief an IT joke AND explains the joke), and a little too pushy (every one of these people is the absolute best at what they do...which is why one dopey airline executive found them and conned them all with ease).

I don't mean to be too down on the show -- I know it is meant to be a lighter entertainment than other TNT fare (except the unintentionally hilarious _Raising the Bar_) -- but I think a show like this only works if the characters don't feel too predetermined and the actors have some room to breathe. I didn't get a clear sense that that was going to happen from the pilot.

But Timothy Hutton is always a welcome presence on the TV screen (It's a shame "Nero Wolfe" didn't last longer), and John Rogers (via his blog) alerted me to the fact that Netflix is streaming every episode of the Rockford Files, so I'm around for at least a few more episodes.

Rachel said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one wondering about your thoughts on Skins, Alan.

Anyway, Leverage was entertaining, but I'm not completely sold yet. I agree with another commenter that it'll be in my rotation while the pickings are slim, but it'll have to get stronger for me to stick around.

The biggest problem I had was Kane. I thought his acting was distractingly bad.

But it was good to see Ray "VooDoo" Tatum again!

lungfish said...

I thought this week's SNL was excellent- just wondering if you were going to do a write-up?

Sorry for continuing the off topic trend here.

Belinda said...

Lindsey from Angel? Jane from Coupling? I'll give this a go purely on the basis of that, even though I see Lindsey has that goofy hair in the picture...

Glad to hear you're still watching Pushing Daisies, especially the last episode. AMAZING ending segment. Can't wait to see what you'll say on that.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Though I can't take Christian Kane as a badass seriously.

Yeah, that's something of a problem. Even though Kane apparently has some serious martial training in real life, it doesn't come across on the show. The gag where he takes out the security guards in the time it takes for the duffel bag to fall didn't really sell; it was like watching one of those "Studio 60" sketches that was supposed to be funny but wasn't.

R.A. Porter said...

I'm a fan of a lot of the people involved and liked this pilot quite a bit when I saw it earlier this year, so I've been waiting for other people to see it and hopefully come on board. There are some things I'm not in love with, but Mo Ryan had a great description of the show:

If you were to compare the TV scene to high school, USA Network’s excellent “Burn Notice” -- the show “Leverage” resembles most -- would be the effortlessly cool guy who makes even the hard things look easy. “Leverage” would be the well-intentioned, less cool guy whose attempts at seeming suave are sometimes cheesy but also a little endearing.

I did an interview with the creators a little while back, if anyone's interested in John Rogers' answer to my question of who'd win in a fight between Eliot Spencer and Angel.

Anthony Foglia said...

I didn't like it. It wasn't bad, but it was too gray to be a light romp, and not serious enough to be gray. (And yes, I mean "gray" as in the set design and lighting.)

It could improve, and since I might finally give up on Nip/Tuck, I might have time to put it on in the background.

It just kept reminding me I still have the 4th season of "Hustle" to watch.

Maura said...

It's dopey as hell, but fun anyway. I liked that they didn't waste time getting the group together. I expected it to be bad (despite Timothy Hutton), so it was something of a treat that I enjoyed it.

None of the characters surprised me in any way, but they didn't annoy me either.

I think Mo Ryan hit it on the head with her description. It's trying a little too hard to be cool.

Even though Kane apparently has some serious martial training in real life, it doesn't come across on the show. The gag where he takes out the security guards in the time it takes for the duffel bag to fall didn't really sell; it was like watching one of those "Studio 60" sketches that was supposed to be funny but wasn't.

I thought it was hilarious, but for the wrong reasons. It looked like a Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots fight.

Anonymous said...

My worry is that it's going to be too predictable. I saw the bait and switch coming right off but said "No, they'll save that for a later episode twist and use the episode to establish the characters." Then they wrapped the heist up so fast there wasn't anything else they COULD do but pull the switch.

Interestingly enough I see a lot of parallels to Firefly here and think Christian Kane's character has great potential as being the "heart" of the team- but he is best when he's smarmy and kicking ass so hopefully they will let him do a lot of both.

-EmeraldLiz

Karen said...

I'm coming late to the party (just watched my DVRed episodes today), but I liked it even with its flaws. Chief flaw? WAAAAY predictable. First thing I thought when Hutton's approached about "stealing back" the airplane design: how does he know they were stolen from his client; wouldn't he check? When Hutton and Bellman mentioned the Nigerians, I thought "Why would they go with something that so obviously smacks of scam? Can't be the real plot."

But, you know, I love old movies, too, where you always know how it's going to end, but the fun is seeing how they get you there. And I have to say I enjoyed it. I'm not as down on Kane as you all are (still so very fond of him from "Angel" but really wish he'd cut his hair for this one), and I like the banter between Nate and Hardison, as well as that between Nate and Parker.

So, yeah, I'll watch it. Why not? What do I have to watch on Tuesdays that's any better?