September 9, 2009

My Two-Cents on 'Leverage' Season 1.5

Tonight was the summer season finale of my new favorite TV show, Leverage (although this is a foreign concept to most since people were freaking out that this was the end of season 2 on Facebook), and so far the new season has not been as great as Season 1.

Don't get me wrong, Leverage is still better than most shows on TV right now, but the first few episodes were lacking the charm that we saw during Season 1. For some reason it just felt that it was trying to hard, whereas last season flowed better. It just wasn't the same show that I fell in love with last December, but things did start picking up around episode 7 ("The Two Live Crew Job").

The last three episodes reminded me why I love this show. It's just a great combination of humor, action, crime, and humanity. Unfortunately, the "season" finale has apparently upset some fans because a new team member, Tara Cole (played by Jeri Ryan), was introduced to fill in for Sophie (Gina Bellman). People are outraged because Tara is replacing Sophie, and she doesn't fit in with the rest of the team. I can't help but laugh at these people.

First off, I've never been a huge fan of Sophie's mostly because of her "will they, won't they" subplot with Nate (Timothy Hutton). Of course I think that this romance is cliche and unnecessary, but every show needs this type of sexual tension. Plus, I feel that Gina Bellman is the weak link performance wise. Sure, she was OK on Coupling, but she's just out of her wheelhouse on Leverage.

Then there's this hub-bub because Tara is all about the payday rather than being a Robin Hood. This is called conflict people, and good stories should have some thrown in for good measure. Sure, Hardison & Eliot are total opposites and never see eye to eye, but they're always there for one another. That's hardly compelling tension. Having a newbie with a different motivation will be interesting to watch. Plus, I see another possible romance blooming between Nate & Tara, which will of course add to the already muddy relationship between Nate & Sophie.

I like the addition of Tara, and it's not like she's going to be a series regular. Then again, I just watch the show to see Hardison, Parker, and Eliot. These three make the show what it is because they bring so many elements to the mix, and they usually have some of the best lines and scenes. I'll keep watching this show as long as they're around.

So, Leverage is still finding its voice, and while Season 2 has lost a little something, I'll still watch whatever it's putting on because a bad episode of Leverage is still better than most.


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