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TV Review: LEVERAGE ‘The Three Strikes Job’

V Review: LEVERAGE – SEASON TWO – ‘The Three Strikes Job’

It didn’t seem possible to top last year’s two-part finale, but the first half of Season Two’s wrap-up is bigger and more ambitious than ever

Grade: A-
Stars: Timothy Hutton, Christian Kane, Aldis Hodge, Beth Riesgraf, Gina Bellman, Jeri Ryan
Writer(s): John Rogers
Director: Dean Devlin

Release Date: February 10, 2010By CARL CORTEZ, Contributing Editor
Published 2/11/2010 (Source)

There’s immense pleasure to be derived from a TV series that hits its stride and keeps hitting it out of the park week after week, and LEVERAGE has proven with Season Two that it’s been “on” all season.

Even with the addition of Jeri Ryan thrown into the mix as the mysterious Tara while Sophie (Gina Bellman) is off finding herself, it’s proven to be just the right ingredient to add more spice to the storytelling and new directions for the characters and their interactions. Continue reading TV Review: LEVERAGE ‘The Three Strikes Job’

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Exclusive Interview ith Leverage Producer/Director

Exclusive Interview: ‘LEVERAGE’ EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR DEAN DEVLIN HITS A HOME RUN WITH THE TWO-PART SEASON FINALE – PART 1

iF has the scoop on Devlin’s favorite episodes, where the season is heading and Jeri Ryan as Tara

By CARL CORTEZ, Contributing Editor
Published 2/10/2010 (Source)

Season Two of LEVERAGE is coming to a close with the two-part season finale, so it was about time we caught up with executive producer Dean Devlin (who also directed these episodes) to get the scoop on what we’ve seen and where everything is going into the home stretch.

“The Three Strikes Job” which airs tonight at 10:00 on TNT, finds the team trying to take down a corrupt mayor while stealing a baseball game and while Devlin didn’t want to spoil the surprises in store for the next two weeks, in this exclusive interview, he discusses the growth of LEVERAGE in Season Two, the temporary addition of Jeri Ryan as Tara and what his favorite episodes have been.

iF MAGAZINE: Let’s talk about the two-part season finale.

DEAN DEVLIN: It was one of these where we wanted to go out with a bang. We wanted to end Season Two with something really memorable. We were very proud of the two-part season finale in the first season. There was a general feeling that we couldn’t beat it. And I kept saying, “we’ve got to beat it.” And John came up with this show that was really big, and it was bigger than we could afford. We called the network and said, “we need some extra money to pull it off, what do you think?” And they said, “we’ll give you a little extra to pull it off,” and getting that extra support gives us the chance to do a little more. Continue reading Exclusive Interview ith Leverage Producer/Director

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TV Review: LEVERAGE – SEASON TWO – ‘The Future Job’

The team takes down a fake psychic and deliver another solid episode
Grade: B
By MARY BRYAN (Source)

The LEVERAGE team unravels a scam most of us have heard of – fake psychics – in this week’s episode “The Future Job.” Dalton Rand is a faux psychic with a local television show with his eye on the prize of a network deal, using his abilities as a con man to cheat his way to fame. When a concerned brother of one of Rand’s customers tells Nate (Timothy Hutton) about what’s been going on, the Leverage team devises a plan to bring this man down.

Continue reading TV Review: LEVERAGE – SEASON TWO – ‘The Future Job’

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Review: LEVERAGE ‘The Zanzibar Marketplace Job’

TV Review: LEVERAGE – SEASON TWO – ‘The Zanzibar Marketplace Job’

By Mary Bryan (Source)

An old enemy is back seeking help from the team in yet another amazing episode Grade: A-

This week’s episode of LEVERAGE, “The Zanzibar Marketplace Job”, started out with a bang with the return of Sterling (Mark Sheppard) – the man who, despite everything, still always manages to win in the end. The only thing he didn’t seem to win in this episode though was the fight with Eliot (Christian Kane). But to be fair, not many people come close to matching Eliot, and especially not a sneaky IYS insurance investigator. That was one fight we’ve all been waiting for since the finale of Season One.
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Leverage: “The Runway Job” Review

First, apologies for forgetting the turn of the maintenance mode once I was done!

Here’s a review of Leverage 2.10 The Runway Job. Caps and clips are coming, but I want to see first if I can get a better version of the episode to work on.

Leverage: “The Runway Job” Review

Team Leverage returns to create Pilgrim Sheik.

by Matt Fowler (Source)

January 14, 2010 – With Gina Bellman’s Sophie jaunting around the globe, avoiding Nate’s (Timothy Hutton) frustrating pride, set on finding herself, Team Leverage was short a grifter. I suppose I can buy that fact that Sophie needed to take a cold hard look at her life after having to fake her own death in the excellent episode “The Two Live Crew Job” from last summer, but having her globe-trot seems a bit unnecessary. Especially since she still keeps in regular contact with the gang via video conference. I do like seeing Sophie appear in Paris however, complete with red beret and Eiffel Tower in the background. Likewise, whenever Sophie shows up via satellite from a foreign land she’s hilariously wearing the stereotypical cultural garb with some ridiculous landmark in the background. It’s good fun.

But I think that I’d rather see Sophie take a full leave of absence from the show (while actress Gina Bellman takes care of her pregnant self) altogether. That way, when she returns to the fold, it will truly feel like a return. If she keeps in touch with the gang on a regular basis then it won’t ever feel like she left. It will hurt her return and it will hurt Jeri Ryan’s assimilation into the group. Ryan’s Tara is a good addition to the team and I know we’re not really supposed to believe that she’s a permanent replacement, but I think it would work a lot better if we actually thought she was.

“The Runway Job” spends a lot of time dealing with Tara and Nate butting heads and trying to figure out a way to blend her into the team. She’s a strong personality, who expects to be paid for her work and doesn’t appreciate taking a back seat to Nate. That’s an interesting dynamic to explore – and it’s also a tried and true TV cliché. Now, normally the new person in the gang would signal the dying embers of a series – the fresh new, sassy character that’s supposed to breathe life back into the series that’s run its course. But this is only Leverage‘s second season, and since I know that Bellman will be back eventually, I don’t exactly find it all that worthwhile to spend this much time acclimating the “temp” into the group when she’s just going to leave.

I’m not saying that the show can’t and won’t find a way to make this situation more interesting. A few twists and turns and things could get overtly dangerous, but that’s not how we’re meant to feel after “The Runway Job.” We get a very “this could be the start of a beautiful friendship” vibe at the end that doesn’t really work to spice up the proceedings much. I would have much rather been left feeling like Tara was still a dangerous puzzle piece. She still could be turn out to be something more refreshing (villain, lover, etc) but as of right now she’s a bit underwhelming.

The rest of the episode was fine; nothing spectacular, but still filled with the little kibbles and bits that makes Leverage an enjoyable show. As the team works to swindle a heartless sweatshop owner with secret aspirations of being a high end fashion mogul (Grace Hsu playing a hack designer obsessed with large black Pilgrim buckles) and her ruthless husband (Tom Choi) they all get caught up in various silly fashion show hi-jinx. Hardison (Aldis Hodge) makes fun of Elliot’s (Christian Kane) guy-liner, Parker (Beth Riesgraf) winds up taking an impromptu, and disastrous, catwalk trek, and Nate got to add a new ridiculous character to his assortment of comically bad disguises – the nebulous, effete Euro-dreg. As “heightened” as some of the cons can be on Leverage, I always find Nate’s characters to be the most glaringly clown-ish.

As “let’s steal us a (fill in the blank)” antic-filled episodes go, “The Runway Job” was pretty good. I just wish that the show would take a more definitive stance when it comes to the characters of Sophie and Tara. They’re both half-in/half-out of the gang and makes it hard for us to invest and engage in their stories.