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Leverage: American Hustle


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#31

mustbekarma

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Posted Dec 7, 2008 @ 11:17 PM

I enjoyed this show pretty darn much. Con artists sticking it to greedy, evil people who deserve it? That's made of win. It doesn't hurt that I really adore all the characters. That little girl stealing her teddy bear back and blowing up the house was priceless, in a twisted sort of way. This show could be lots of fun.
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#32

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Posted Dec 7, 2008 @ 11:26 PM

I really liked it, too. The idea of sticking it to corporate assholes is something I can get behind 110%, despite the problems with suspension of disbelief. I have a soft spot for Hutton, ever since the underrated Q&A, and the rest of the cast seemed interesting, especially the computer guy, who told the other guy they have to have a talk about the Klingons!! I loved that part.

It's always fun to watch people who are supposed to be the cleverest at what they do.
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#33

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Posted Dec 7, 2008 @ 11:44 PM

I liked this a lot, except for the part about it reminding me of Eyes so now I'm pissed off all over again over Eyes being cancelled. Parker is batshit and I love her. Hope they keep her that way.
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#34

AnonyGuest

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Posted Dec 7, 2008 @ 11:45 PM

The show has a lot of potential and I admit it did have it's glaring faults to me. The acting and delivery were my issues, but I'm attributing this to TV SHOW PILOT syndrome, everyone's finding their places and their comfort zones with the characters so everything doesn't always work. I'd like a bit more depth with the characters rather then as someone said just presenting their characteristics on parade, that makes them seem less like characters and more like characteristics if you can understand what I mean.

Still I'm willing to tune in, I hope it finds a balance because I've been waiting for a show with a thief angle to balance out the police dramas that are cluttering up my TV. I love police drama's but they're choking my ass to death.
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#35

Cynthia187

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 12:08 AM

except for the part about it reminding me of Eyes so now I'm pissed off all over again over Eyes being cancelled


I know. I still miss Eyes.
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#36

SnippyScholar

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 12:43 AM

Some comments from a Zap2it review:

...Leverage has a breezy tone (underscored by Joseph LoDuca's groovy music) that makes it eminently easy to take. Hutton is clearly having a good time, and Bellman and the hyper-serious Kane play their parts well too. The breakout personalities, though, are Riesgraf, who plays cat burglar Parker as a loopy, slightly disconnected pro and Hodge (best known for a stint on Friday Night Lights), whose cocky, motormouthed character has several fine comedic moments in the first few episodes.

The scams the team runs -- under the guise of a legitimate consulting firm -- aren't quite Ocean's 11-worthy, but superslick action doesn't seem like the goal here (nor, frankly, would it be really feasible on a week-to-week cable-show budget). The pleasures of Leverage lie more in the interplay between the characters and the improvising they're forced to do when a plan goes sideways (the third episode introduces Nate's replacement at the insurance company, played by Mark Sheppard, who should make a good foil for the crew).


Mark Sheppard from Firefly and BSG! I LOVE him. I am thrilled about this.

Edited by SnippyScholar, Dec 8, 2008 @ 1:04 AM.

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#37

Qui

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 1:11 AM

Yes to everything about Eyes and being miserable all over again. Damnit.

Otherwise I will watch until I'm bored.
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#38

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 1:16 AM

I enjoyed this show, and there's nothing else on Tuesday nights, so I'm probably going to be watching - the only thing is, I remember as a young girl in the '70's, watching Jim Hutton on 'Ellery Queen', and thinking he was hot, and now here I am watching his SON, and thinking HE'S hot - which not only makes me feel old, but kinda pervy - *sigh* - I think I need to go to bed now...
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#39

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 1:31 AM

I know. I still miss Eyes.


Word. And yeah this did remind me of that show quite a bit. I enjoyed it mostly because I like Timothy Hutton. I kept wondering where I'd seen the actress who plays Sophie and then it hit me: Jekyll. She was very good in that, so I look forward to her here too.
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#40

cmm226

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 2:11 AM

Overall, I really enjoyed it. And I thought I would. I'll definitely keep watching, and since it's on tues., I can just watch NCIS then The Mentalist, and then Leverage. Since I only watch 2 shows a week at the mo.

My only problems were with the acting, particularly the females.

But, still a good show, and Timothy Hutton as expected was great.
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#41

Split Ends

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 2:25 AM

Did anyone else get a bizarre mailer on this? I got a postcard-sized envelope in the mail for this show, including a flash drive with pilot on it.

It was really weird.
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#42

DolfinWings

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 5:11 AM

Still I'm willing to tune in, I hope it finds a balance because I've been waiting for a show with a thief angle to balance out the police dramas that are cluttering up my TV. I love police drama's but they're choking my ass to death.


I never saw Eyes or hustle, but I'm glad to see a series that explores the other side of the law. Personally I find bad guys fascinating. I remember the dearly departed Smith from a couple of years ago with Jonny Lee Miller and Ray Liotta, and I sorely wished that series had lasted.

It however had a couple of things going against it.

1) it was on police procedural galore CBS

2) the show wanted us to cheer for bad guys who are actually bad.

3) it was also very, very dark and serious.

This series should hit the right note. It has a great cast and interesting characters. Has the right balance of humor and drama (a la Burn Notice), and the characters are morally ambiguous and likable enough, that middle america shouldn't feel too bad about rooting for them. Also, who wouldn't want to see a series about a bunch of underdogs screwing "the man"?
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#43

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 9:17 AM

Watched the show last night. It left me a little underwhelmed. The show is more like a TV version of Ocean's Eleven but not in a good way.

That blonde chick, whoever the hell she is, cannot act.

Timothy Hutton has not aged well.

I guess maybe because I am an FX fan (I already miss The Shield) but where was the cursing, the violence and the nudity? You mean to tell me that they could not get the hot guy (yummy!) to show a little skin? I mean this is cable so they can do that kinda shit, right? I will tune in again this Tuesday only b/c my beloved Shield is gone and no longer airs at that time.

ETA:

Did anyone else get a bizarre mailer on this? I got a postcard-sized envelope in the mail for this show, including a flash drive with pilot on it.


I did. Maybe because I am an EW subscriber? I did not know what to do with the thing. They could not send me a DVD?

Edited by juneboy44, Dec 8, 2008 @ 9:19 AM.

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#44

janet a

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 9:51 AM

I'm on board. Well, at least 'til they cancel it, or I step my CATV subscription down a notch and lose the channnel.
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#45

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 9:55 AM

I did. Maybe because I am an EW subscriber? I did not know what to do with the thing. They could not send me a DVD?


I got one too and am a EW subscriber. I liked the flash drive it was different and re-usable, since I had already seen the episode months ago (the joys of the internet) and was not a fan I deleted the show off of it and now have a new 1GB flash drive.

Edited by fifty8th, Dec 8, 2008 @ 9:56 AM.

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#46

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 10:38 AM

Ah, add me to the list that thought for a pilot, not bad, I'll definitely take it as light diversion on Tuesday nights. The only other show I watch on Tuesdays is The Mentalist, so good fit with it, I think. I tuned in for Timothy Hutton and Christian Kane, but thought the others were very good as well. The plot had a few holes that had me rolling my eyes, (took waaaaayyyy too long with the "stall the bad guy while we rappel screaming girl down the elevator shaft") but I liked the twists with the scam at the end, and the dawning horror for Saul Rubenik's character. And the expressions on the faces of the three newbies when they were watching the dreadful play with Hutton was pure gold! I laughed out loud!

Have I mentioned how fine Christian Kane remains? I can even forgive the god-awful hair, just to see him again. And Timothy Hutton? I would watch him in just about anything.

I have hopes for this series, I give the pilot a solid B.
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#47

TinaC

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 10:55 AM

I enjoyed the show a lot, even with the plot holes and excessive exposition. The pilots of most series suffer from the same problem, especially the excessive exposition, because they are trying to set up the characters and make you care about them (or at least be intrigued by them). Like I said, though, even with the problems, I found the pilot very entertaining (much more so than TNT's other "new" show of 2008, the overly-melodramatic and overwrought Raising the Bar) and I think I'll enjoy the show quite a bit.

I don't recognize the other main actors, but I've loved Timothy Hutton since his stint as Archie Goodwin on Nero Wolfe and I was a very big fan of Christian Kane as Lindsey on Angel. (I agree with others that said Christian needs a haircut, though, because you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone that looks good with a shapeless mass hanging limply around his/her face.) I thought there was good chemistry between the characters, though, and I enjoyed the humor. I just wish that they hadn't revealed the bad guy knowing about the transmitter with the blinking light under his desk, though. They were trying to ratchet up the dramatic tension by fooling us into thinking the team was about to get caught and, instead, ending up doing just the opposite. As soon as he started talking to his underling about how he knew all along, I knew that the scam wasn't what we were seeing on the screen and there was going to be a twist. I think it would have been a better choice for him to go, "Ah hah! Did you think I was an idiot?? I found your transmitter and, here, meet my friends at the FBI!" at the meeting, cut to commercial, and then do the big "the Nigerians are really Nigerians" at that point. (Yes, I know the pilot was shown commercial-free, but it won't be in the future.) That said, I enjoyed myself, over all, and I'll be watching it after The Mentalist on Tuesday nights.

Edited by TinaC, Dec 8, 2008 @ 10:59 AM.

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#48

ILNative

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 11:13 AM

I liked it a lot too. I watch nothing on Tuesday nights except SVU, so this will be a welcome addition.

I'm intrigued by the TH/Gina Bellman pairing and the computer guy/Parker "friends with benefits" storyline and the dude who's the muscle? Hawt.

Edited by ILNative, Dec 8, 2008 @ 11:14 AM.

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#49

Willow2tree

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 11:44 AM

Oh god(dess), I just thought of something! Every show I've ever seen Christian Kane in, he dies! He died in Angel (albeit in the final episode, but I never forgave them for that!), he died in the Tom Selleck/tv movie I saw him in, he died in Close to Home. Please, PTB, don't kill off Elliot!
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#50

IgnaMom

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 12:44 PM

Mark Sheppard from Firefly and BSG! I LOVE him. I am thrilled about this.


I'm one of his biggest fans and he's the reason I even heard about this show (Mark is appearing in five episodes). Once I heard of the show though it sounded interesting and I wanted to watch it with or w/o Mark. I enjoyed the pilot quite alot.

LA Times backstage photos from the set of Leverage

Edited by IgnaMom, Dec 8, 2008 @ 12:48 PM.

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#51

rage6839

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 12:53 PM

Glad the pilot has some fans, hopes it translates to ratings. Know it is too early pairings but could see Parker and Hardison working out, although she is BSC. Can't wait to see the next episode.
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#52

Solea

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 1:07 PM

This did suffer heavily from pilot syndrome though.

Indeed it did. But Iím willing to overlook it. I put it down to the desire to get the premise and backstories out of the way as quickly as possible so that they can get to the good stuff. I love a good caper so Iíll be watching it again.

Plus, Aldis Hodge and Christian Kane are a couple of donuts. Yum.
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#53

FlyoverCountry

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 1:35 PM

where was the cursing, the violence and the nudity? You mean to tell me that they could not get the hot guy (yummy!) to show a little skin?


If you ask me, the fact that there isn't any of that is a bonus not a detriment. To you it makes the material bland. To me it makes it a much more pleasant experience.

I loved Hustle and don't remember it being rife with cursing, violence and nudity. You can have thoughtful, dramatic television without it. Not that Leverage was thoughtful television. Just sayin'.
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#54

Renard

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 1:43 PM

Thank you DolfinWings, I tossed and turned all last night trying to remember the name of "Smith". Like others, I got the chills/vibes of lost lost for Smith, Eyes, Hustle, Snoops and Burn Notice(Parker is an OOC Fiona without the unrequited love issues).

I like the show and look forward to adding it to my rotation. I did have 2 minor problems/complaints and an observation.

1) I would have preferred a "straight" con for the opening. Don't get me wrong, I think the twists, turns and reversals were great but putting all that in the premiere sets the bar really high. While I look forward to seeing if they can top it, I'd be very surprised. As such, the show might suffer unfairly by not having the "extra gear" to go to as a surprise later on.

2) I had trouble believing the Dubenich was working alone which is how it seems to be presented. He obviously would have had another team to help him prep and plan the op and set up this team, especially the explosion.

From a politically correct/racial perspective, I would never have dinged the show for using the Nigerian scam angle in the con, but since they flipped the script and used real corrupt Nigerians who somehow ended up being "good guys?" was a little offensive.

Also, I have questions about where the money came from. I'll watch again but they did a very bad job of explaining what was done. I am assuming that they used the money from the Nigerians to buy stock overseas and sell short. Was that anyone else's understanding?

I loved Hustle and don't remember it being rife with cursing, violence and nudity.


Primarily I think that can be explained as the difference between a show set on London and one set in Chicago.

Edited by Renard, Dec 8, 2008 @ 1:57 PM.

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#55

Loandbehold

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 1:44 PM

I kept wondering where I'd seen the actress who plays Sophie and then it hit me: Jekyll. She was very good in that, so I look forward to her here too.


Gina Bellman was also Jane on Coupling.

I loved Hustle and don't remember it being rife with cursing, violence and nudity. You can have thoughtful, dramatic television without it.


Actually, they did curse on Hustle. Not often, but occasionally. When AMC showed it in the U.S., the curses were cut out, but they're on the DVDs.

As for the show, I think it's a pleasant enough diversion. I do see the comparisons to Eyes and Hustle, but at least the pilot wasn't as good as either. Still worth continued watching. How long 'til the episode where one of the members is tempted to turn in the others? Over/under is four.
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#56

pjamma

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 2:16 PM

I LOVE this show. Good to know I have at least 13 episodes before it gets cancelled.
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#57

jadesfire

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 2:26 PM

Can I just say how refreshing it is to have the "Tech Geek" of the team be a person of color, and that the "Tough Guy" was the one who wanted to talk Hutton about his feelings?

On the other hand, the writing for "crazy Parker" needs to improve STAT. Not getting paid makes her cry in her "angry special place"? For real?

Anyway, liked the show and hope to see more.
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#58

amberdotcom

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 3:01 PM

I had trouble believing the Dubenich was working alone which is how it seems to be presented. He obviously would have had another team to help him prep and plan the op and set up this team, especially the explosion.


Didn't he confide in at least one of the other guys at his office that he knew his desk was bugged? I thought that guy and the two others who were with him in the shredding room at the end were at least in on it. Of course that doesn't make any of them detonation experts but I didn't get the feeling that Dubenich was acting totally alone.



Also, I have questions about where the money came from. I'll watch again but they did a very bad job of explaining what was done. I am assuming that they used the money from the Nigerians to buy stock overseas and sell short. Was that anyone else's understanding?


Rage6839 explained that up thread - around page 2 or so but it's totally hidden in spoiler tags. I have to admit I read the explaination about three times and still don't totally get it. Then again that type of banking is not my strong suit anyway.


In general I liked it - I'm willing to suspend some disbelief in parts of the plot and give it up to artistic license. I hadn't heard of Hustle before; my first thought was it's a bit like Mission Impossible (the original series and yes I guess I'm dating myself) except that they're more freelance. I'll definitely keep watching, especially because it's on at the perfect time - for now it doesn't conflict with anything I already watch or like.
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#59

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 3:17 PM

I'm a fan. Now that The Shield is done, the only Tuesday show I watch is House.

I really liked the pilot. I was worried with the jazzy, Oceans-copy intro but it fell into it's groove.

The strength is the characters. Christian Kane is great and it's good to see him on a show again. I liked that we saw the funny cafe flashback but we also got to see him in action too.

Can I just say how refreshing it is to have the "Tech Geek" of the team be a person of color, and that the "Tough Guy" was the one who wanted to talk Hutton about his feelings?


I agree. And it's nice to see a geek actually be well dressed, socially charming and not a collection of nerd cliches. The Stars Wars thing comes close but everyone loves Star Wars.

On the other hand, the writing for "crazy Parker" needs to improve STAT. Not getting paid makes her cry in her "angry special place"? For real?


I liked the actress quite a bit but I think they just need to tweak the character's dialogue a bit. There's things about her I really liked, especially the fake IT phone call, and her childhood flashback. She seems like she'll be a lot of fun.

My only worry is that they seem to be creating some will-they-or-won't-they stuff between Hutton and Sophie. I think they're great together but I don't know if I can take another show with a shut-up-and-kiss couple. I do think Hardison and Parker have oodles and oodles of playful chemistry. I hope they connect.

Edited by Senator X, Dec 8, 2008 @ 3:23 PM.

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#60

carrieks

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Posted Dec 8, 2008 @ 3:18 PM

An explanation of short selling from a non-banker, non-investor, non-expert with no real authority to answer (that would be me): It basically means that you sell a stock before you've purchased it. You're gambling that the stock price will drop within a certain time frame (not sure what the limits are), and are allowed to sell the stock and promise to buy at a later date.

It's risky because if the stock DOESN'T drop, then you still have to buy it--even if the price went up rather than down. I also think there's some sort of collateral requirements (guarantees that you have the ability to purchase the stock), which means that they would have had to have started with money in their stock accounts. But I'll suspend my disbelief long enough to go along with that.

I enjoyed the show. Agree with all the comments about Pilot Syndrome, but I'm looking forward to the next episode.

Question for Renard....

From a politically correct/racial perspective, I would never have dinged the show for using the Nigerian scam angle in the con, but since they flipped the script and used real corrupt Nigerians who somehow ended up being "good guys?" was a little offensive.


I thought the Nigerians were completely innocent, not corrupt. After all, aren't the Nigerians the ones who called in the FBI, to report extortion? So Dubenich THOUGHT they were corrupt, whereas only he was (since he agreed to pay a bribe).

Did I misunderstand?
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