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October 06 2008

(SPOILER) Warren Ellis reviews Leverage. Comic scribe Warren Ellis reviews the pilot of Christian Kane's new TNT series.

And he's very pleased. From what I can gather, Christian is the guy being referred to in the post as the "soft-spoken and bespectacled young guy who is actually The Most Violent Man Ever". I actually want to see this now.

I caught the pilot on the interwebs earlier this summer. And I'm such a nerd, but Warren Ellis liking a show I like makes me inexplicably giddy.
I thought this was a lawyer show, but this sounds a lot more like Hustle. I might check this out.
Gina Bellman!!! I'll check it out :)
What's with the Gina Bellman squeeing? What did I miss?

No, seriously, I'm not being snarky or anything, what am I missing?

Also, I, too, thought this was a legal drama. Think I got it mixed up with Raising the Bar, for some reason. Which is why I hadn't shown much interest until now. I don't watch lawyer shows. Unless the lawyers are vampires. Or infected with... The Mad Cow!
The show looks kinda cheesy from the trailers that have been playing constantly during the first round of baseball playoffs.

But as soon as I saw Christian and Gina Bellman in the preview, I knew I had to check this out. I'll be watching, for at least an episode.

Winther--GB was one of the stars of Coupling. Her character was quirky and very sexual and SO funny. I had such a crush on Jane.
Plus, she was also in Moffat's Jekyll. Your mileage may vary.

Classic Jane Coupling quotage:

I really thought Id gone to his house, you know, to heal our spiritual divide. But it turns out I was just gagging for a shag. Those two are so similar.


Vegetarianism for me is about saying 'yes' to things - even meat.


I'm being stalked, actually, so I'm pretty secure in my attractiveness.


And arguably my favorite Jeff quote of all time:

I get very tense around apples... Well, I get very tense generally. I think Ive fallen into the trap of blaming fruit.

Oh, it airs in December. I thought it was something I was missing due to not everything from TNT making it to Canada.

Wouldn't mind seeing Kane on screen on a weekly basis again. The premise sounds pretty promising. Too bad it's not on premium cable though, it sounds like something that would really benefit from no restrictions/censorship.
Most dialogue in shows aimed at grown-ups would probably benefit from being able to properly swear at some points but apart from that the show's not really the sort of thing that's full of nudity or extreme violence so I dunno, I doubt it'd change substantially if they could go balls to the wall.

Very much not a lawyer show, closest I could describe it is a sort of cross between 'Hustle' and 'Sneakers' with a smidge of the Travis McGee books thrown in - if the thought of that combo floats your boat you're probably right in the target demo. And may also appreciate one of the geekier shout-outs i've noticed in a while (i'd say seen but it's an aural shout-out ;).

One of my fave pilots, nice chemistry among the cast, a light tone but with a bit of an edge, well written, likeable performances and some great work out of the gate from Tim Hutton. Bit self-conscious in places (it maybe wears its cool on its sleeve a bit) but nothing that won't settle down i'd imagine. The test will be whether they can keep mixing up the heists for the whole run I reckon, if they can do that and keep some character stuff ticking over it should be a fun show.
I like the premise of Leverage, and of course Christian and Gina Bellman are a huge plus! If the show ever comes to Australia I'll check it out.

Gina Bellman's character was so deliciously crazy as Jane in Coupling. Whenever I watch her in 'normal' roles nowadays I feel that something's missing. Glad to see she's playing someone insane again, typecasting notwithstanding.

The only thing, 'a pretty young thief' is becoming a bit of a cliche. Gwen on Angel, Bela in Supernatural, and now Gina Bellman's character on Leverage.
"Most dialogue in shows aimed at grown-ups would probably benefit from being able to properly swear at some points"

True, though with some shows you miss it more than others. For example, I'm never really bothered with Lost or Heroes being restricted in terms of language (and they sure get away with more than I thought they'd be allowed to on network TV in terms of violence/gore on Heroes). But 24, for example, despite being popcorn storytelling in its weaker seasons/episodes, it's just glaring how weak a "damn it!" is, from the main character for the umpteenth time after a major screw-over or catastrophe.

With something like Buffy, I mean they sorta poked fun at it once in a while, getting almost- and half-swears in there (and working around North American censors by having Spike give the two finger salute rather than the middle), and for about the first half of Buffy's run I'd never seen a premium cable series so I didn't know what I was missing and a thought along the lines of, "gosh, I sure wish this could be like the movies" never occured to me.
Yeah it's pretty funny on '24' sometimes. "So the terrorists are about to detonate a dirty nuke in downtown LA ? Darn them all to heck" ;).

(and Spike said 'wanker' a few times on Buffy - that's pretty much a non-word in the US but over here it's very much not primetime, even 'bollocks' wasn't allowed on the pre-watershed broadcast IIRC. And, most ridiculously IMO, Sky or the BBC - can't recall which - cut '[we band of] buggered' from the Giles/Spike line in 'The Gift', rendering a witty, characterful line pretty much totally non-descript)

The only thing, 'a pretty young thief' is becoming a bit of a cliche. Gwen on Angel, Bela in Supernatural, and now Gina Bellman's character on Leverage.

Actually there is a "pretty young thief" character but it's not Ms Bellman, she's more like a "pretty young-ish con-artist" (she's stunning IMO - with no qualification for age required - but I think it's true to say that 42 wouldn't be considered young in TV land). The PYT is played by Beth Riesgraf and she's a slightly off-kilter character - almost a mild version of River in some ways - that I reckon is gonna go down a storm among the geek demographic ;).
Watched it. Good fun. Will definitely be around when it actually starts up.

Oh and yes, by the way, Gina Bellman!!! indeed.

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