concept: a TV show with a dark, tragic, fucked-up beginning that steadily gets happier and lighter and more hopeful as the seasons go on, the narrative arc premised on healing and growth instead of a “gritty” downspiral, the challenges faced in each season finale leaving the characters in a progressively better place. nobody queer dies, and the worst things we ever see after season 1 all happen in flashbacks to events preceding the now.
It’s a very distinctive plotline.
[Caption: two gifs from Leverage. Hardison is working on his computer, saying, “You know, this man has his computer hooked up to the city’s free Wi-Fi? My nana could hack this thing.”]
There was one thing Hardison never told anyone. Not Nate, not Sophie, not Parker or Elliot. Hardison had a teacher. The way Parker had Archie, Hardison had her. She used to work for NASA, wrote out the flight codes by hand. She helped launch the shuttle that put Armstrong on the Moon. And she taught him everything. At ten he was writing his own computer codes in spiral notebooks during math classes he could have passed in his sleep, taking them home and showing them to her.
“Look, Nana! This one draws butterflies on the screen.”
“That’s good, Alec. But you switched from COBALT to C++ in the middle here. That’s not gonna do you any good baby. Here’s how you fix it…”
Her pension from the government helped pay for all of Nana’s kids, but when she got sick, it wouldn’t quite cover her medicine or doctor. She wasn’t going to short the kids any, and Alec knew that. He also knew that they’d look at her first if he took money out of an account linked to her job. He knew this because she told him, because she knew how his mind worked. That’s how he wound up hacking an overseas bank that had lent money to her old boss, the one who denied her request for government healthcare. And if he left behind some breadcrumbs for the authorities to find that led to that jerk, well, there are worse things to do on Prom night.
I made her, honed her
my perfect thief
One of the things I love about Leverage is how all of the main male characters are giant middle fingers to toxic masculinity.
Like, Nate is shown to suffer through his grief, coping through alcohol, and he’s not portrayed as weak for his emotions.
You think Eliot would be the most obnoxiously masculine person in the show, being a former military black ops dude who busts heads for a living. But he isn’t! He’s passionate about cooking, he loves kids, even when he sleeps around he treats all of those women with an equal amount of respect; when Hardison is affectionate with him he often denies his small moments of reciprocity but instead of getting violent (”gay panic”) he simply goes “Dammit Hardison!” and is embarrassed because Hardison usually does it to embarrass him in front of a girl he’s flirting with, but he’s never ashamed or humiliated.
Speaking of Hardison.
My dearest, beloved marshmallow.
The most loving and affectionate member of the team is a black man. This guy hacked the bank of Iceland to pay his foster mom’s hospital bills. He plays the violin, he paints, and he just feels so much empathy for the people they help. He’s the first one to go in for a hug, the first one to admit his feelings, this funny and delightful man who is so fiercely protective and loving. He owns up to his weaknesses, admits when he needs someone, is so supportive of his team. The first one on the team to call them a family!
Sometimes I just randomly think about Leverage and want to cry because I have never seen another show that does characters the way Leverage does.
Yes Yukine pls save meeee
Ladybug and Chat Noir hell yes.
The characters from Grimm. Awesome.
Coulson, Mack, Daisy, May, and Lincoln – I’m golden
Dean, Sam, God and Lucifer…this could go either way 😒
harvey spectre and mike ross, fuck i hope they listen to Donna
How to Get Away With Murder. So I’m kinda fucked.
I might get rescued, but at least two people get murdered kinda-sorta-mostly accidentally-ish. Murdering them would, in fact, be completely unnecessary for rescuing me. Everyone blames Annaliese because they murdered people, despite the fact she didn’t kill anyone. Annaliese and I can maybe both go “Seriously, what the fuck, people?” while Annaliese cleans up the mess.
Law & Order SVU. Liv and the team to find me, and Rafael Barba to prosecute the bad guys (hopefully with Judge Gloria Pepitone on the bench), with medical/science backup from Melinda Warner? Yepppp.
Hercule Poirot. I probably would have been rescued in five minutes, but Hastings fucked up, so it was ten minutes before Poirot led Japp to me.
agents of shield
yeah, i’m good
The Leverage team.
The entire bride crew of the Enterprise. Statistically speaking , I’m probably going to turn out to be an illusion, an alien, or an evil robot. Sweet.
NBC sportscasters, because I was catching up on figure skating. And it was the short dance on NBC Sports Network so we’re talking about Ben Agosto and Tracy Wilson. I’m doomed!
The team from Leverage. Yesssssss. I’m saved! And probably quite a bit richer, since I’m the sad, wronged party who came to them for help at the beginning of the show. ;D
i really love leverage because the concept has the potential to be super dark and gritty and angsty and morally ambiguous–you’ve got the grieving father of a child who died of cancer, you’ve got legal injustice versus illegal justice, you’ve got characters with severe emotional issues, dark pasts, and substance abuse problems–but instead it’s this sweet, lighthearted, seriously funny show about a found family of master criminals that does things like film a whole episode in the style of the office or name characters’ aliases after sci-fi actors. it still has enough solemn moments to respect the darkness of the characters and the issues that the show handles, but it never falls into that darkness so hard or for so long that the fundamental tone of the series is lost. i really, really love leverage.
Do you know what I really like about Sterling? Another show, another time, and he’d be the protagonist. I mean he’s often not wrong, he’s incredibly clever, he’s pretty much the prototypical white dude who is cranky but somehow has a heart of gold. The reason he such a great antagonist for the team is that he can genuinely almost outthink them, genuinely almost beat them. And he’s alone on his own. It’s not just that he can outthink Nate sometimes, its that he’s prepared to deal with all five of them and again, in another show he would win.
I can almost hear his fourth wall breaking frustration most of the time. “I’m supposed to be the good guy! I work hard, I follow the law, sure sometimes I bend it but it’s always in the service of greater justice.” He is exactly the protagonist in every extraordinary white dude crime show on TV today. And yet because he stumbled into this weird, amazing, found family criminals as good guys story, it turns out he has to somewhat lose at every turn. Not enough to put him in real danger. Not enough to make him actually fail. Just enough that I think it’s clear to him somewhere in the recesses of his brain, that he’s not the protagonist of the show. And it drives him absolutely bonkers.
I’m a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal