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.