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we provide...... leverage

(no spoilers)

so july 9th has come and gone and if you have been following masto putting up with my incessant :ameowbongo: posting this means imdb has in fact provided the leverage
by leverage i mean Leverage: Redemption, the reboot and sequel of the 2008 TNT series Leverage, a relatively unknown 5-season-long tv show which is probably1 my favorite tv show of all time

Leverage is a crime drama. but not the kind you're probably thinking of. rather than following around boring police detectives solving murders on the literal thousandth literal cop indoctrination show to ever constantly air on every American television 24/72, leverage is about the bad guys. committing crimes.
every episode follows the same basic format: there is a large corporation or rich billionaire committing totally legal injustices on ordinary people, who come to the leverage team for help. the team runs a con, tricking the bad guys or pulling a heist, and often very creatively bringing justice where it is deserved. for example, one episode has an agricultural megacorp about to intentionally release a blight to kill off their competition (and create mass famine in the process), another has a mining company cutting safety measures in the mines to save a quick buck, or a pharma CEO trying to sell a medication by covering up the evidence of its lethal side effects

so basically, it's a show about extralegal mutual aid, in the form of heists and grifting and hacking and a bit of beating up the bad guys, and what i really like about it is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. it's a comedy-action show, and the character dynamics are honestly the best thing about it. the characters are, originally,

  • nate ford (timothy hutton), an insurance investigator turned thief after his insurance company IYS Insurance killed his son. nate is a strategic genius, and the success of every heist depends on his planning. nate is the team leader, and he's absolutely driven to prevent the large corporations of the world from inflicting pain and suffering on people and totally getting away with it the way IYS did to him. unfortunately, nate does not come back for redemption, which is unfortunately because he carries one of the classic memes of the show (you'll find out) but i am pretty confident redemption's new characters will make up for that loss
  • sophie deveraux3 (gina bellman), a long time con artist who had specialized in art theft in the past, and had flirted with nate trying to track down the pieces she stole. hilariously, while sophie is probably the best grifter around, being able to social engineer her way into literally anything, she is actually kind of a bad actress on the actual stage, being introduced performing in a maybe less-than-ideal play (that fortunately we as the audience don't have to actually sit through). sophie is back for redemption, after being goaded by parker ("we should steeeeaaallll something,,,,")
  • parker4 (beth riesgraf), a thief who specializes in sneaking into places, cracking vaults, getting around lasers, and generally actually stealing stuff. parker's character is one of the reasons i absolutely adore leverage, because parker is pretty clearly autistic but unlike literally every other tv show which has ever aired on american television with autistic characters in it parker is actually treated like a normal member of the team, she's given respect and agency and sophie extensively helps her practice her social skills (she even becomes a useful grifter herself in later episodes). literally, imo leverage is worth watching just for this (but there's more)
  • alec hardison (aldis hodge), the hacker, and for once the turbo brain genius hacker guy gets to be black in a tv show. hardison provides hacks into basically anything, even police facial recognition databases so the team can instantly ID bad guys, and can fabricate fake identities for the team so well that one of the the episodes is literally that one of parker's identities gets called in for jury duty (and it turns out there's bad guy stuff going on even in that trial). hardison also has a hilarious dynamic with eliot, which is one of the reasons i'm disappointed he's only going to be part time in redemption
  • eliot spencer (christian kane), the hitter. he's a turbo macho tough guy, a former black ops soldier, who can beat up any bad guys necessary, and carries another classic meme of the show (you'll see,) and he hates guns, preferring to punch the bad guys with his own fists, though he is extremely skilled with guns when necessary. despite being the typical macho guy persona, eliot actually has a big heart, caring deeply about his team and the victims of the bad guys. and he is also a literally professional chef, choosing to retain his cooking skills because of (it's hinted at in some episodes, this is my reading) a friend he cared about that he lost as a soldier. he's a role model for positive masculinity, in a show that started in 2008. which is pretty wacky in my opinion but another thing that makes leverage really great. and he and hardison have a funny dynamic going on which is constantly entertaining. eliot is back for redemption even though hardison is not going to be present all the time

the main thing that baffles me about leverage is how this was allowed to air in the first place. i mean with all the usual cop stuff going on it's honestly really strange to see this random completely different show, which is about committing crimes to do good, and sticking it to the rich billionaires and CEOs and corporate overlords who never suffer any consequences for their crimes. turbo anticapitalism, i mean the central theme of the show is basically, as nate says, "sometimes bad guys make the best good guys," which really means that in a world where lots of crimes against ordinary people is legal and the bad guys get away with it, sometimes you need "criminals" to set things right. there is a scene where nate is talking with one of the villains of the show, his former coworker at IYS, james sterling, where they talk about how rich people crashed the economy in 2008 (they really did!), and when the government and interpol (sterling becomes an interpol agent) went to investigate how that happened they found literally massive amounts of corruption and shady business, the white collar crime that screws over ordinary people that nate's team is fighting against. and in this story, what interpol did instead of go prosecute all this shit that they uncovered is just put it in a book and hide it away on their secure servers, and never tell anyone what happened. sterling says that this is the way the world works. the system depends on these guys who deserve to be prosecuted, and if interpol actually went after all of them the system would fall apart. sterling and interpol is painted as the major antagonist as they want to basically protect the billionaire megacorp status quo, in a very suspiciously relatable scenario about the actual 2008 recession (and nate says, well, see, if you're not going to prosecute them i am going to steal your book and do it myself lol, with my team of "criminals" who commit "actual" crimes) and someone at TNT was like, yeah, this might be slightly the kind of thing a modern McCarthy might be scrambling to flag, but,,, we're going to air it anyway... and i think that's a little surprising. but what's more ironic is redemption is now released by imdb, which as you might know is Amazon Prime Video 2 Electric Boogaloo. and you might be thinking like, wouldn't jeff bezos be the kind of guy the leverage crew would be after? (and yeah, i'm also thinking the same thing so what is up with that lol. like. bezos paid for this. wtf)

so, go watch the original series and everything but let's talk about redemption. on friday i watched the first 2 episodes (and also, discovered that my jellyfin syncplay has some bandwidth problems, which are most likely caused by my server being ultimately connected to the internet via 2 hops over the same MoCA interconnect, and MoCA supports like 100 mbps max or something like that, which was kind of a problem. it might be worth ditching jellyfin syncplay and going back to the old setup where i streamed rtmp with ffmpeg at my VPS gateway that has the bandwidth to actually support streaming that. or yknow, my server deserves 10G 🦈)

redemption brings back the leverage, almost 9 years after the original series ended, and for full disclosure after i caught wind of the casting call for one of the new characters over a year ago i have been pretty patiently waiting literally all year for this release so i am extremely hyped that it is finally here, but watching it slowly instead of binging all at once (so at the time of writing i've seen the first 2 episodes, which are cohesively kind of 1 large job). and i am going to tell you right off the bat that redemption absolutely does not disappoint. i don't have a whole lot to say about it yet other than that i am really glad to have this show back, though the crew has aged, nate is not returning, and hardison is canonically off to pursue leverage international, the worldwide operation that is keeping him super busy (also cause y'know his actor isn't here full time, but it's about leverage international), but we have the same basic format of comedy heist, the same memes (which cause some pretty funny confusion with the new characters) and of course 2 brand new characters who are here to provide (hopefully) new dynamics and also the eponymous theme of this reboot

  • breanna casey (alyese shannon), who is hardison's foster younger sister. breanna is a hacker but also focuses on some different aspects of tech, like drones and social media (self proclaimed "more relevant skills") and importantly the original casting call for breanna had her as "LGBTQ" which is extremely good because i literally shitposted on mastodon that there should be queer leverage a year ago too. though, unfortunately there is nothing in the first 2 episodes that explicitly states she is queer. so i'm hoping that part was not forgotten during development but we'll see. you know how media inevitably disappoints when it comes to queer representation.
  • harry wilson (noah wyle), a corporate lawyer who spent years helping megacorps of the kind leverage targets get away with their crimes against humanity, but after feeling guilty about one particular case (which becomes the target of the job in the first 2 episodes) he decides to try out committing "actual" crimes and lands up as a member of the team. now this is unusual. leverage has traditionally put the likes of this guy in prison, with extreme prejudice. but this time, harry is being given a chance for redemption. and that's what, presumably, this reboot is all about

so tbh without revealing anything about what actually happens in these episodes (i'll talk about it later, and it's also with some spoilers as marked in this thread​) i am super excited. like, leverage is back, the reboot doesn't suck, and it's going to be great. the new characters are hilarious and it's going to be good following their character development during this series. i'm looking forward to it

​* if you would like to watch with me (and maybe deal with my server falling over lol) it's probably going to be friday evenings EDT




i wonder why they always play those shows tbh


probably her real name. nobody really knows


just parker