Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Leverage, "The Miracle Job": Don't blink

After all the grousing in today's thread about how there's no new programming on TV during Christmas week, I should probably be grateful there's an original episode of "Leverage" and go hog-wild reviewing it. But even if I wasn't preparing to see friends and family, I wouldn't have a lot to say about this, the last and easily the weakest of the four episodes I've seen. Gina Bellman's identical-sounding accents are a particular problem here, and the solution to the miracle problem seemed far too simple.

But talk about it if you want to, and I look forward to having something new to watch a week from tonight.


Anonymous said...

I wasn't grateful for a new episode once I actually watched it -- it seems as if the writers have already run out of good cons, which is pretty weak so early in the show's run. The plot made little sense -- the Catholic Church puts up a big church building without actually owning the property? -- and the "miracle" idea seemed particularly lame. The bad guy wasn't even that bad a guy -- they had to make him use violent tactics for no good reason just to justify the gang's going after him.

Let's hope this was just one dud, and the show will get better again later on.

Anonymous said...

Cheer!! Merry X’mas & Happy New Year!! Wish you all the best in year 2009!!!

Bg Porter said...

It was weak, but it wasn't terrible.

At times like this with a new show that I want to like, I remind myself how terrible the first season of ST:TNG was, and that hope that they're just still settling in.

At least the rhythms of the successively failing cons and retrenchings were different in this ep; they're at risk of having plots that you can time out with a stopwatch (as a kid, I remember figuring out that the car chase scene in Rockford Files meant that it was 9:50; almost time for bed.)

R.A. Porter said...

@BigTed, "he beat up a priest." Usually, that's considered at least Neutral Evil.

I thought the episode was fine. My biggest problem with it is that out of four episodes aired so far, two have involved helping out people from the team members' pasts. That could get very old, very quickly. As long as they don't go to that well too often, I'll be content.

From Leverage, I expect an hour of silliness, a couple of interesting schemes that go awry, and the bad guys getting their comeuppance in the end. It's Scooby-Doo or The A-Team: light-hearted, fun entertainment.

More of my thoughts - including my growing dislike of Parker - in my review here.

PrJoolie said...

Parts were thin, but it's a good day when DB Sweeney has a payday. I enjoy the concept and cast more than the execution. Really appreciate the comparison to TNG's first season.

Merry Christmas, etc. Drive safely in this crazy winter weather.

Mapeel said...

Alan, you are the intersection of all that is right with television. Love your Dr. Who title.

Anonymous said...

As a fan of Hustle and The Real Hustle, I was already resistant.
But after such great reviews everywhere, I decided to try it.

I was so disappointed!!!
But I realize it was just bad luck that the new episode was my first episode.

So I'll give it another chance.
*crossing fingers*

Anonymous said...

Maybe it was cause there was nothing new on, but I kinda liked this one. It's always good to see DB Sweeney on television and I liked getting more background information about Nathan before he turned to pulling cons. And Hardison continues to have the best lines.

""Somebody's got to fight the injured. Shoot ... that's my niche."

Anonymous said...

The show is light and breezy, but the truth is, after setting up the case of the week, and spending time trying to make the case personal to someone, there isn't much time to really set up and execute a good, twist-filled con. The show is benefitting from timing right now, but I just don't think it will ever be "must watch."

I'll keep a spot for it on my DVR, but I doubt I'll be in any tremendous rush to get to it.

Karen said...

"Well, somebody got to fight the injured. Shoot, that's my niche."

See, I get that the plots are weak, but I really like the characters. Especially Hardison, who just cracks me up.

Gina Bellman's dicey accents don't bug me so much--mostly because I've kinda fanwanked an answer for them: Sophie's a dreadful actress, that's been established over and over. So what are the odds that she would actually have an incredible talent for accents? But she's an incredible con woman; I guess, because the thrill of the con inspires her more than words on a page do. So, given her con talents and her personal charms, the odds are that her marks don't even notice her accent. I mean, most Americans can't tell an English from an Australian from a South African accent anyway. So, as long as she's in the ballpark, she can let her con skills take over.

So, I like the characters, I like a lot of the dialogue, I've liked the guest stars (a special fondness for D.B. Sweeney born from his sheer humanity and sweetness on a train ride from Albany to NYC when his 4-year-old son was, um, not behaving)--so, whatever.

Plus, nothing's on! I'm so happy for new television! My DVR "Scheduled Shows" list is EMPTY! Even TCM is running movies I've already seen! I'd almost watch new reality shows under these circumstances!

Joan said...

LOL -- I don't even watch the show but thought I'd pop in with a, "Is that D.B. Sweeney?" comment -- and here the man has a little fan club already gathered. I don't know why, but I've always liked him. (Why, yes, I do watch The Cutting Edge if I happen to stumble across it while channel surfing. Why do you ask?)

But I see he was just a guest in this ep, so I don't have to think about watching Leverage. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Gotta say, getting a bit bored with the show. It's not terrible, but the show and its cons aren't nearly as fun as they should be.

Too bad, because when January rolls around, there'd be way too many things to watch instead of this.

Anonymous said...

-Is that Santa?
-Does Santa Claus has his own church?

That cracked me up.xDD

Anonymous said...

It's always good to see DB Sweeney on television

It sure is! Although I did have more fun Google-ing him later than I did watching this particular ep, I still like the show. It's a nice bit of escapism--even with Christian Kane's wild mane.