Leverage: Redemption
May 3, 2021 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Leverage: Redemption is coming. The heist-of-the-week TV series Leverage is coming back some time in 2021, with much of the original cast and some new additions, notably including Noah Wyle. (No Timothy Hutton, but Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf, and Aldis Hodge are all back.) The series will be available on IMDB's IMDB-TV streaming service. Leverage on MeFi Fanfare.
posted by rmd1023 (48 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I'm super excited about this. Leverage was one of our Pandemic Binge watch Series - we watched it right at the beginning of all the crappiness and it was just right. It had the perfect amount of mild peril, characters that we grew to really like, and fun & interesting heists that generally were neatly resolved with the good (erm, good/bad) guys usually winding up on the right side. Highly recommended if you just want something fun but not insipid. Light criming, good writing, good times.

And! Elliot's flying fists and roundhouse kicks! Hardison basically doing all of the work and being awesome! Parker being weird! Sophie's witty banter! Nate...eh...take his money and keep the portrait. If there had to be one person to not return, I'm glad that it was him.

It's strange to have seen them all age 8 years. They must be up to Lucille #10 or so by now, right?
posted by Gray Duck at 7:50 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]

There was a screenwriting podcast I heard once with John Rogers, who created Leverage and he was fantastically charming. He explained that so-called "minor" credits can be a big deal (the ill-fated Jackie Chan Saturday morning cartoon paid for his house). And he told the story of Jenn Kao, who pitched him a heist story of the team trying to steal a genetically modified potato and he hired her on the spot, before he even read the script.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:00 PM on May 3 [8 favorites]

Rogers did commentary for some of the episodes on DVD and they were an education in how to write, direct, and produce a TV show. He’s also a great follow on Twitter. I think of him mentioning “If you have property in Phoenix, sell it and move now” a lot.

Really pumped for the return, wonder if the anti-Leverage crew also comes back…
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:08 PM on May 3

I just hope we actually get to see Parker heading the team, since all we got in the Leverage finale was sort of a Parker-channeling-Nate.
posted by bixfrankonis at 9:39 PM on May 3 [4 favorites]

Oh my goodness, this is the best thing I've heard in days! Yippee!
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 10:10 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

I'm much more excited for this than the Dexter revival.
posted by porpoise at 11:55 PM on May 3

Man very excited about this. Leverage is one of my favorite shows so this should be great. I liked Timothy Hutton fine but not broken up he's not coming back.
posted by Carillon at 1:03 AM on May 4

Tough to bring back a lead actor (Hutton as Nate) who has a rape accusation against him in the news. This came to light after Leverage was canceled but before the reboot was created. Noah Wyle was a smart substitution (he led Rogers' post-Leverage series The Librarians). I'll be curious to see how they explain the absence of Nate.
posted by tzikeh at 1:38 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

Rogers did commentary for some of the episodes on DVD

Rogers did commentary on every episode (with a rotating group of actors/writers/directors), and they're all both extremely entertaining and educational.

My favorite thing about him (and it's tough to choose just one thing!) is that he absolutely abhors season-ending cliffhangers. Each season of Leverage ends with an episode that can absolutely stand as a series ender. He believes that if the show is good the audience will return no matter how a season ends, so stop fucking the audience over with cliffhanger season endings.
posted by tzikeh at 1:46 AM on May 4 [14 favorites]

I am Interested in more Leverage; I imagine a few years' away will have charged the batteries and helped identify what about the show works best. I will miss Nate because I felt that he did a credible 'criminal mastermind who is also generally decent' and Parker being in that role feels weird, but I haven't seen any of the later episodes where maybe this gets set up.

Rogers, the showrunner of Leverage, is also the wit who made this infamous quip:
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year olds life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
In case you hadn't connected them in your head.
posted by Merus at 3:11 AM on May 4 [18 favorites]

I'm okay with this. The worst episodes of Leverage are the ones where Nate has yet another bout of Man Pain over the death of his son or the resulting dissolution of his marriage or his absentee Irish crime-father who was too busy criming to be there for him.

I hope they do something interesting with Wyle and not make his character into another Nate. Also, I hope they booked Wyle for all the episodes because his on-again-off-again stint in The Librarians really weakened that show. It always took clunky exposition to explain why he was/wasn't there for a particular episode, and his absences repeatedly proved that the show didn't really need him in the first place. The last thing we need is for Parker to lead the team except in the really important episodes.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:03 AM on May 4 [4 favorites]

I disagree that season two ends on a perfectly fine way to end the series, as do many fans. But I appreciate that he doesn't do cliffhangers.

I am really glad that the Noah Wyle character is described as a fixer, not a mastermind; I'm curious about Hardison's sister who is a maker.
posted by jeather at 5:05 AM on May 4

Definitely looking forward to adding a maker - computers aren't the only deus ex machina available these days. Bring me magical (and magically fast) 3d printers and weird electronics!

I like this tumblr take on what Hardison's family might be like, although I assume it's nothing even close to what the show will do. But I figured Leverage fans reading this might be amused by it.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:35 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

From what I've heard, Hodge was booked to only be recurring because of another contractual commitment, but because of how Covid played hell with various schedules, he was able to be in more episodes than planned for. Originally his sister was going to kind of replace him--I hope this change doesn't relegate her role to fifth wheel.

We watched this whole show during Covid, too. It's pretty fun and filled the role of a procedural where you're not rooting for cops and it's not wall-to-wall murder and/or sexual violence. By the end it did feel like they were repeating themselves a little. You can get a lot of mileage out of heist-of-the-week, but it's not infinite. I'm eager to see what they do for the reboot though, because the cast was so great (minus wet blanket Nate), and I've always liked Noah Wylie.
posted by rikschell at 5:36 AM on May 4

Yes! We've been waiting for this and our timing is perfect -- just last week we finished rewatching the series with the junior MQ Blanks.

We started when they were 13, I think, and in case anyone is wondering, the show is right in the sweet spot for that age -- clearly delineated characters, plots that are smart but not too smart, a central theme of justice for the little guy oppressed by the rich and powerful, and most importantly a sense of fun the whole time.

I'm really happy that my guys' favorite characters were the uber-talented geeks Parker and Hardison, and that they loved how the two of them overcame their awkwardness to find each other.

New goal: Finding an episode of the old British series "Coupling" that's not too raunchy so they can see Gina Bellman at peak comic insanity.
posted by martin q blank at 6:10 AM on May 4

Wait, there are non-raunchy episodes of Coupling ?
posted by Pendragon at 6:14 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

(I remember *one* where Gina was just weird, not hypersexual. just gotta find it. sorry for the derail, all.)
posted by martin q blank at 6:17 AM on May 4

Definitely looking forward to adding a maker - computers aren't the only deus ex machina available these days. Bring me magical (and magically fast) 3d printers and weird electronics!

Leverage is one of the few shows where I enjoy it enough to not take issue with the level of magical tech being employed. I also don't mind them shooting Portland-for-Boston or inventing weird Boston-adjacent locations (Belbridge).

It's pretty fun and filled the role of a procedural where you're not rooting for cops and it's not wall-to-wall murder and/or sexual violence.

This. There just isn't enough television that fills this niche. I haven't checked in on it in a couple seasons, but I'm still extremely bitter over CBS turning MacGyver into yet another one of their NCIS clones.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:23 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]


The series will be available on IMDB's IMDB-TV streaming service

Damn it. Yet another piece of media I'm interested in locked behind a region wall. The worst thing about the infinite slicing up of streaming service is the companies aren't even competent at taking my money.

We really do need more shows where the good guys aren't authority figures or lawyers.
posted by Mitheral at 6:41 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]

If anyone else is working through a rewatch with commentary, or digging through some of the production process, John Rogers has a (now-abandoned) blog where he answered questions about a lot of the individual episodes.
I will admit one proud moment in our geek education of Downey, who does not really do any internet stuff ... ever. We were in editing. At the moment where Parker stumbled and winced, and Aarti catches her, Downey said "Hey, that's hurt/comfort."

"That's right!" I beamed. "You're learning."

"WHY AM I LEARNING THAT?!" he shuddered. But hey, it's the 21st Century. Gotta know your tropes if you're going to run a TV show.
posted by specialagentwebb at 6:45 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]

I am cautiously excited about this!

rmd1023: Thanks for the link! I enjoy all the sweet/amusing fanfics about the Leverage crew's lives outside the con.
posted by sibilatorix at 7:19 AM on May 4

I hope they do something interesting with Wyle and not make his character into another Nate.

Given how the show handled having to temporarily replace Sophie, I don't think Wyle's character will be another Nate. Tara and Sophie played the same role on the crew but their personalities and methods were different. I think Wyle's motivation is going to be regret and a quest for redemption rather than grief and vengeance.
posted by Constance Mirabella at 7:59 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

Hope we can get a fun appearance from the FBI guys. Maggie doesn't make enough sense without Nate, we've done more than enough Sterling, would definitely be up for Tara or that couple from S1/S4.
posted by jeather at 9:04 AM on May 4

Sounds like it's time for a rewatch. :)
posted by Hutch at 9:18 AM on May 4

the ill-fated Jackie Chan Saturday morning cartoon paid for his house

"I have never seen [Jaws: The Revenge], but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific." -- Michael Caine
posted by kirkaracha at 9:30 AM on May 4 [5 favorites]

The series will be available on IMDB's IMDB-TV streaming service

Why does such a thing exist when Amazon (IMDB's owner) already has Prime?
posted by octothorpe at 10:18 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

I am cautiously optimistic, because Leverage without Nate is my ideal Leverage. On the other hand, The Librarians without Noah Wyle's character would have been my ideal The Librarians. I fear that Sophie will get stuck in another obligatory het romance that sucks the life out of her character and drags down all her plotlines, a la Eve in Librarians. I've liked Noah Wyle in some other things, so maybe in a different show and with a different show runner he will not be a dead weight. Crossing my fingers.
posted by tavella at 11:09 AM on May 4 [4 favorites]

I'm not super-excited about Noah Wyle, and I really liked the way they set up Hardison as the new team leader in the finale. So having Parker step in there is... odd to me.

But I'm still stoked to see the show. They're all so fun. Really do need to go do a full rewatch.
posted by suelac at 11:14 AM on May 4

Oh this is the best news I've heard in weeks! Really looking forward to this. I was just thinking it might be time for a Leverage re-watch.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:42 AM on May 4

I saw the trailer about 30 minutes AFTER I posted the TAZ trailer and nearly had a heart attack; I'd used up my trailer post on something that WASN'T Leverage!! unreal

I am so glad they are keeping the original cast in the hitter/hacker/grifter/thief roles, because the introduction of fixer/maker changes the dynamic that made Parker the successor mastermind. I'm kind of hoping we'll see the different Leverage veterans take turns "steering" since classic Leverage was more fun when Nate, the designated In Charge guy, wasn't in charge. (The Three Days of the Hunter and Gold are some 10/10 romps)

I'm checking out the IMDB cast list, sadly not seeing the folks behind Jim Sterling (understandable, he was a character built to mirror Nate, but also regrettable, since I dearly love hating him), Chaos, or Quinn. Also no Bonano or McSweetie, which, *sighs forlornly*. I was really gunning for that headcanon where Leverage ends up making McSweeten the head of the FBI.

Hopefully we'll get some fun new recurring characters, but Leverage took seasons to build up our fondness, so I'll cross my fingers for a renewal. Not that I wasn't already.

(I am using up all of my birthday and dandelion wishes on getting John Boyega as a London-based grifter-mastermind. Yes, I know it's too small-time for him, but a snake person can dream.)
posted by snerson at 11:51 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]

I really liked the way they set up Hardison as the new team leader in the finale.

No, they did multiple episodes showing why Hardison would be a bad leader and Parker a good one, and the finale is quite explicit that it is Parker.
posted by jeather at 11:55 AM on May 4 [7 favorites]

Why does such a thing exist when Amazon (IMDB's owner) already has Prime?

To have ads.

Excited about this, and hope there's as much Aldis Hodge as possible! Hardison was always my favorite.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 12:56 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]

No, they did multiple episodes showing why Hardison would be a bad leader and Parker a good one, and the finale is quite explicit that it is Parker

Huh, my brain did not retain that for some reason. Well ok then!
posted by suelac at 1:25 PM on May 4

Just watched the trailer, and the team doesn't look to have aged much. Noah Wylie, on the other hand, 25 years post-ER, no longer looks like a fresh young face. I feel old.
posted by rikschell at 1:32 PM on May 4

Leverage is the show I have rewatched most often.
posted by jeather at 1:55 PM on May 4

suelac: here's a few gifs of the final scene to jog your memory -- though I prefer this pic, as it is captioned the way Christian Kane described it on the commentary track 😉
posted by tzikeh at 2:05 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]

In case anybody missed the latest Aldis Hodge casting news (and photo).
posted by sardonyx at 2:38 PM on May 4 [4 favorites]

Yeah, the IMDb thing stinks because of the unskippable ads. I just finished a rewatch of Leverage as part of my "people using their unique skills to help others" feel-good shows focus (in the middle of Burn Notice now), and I was halfway through Leverage on the Roku channel when it suddenly went to IMDb only because of the new series.

Roku's ads are slightly less intrusive (all these free channels tend to cut on a timed/automated schedule, so they often cut to commercial in the middle of a line of dialog, rather than where the ad breaks originally occurred, which makes no sense to me since the freaking breaks are right there), but at least IMDb's aren't as horrible as Hulu's, where you have to pay for the privilege of the channel and get forced ads and the commercials themselves, which are at least twice the volume of the show you're watching. They also do this thing where the show will get progressively quieter as it goes, especially if you watch more than one episode. So at least IMDb isn't as bad as Hulu, and their ads aren't Maxell-guy-blown-out-of-your-seat, so that's...something.

I'm just happy to get Aldis Hodge on my screen again. Wheeee.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 2:51 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]

I was already reading Rogers's blog for the politics/culture/media posts when he started doing the Leverage commentary, and started watching the show so I could better understand the blog posts.

This trailer made me really happy and I'm looking forward to the new sequel show!
posted by brainwane at 2:55 PM on May 4

I've been wanting to get the original series on DVD but I've heard there were problems with the subtitles and my mom needs those-- anyone have some input? Much appreciated!
posted by The otter lady at 3:29 PM on May 4

I find the existence of IMDBtv mysterious as well, but I've been watching _Corner Gas_ on it and the ads are not too obnoxious, at least on my computer where I can hit mute and do something else for a few minutes. I refuse to pay for Hulu because I'm not going to pay to watch ads, but I can tolerate them when it's free.
posted by tavella at 4:02 PM on May 4

There was an official Leverage podcast for the last season or two. After it went away, I set up an unofficial mirror.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:20 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]

The series will be available on IMDB's IMDB-TV streaming service
Damn it. Yet another piece of media I'm interested in locked behind a region wall. .

*groans* Good god, I don't want to have to subscribe to EVERY DIFFERENT SPECIAL EFFING SERVICE. I haven't even heard of this one....

Shame, really, I'd probably get excited anyway. Nate wasn't my favorite, but everyone else is back.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:44 PM on May 4

I think you don't have to subscribe to it, jenfullmoon; I think you can just watch stuff without a login.
posted by brainwane at 7:11 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]

While I love the show, the one thing that I could never quite square away is the trail of chaos they leave behind for all those people whose places they take.

Like that flight attendant who has to rush off to find her cat... except her cat's fine, but now her colleagues hate her. Or that principal who got tickets to Uganda because they liked his book, except nobody there was expecting him.

Also, I've been meaning to look this up, but there's a Korean remake of the series.
posted by i used to be someone else at 12:54 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]

It's a "free with Amazon Prime" thing. I don't order enough stuff per year (even now!) to justify paying for Prime, so I won't be seeing it. Feh. Oh well, can't see everything.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:11 PM on May 5

You don't need Amazon Prime; it's on the IMDb app on mobile, and possibly ElectricNow. None of these have a satisfying picture-in-picture feel on an iPad though. (Well, Prime sort of does, but then it breaks on ads.)

It's a bit of a bummer. There was a point at which I realized it was on both Netflix and Hulu.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:46 PM on May 5

I get extremely irritated when the Leverage team would slip into expert roles they had no qualification or understanding of. I don't believe that Sophie could play a credible clinical psychologist for weeks. I don't believe any of these people could pretend to be doctors, or lawyers, because that shit is very difficult and they simply do not have the time to be able to fake that.
posted by Merus at 10:59 PM on May 5

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