Leverage Season 5 Review

February 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Reviews



Tuesday 5 February 2013 at 10pm on Fox

Archimedes once said “Give me a Lever long enough and I can move the world?.

It is also what I write to try to find a nice segue way into talking about Leverage, another American show about a group of slick, talented individuals doing cool things.

I couldn’t think of a slick and cool opening, so if you noticed I took the easy way out and got meta on your ass. This has led me a bit further down the self-referencing path. It’s not a path I like and I think of it as more of a spiral; a spiral of shame.

I have now commented on my comment about not being able to think of an opening gag to this review. I think I should be taken out the back and shot.

Which, now it’s been cancelled, is what has rightly been done to ‘Leverage’. But for the wrong reasons.

Creativity is by definition about coming up with something new and hopefully wonderful. Now, that new thing might well be influenced by whatever has gone before it or it might be something completely new entirely. At best, it will be brilliant and at worst it could be confused, unfathomable and rubbish.

Weirdly, it doesn’t matter which. The quality of the creation does not really have much to do with success. We all know of crap things that are very popular and conversely; brilliant works that never achieve the recognition they deserve.

But, the business side of creativity is all about trying to predict what will be successful. Without clairvoyance or other magical powers the only way to predict something is by recognizing patterns and then inferring outcomes from your deductions.

That’s not usually so difficult, past performance and behaviour are often very good indicators of future performance and behaviour but art is different.

You could trust the artist but they are unreliable.

So, the money guys who invest and fund in TV, Film and Music look at what is successful and go with that.

They also know that it needs to be different in order to stand out. You can’t completely re-make CSI (well you can, hence CSI:Miami etc.) so you take the formula and put a spin on it, which results in shows like NCIS, the ‘slightly wacky’ CSI. Eventually this leads us to uninspired derivative creations.

Thus the conception, mild success and now death of ‘Leverage’; its entire life cycle determined by its mediocrity and lack of gumption.

I had not only, not seen ‘Leverage’ before but also knew zero about it, yet within a minute of watching I knew the score.

It’s not entirely bad (other than Gina Bellman, who almost makes me blush with her embarrassing version of acting) but my god have you seen it before. This time in addition to CSI, we have the wackiness and light comedy of NCIS combined with the con men of British TV’s ‘Hustle’ (which was in turn an attempt to replicate wise ass American shows and the ‘Oceans 11’ movies).

I get why these shows are made, I honestly do, but there is a factor that ‘The Suits’ don’t take into account when trying to predict future success. Humans like novelty, it actually releases endorphins into our brains and we get a sexy buzz. Routine is easy but does nothing to stimulate.

‘Leverage’ should not have had to wait five seasons to be killed off due to a lack of ratings. It should’ve been shot at birth for being self-referencing, lazy and uninspiring. Just like me.

Amy says:

I just want to say that OnTheBox writer Alastair Newport is a incompetent, pompous moron. You yourself stated that you never watched or even heard of LEVERAGE until someone asked you to write about it. I believe that you have no taste and probably watch only documentaries about boring, self important dead guys! Maybe you should stop trying to write and get a life! You Sir are truly a disappointment to man kind!!

Claire says:

After only reading the first sentence of your review, I knew it was a lot of rubbish and should have been binned before it even got to your editors desk!

Enough said.

Mira says:

Leverage may not have had the budget other shows had but it was original and witty but by far I am most gutted with the comment on Gina Bellman’s acting- she is a terrific actress in every aspect and I would love see more of her

Deborah says:

Seriously? You call yourself a reviewer? You have no reason to write a review of something YOU NEVER WATCHED on a regular basis! Most of your review was talking about yourself anyway. A REAL review is about the SHOW. Leverage was a fantastic show. It was funny and made you think about how things happened. OH, and also; really, seriously? Taking potshots at other series while reviewing this one???? I won’t forget not to read your “reviews” ever again!

Renpei Chen says:

First of all, Leverage is amazing and many fans will back me up on that. I do not know what you are talking about but if you have nothing nice to say, shut up and keep it to yourself.

That being said,
CHECK OUT www.theseasonsixjob.com

Gypsy says:

PAINFUL, ABSOLUTELY PAINFUL to read your attempt at writing. Your style is wasteful. You take forever to make a point, and when you do try to make it, its very sloppy. Find another job! That is my review of the technical part.
As for the content, you fall miserably there, also. I have to ask what kind of an idiot openly admits to not being familiar with the material he is reviewing? You, sir, are a true genius! NOT! So, that in itself would be enough to make me disbelieve anything you would say. I do happen to be intimately familiar with the material about which you write. I watch it everyday. I own all of the seasons on DVD and I will be first in line to purchase season 5. I am tired of the negativity, violence, death, reality TV, political BS, and paid off media that is aired today. I would rather watch beloved episodes of Leverage over and over until we steal Season 6 and a new network.
I agree with all the reasons started above why Leverage is fabulous. You do owe Gina Bellman an apology. She its a fine actress whose role calls for her to play a poor actress for her character at times. When acting for a con or when she is with the team, she is stellar.
So go crawl back under the rock you were under and quit talking about things about which you know NOTHING! NO ONE WANTS TO READ YOUR DRIVEL.

allyone says:

You know, I’m not the kind of fan who votes 5000 times for a PCA for Leverage or thinks Leverage it was the best show ever. I did, however, watch it consistently over 5 seasons. At its best, it could be clever and extremely funny, with just enough formula to make it go down easy after a busy day and just enough character development to keep it from turning into one of those paper-thin 80s-style vigilante shows like the Equalizer and the A-Team that Leverage is sometimes compared to.

It’s biggest flaw was inconsistency. Too often – in the 5th season especially – it was insultingly implausible. (Every show creates its own universe with its own rules, but Leverage bent even the rules of its own universe so far sometimes, you wondered if it was about to implode.) Or self-righteous. Or it reached too often into the same old bag of tricks. A show that had very often been clever and mischievously, darkly funny was replaced by something that felt tired and sometimes more than a little worn out.

Of course, I never would have gotten an inkling of that from your review. In the first few paragraphs, you quote Archimedes and crack wise about going all meta on the reader. You spend about three paragraphs actually talking about the show and then say it shouldn’t have had to wait 5 seasons to get cancelled, although you never watched any of the other seasons.

I’m not offended by a bad review of the show. Honestly, I think Season 5 arguably deserves it. But I am offended that someone would put this “article” out there for public consumption as a “review” of anything. Clearly, you’re a lot more interested in how clever you think you sound than you are with actually evaluating the show in any way. If you’re serious about this writing thing . . . you need some work.

Jess C. says:

Did you get turned down for a writers position for the show or something? Hate one of the actors? You truly ARE lazy if you try reviewing a show based on only a few minutes of one episode. That’s call ‘phoning it in’. Did you also use Clif Notes and watch movies of the books you were supposed to read and do reports on in high school? I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but I’d at least like a person to be informed about their opinions.

Heather Gibson says:

After reading this crap about one of the best show on tv.LEVERAGE has it every thing a show needs. comedy, action laughter and tears ,great characters. 😄😄

Lori ASL says:

I do feel bad you insulted one of the best comedic actresses of our time. Which episode and what scene made you feel Gina’s performance deserved that? Would love to know.

The characters grew, evolved and had more depth than most shows. John Rogers as show runner is a genius, guiding the writers into creating complex characters. I’m sorry you didn’t see the same show we all saw.

EKS says:

Wow…. do you watch anything? If you think Leverage was unoriginal and uninspired than you can’t POSSIBLY enjoy or watch ANYTHING on television at all. The fact that half of this article is actually you talking about how terrible of a writer YOU are, I have to question what your purpose in writing at all was. Truly? Why did you even bother? All I can figure is that you are a TNT plant trying to continue to sell that cockamamie story about low ratings. Leverage was still climbing in ratings had any true effort been put behind telling fans it was back and at a different time. Take your lousy paycheck to the bar and find someone else to BS because TNT’s horrid ratings WILL continue until Leverage fans have been apologized to.

Lauralee says:

As my nana taught me…if you can’t say something nice, dont say ANYTHING at ALL!! Guess you should have listened to your nana…:(