Wednesday night this week might just be your night with two great shows from TNT. I got a chance to sit and watch both Leverage and Dark Blue and I can honestly say that both shows have something to offer. Leverage stars Timothy Hutton and features a great cast while Dylan McDermott takes over the screen on Dark Blue.
Leverage is starting its second season, season one was off the charts and the gangs all here for round two. Of the two shows Leverage is certainly a bit lighter and fun with a true aim to make you laugh as well as jump out of your seat. Leverage manages to keep its edge while skirting the lines of being almost too cute. What saves the show is how well the characters work together. Plus it’s a caper show that will remind you of the Avengers or Mission Impossible (the TV series, not the John Woo kung fu extravaganza) or even I Spy. The show hinges on its ability to keep you in suspense, and the the first episode is only taste of what’s to come.
Timothy Hutton leads the cast as Nate Ford, a man that is trying to get a handle on his drinking and is trying to find his place in the world. In the first episode Nate is trying to get back into legitimate business but his actions as a Good Samaritan land him in the thick of things once again. Hutton plays his character well, he’s funny and charming and presents a character you can get behind. He’s imperfect and plays his role as the white knight to a tee.
The rest of the cast play off him exceptionally well, and a s a group make for some memorable TV moments. Aldis Hodge and Beth Riesgraf provide the romantic spark in the show with the classic will they or won’t they scenario. Both characters are very likable and have great chemistry together. Christian Kane from ‘Angel’ fame plays the tough guy with a soft spot. His action sequences are very believable and he has excellent comedic timing to go with all the heavy lifting he does as the ‘hitter’. Finally there is the intoxicating Gina Bellman who lights up the screen as Sophie. Sophie is a top ranked grafter that can’t seem to cut it as a real actress, her ‘roles’ add a lot of hilarity to an already funny show.
Leverage is a perfect blend of action and comedy without trying too hard to do one over the other, and a good fit for primetime television.
At the other end of the spectrum sits Dark Blue. Where Leverage is funny Dark Blue is well, dark. This is certainly a show to watch after the kids go to bed and is easily one of the best shows of its kind. Dark Blue takes you into the world of undercover cops who put themselves in some seriously intense situations, situations that can sometimes be almost too intense. The show pulls no punches by opening up with a torture scene that will make your toes curl. With that scene setting the tone, the show never takes its foot off the gas.
Dylan McDermott stars as Carter Shaw, a man who has apparently lost a lot in his life and has thrown himself into his work because of it. The show does a good job of making you wonder what drives him as a character. While you might smile at some of the one liners in the show, this series is not about the laughs. It’s about action and secrecy. The shootouts sometimes give the show a bit of an action flick quality, but the cast makes it a drama.
Omari Hardwick plays Ty Curtis, a family man who has to balance his life undercover with his life as a husband. His story explains how those lines can become blurred, and the dangers of becoming the person you’re pretending to be. I really like Hardwick in Next Day Air, and I’m sure you’ll like him in this series opposite McDermott. They have a relationship that keeps McDermott’s character grounded and the two play off of each other very well.
Logan Marshall-Green plays an ice cold undercover operative who has a lot to answer for in the first episode. I won’t tell you too much but his character sets the tone for the show and how future episodes will play out. He has a cool demeanor that keeps you guessing and a way about him that will keep you watching. The final addition to the cast is NIcki Aycox, I haven’t quite decided if I like her yet because she doesn’t get a lot to do in the first episode but I can say so far so good with what I’ve seen.
In the end both shows are a great option for Wednesday night at home in front of the tube or heck tivo them and give them a shot at your leisure, at any rate both shows are solid and fun to watch.