TNT's quest to compete with the broadcast networks in volume of original programming has led to plenty of generic crap over the last few years, but Leverage ends up being a cut above. Some reviews have compared it to USA's Burn Notice, and that's a good benchmark, although Burn Notice is much more entertaining. This show likewise has a group of slightly shady characters doing good deeds via nefarious means, although it's more of an ensemble show than Burn Notice is, and it doesn't have that added conspiracy element. Timothy Hutton plays an ex-insurance investigator with a boo-hoo back story (the company he worked for denied his son an experimental medical treatment, and his son died) who now has it out for evil corporations and anyone exploiting the little people. He and his team of thieves, con artists and thugs do good by doing bad.
The show has a zippy tone and an occasionally overbearing score that screams "this is whimsical," and its plots are pretty well divorced from reality. But I had fun watching the first two episodes in a sort of turn-off-your-brain kind of way, which is exactly how I felt about Burn Notice at first. That show has done some pretty impressive character development and put together an interesting overarching plot, so maybe this show will get there as well. Even with the crowded schedule at the moment (it'd be much easier watching this during the summer), I'll probably continue to give it a chance. TNT, Tuesdays, 10 p.m.; special premiere tonight at 10 p.m.