Sunday, August 02, 2009

That Magic Feeling

Part of being a geek, at least my particular sub-species of geek, is the joy of neophilia. It's that moment when you find something that you've never seen, never heard, never read or played or experienced, but that fits perfectly into the spectrum of experiences you enjoy. It's that moment of infatuation, when you find a new TV show or a new movie or a new book that just clicks, fitting seamlessly into your imagination so that you drink it all in. That joy is almost as tangible as the joy of whatever it is you're watching/reading/playing, that feeling of, "Yes, I have found something new and wonderful to love and I want to share it with everyone!"

All of which is by way of introduction to saying, "LEVERAGE is awesome."

I've been aware of the series for a long time; I started reading John Rogers' blog, "Kung Fu Monkey", back in February of 2005 (when Warren Ellis, if I remember rightly, pointed people to it on his own blog.) So when he announced that he was doing a new TV series, that it would be called "Leverage", and that it would be a caper series about modern-day Robin Hoods robbing from corrupt corporations and giving back to their victims, I was interested.

But I work nights, I have little patience for commercials, and so it wasn't until the first season came out on DVD that I actually got the chance to sit down and watch it. (And watch it, and watch it..."Leverage" is one of the reasons this blog post is almost three days late.)

And it is everything a geek could want. Sharp, funny, action-packed, full of smart scams and high-tech sneakiness, and a quirky sense of humor that will delight geeks. (One episode manages to brilliantly work in not only a World of Warcraft reference, but also a Doctor Who gag so subtle that only fans will even notice its existence.) It fits perfectly into what I call "cult fiction", fiction that portrays the real world as crazier and more interesting than it actually is.

And it taps perfectly into the real-world zeitgeist; in a world where the health-care and insurance industries are actively trying to scuttle attempts to fix a broken system because it would cost them money, and banks are sucking up funds from the public trough while fighting government regulation as "unnecessary"...there's a strong sense that the world no longer works for people like us. It only works for the rich and powerful, people who can do anything and get away with it. When Nate Ford and his crew screw those people over, it feels like catharsis.

In short, LEVERAGE is awesome. But I think I said that already.

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