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May 12, 2013

Leverage-s02e03_20110812182408-275x291While the vast majority of television that I watch is genre related, there is some stuff I enjoy that is not.  Breaking Bad leaps to mind at the moment, probably because the series finale is coming up soon and I’m super anxious to see it because of the cliffhanger they left us with.  The Shield is my all-time favorite tv series and this is from a guy who generally hates cop shows.  Amongst these non-genre shows, there are some that I consider edge shows.  What I mean by this is shows that have no fantastic elements but that, in my opinion, are likely to be enjoyed by people who are mostly genre tv viewers.  Two such shows are the BBC series Sherlock and the Showtime original series Dexter.  The reason I think that genre fans will like them is that they feature elements that come very close to standard genre content.  In the case of Sherlock you have a character who is almost superhuman which touches on the super hero sub-genre of fantasy.  Dexter borders on the same hero sub-genre in a different way in that Dexter is a serial killer who has been trained by his dad (who was a cop) to go after other serial killers.  It’s sort of like a twisted take on a superhero story.

Then there is Leverage.  This show isn’t like a whole lot of other shows out there but, it has two things I think genre tv fans could really get into.  First, the characters are very well developed and are, for the most part, acknowledged as being the very best at what they do.  Second, and more importantly, the show features a noticeably large number of genre tv references.  These usually take the form of name drops or quotes from Doctor Who but, they hit upon Star Trek and other genre shows as well.  There is also the connection to genre in the form of actors.  Mark Sheppard of Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, and Firefly fame (to name a few) plays a regularly appearing heavy throughout the run of the series.  And Wil Wheaton from Star Trek: TNG and, more recently, The Guild makes three appearances in the series as well.  On top of all this Jonathan Frakes directs thirteen of the episodes.  So, while Leverage is not really a genre show, it has enough “genre DNA” to wet genre tv fans appetites and, it’s also a just plain great show.  This is a rather long winded way on my part of saying that I recently reviewed this show for Eric Hillis’ Movie Waffler web site.  So, if you want to see a more thorough discussion of Leverage you can check it out here and decide if its worth looking into.

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