Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Leverage" is "The A-Team." Yes. Yes it is.

Wednesday night, Mr. I Screen and I were nestled on the couch watching TNT's lightweight but thoroughly enjoyable caper show "Leverage," when something dawned on me. I can't believe I didn't see it before, but the character construction (and often the plot construction) of "Leverage" is amazingly similar to that of the 80's classic "The A-Team."
Think about it. "Leverage's" Nathan Ford is the smart, shape-shifting ringleader of a motley crew of renegades, much like one John "Hannibal" Smith. Like Hannibal, he enjoys planning, costumes and abusing substances (in Ford's case, it's alcohol he enjoys abusing, not cigars. Though, he Hannibal ever actually SMOKE those cigars, or did he just chew on them? Oh well -- I digress).
Then you have Eliot, clearly the BA of the group. He glowers, beats people up and has a questionable hairdo. Unlike BA, Eliot doesn't seem to have a real weakness (last season he boarded an airplane without the aid of clandestinely administered pharmaceuticals), but he does have a soft-spot for underdogs. Very BA-like.
Parker, obviously, is Murdock, as she is Howlin' Mad. And, though she doesn't fly planes, choppers and the like, she does sail from building tops with the aid of grappling hooks and wires, so it's sort of the same skill set.
Sophie is Templeton "Face" Peck, as she's sort of the looks and charm of this outfit. Though she does slightly resemble Hannibal in her love of show business.
I'm not quite sure where Hardison fits into all this, because "The A-Team" didn't have a hacker. The closest thing they had was Amy, the journalist who occasionally joined them on missions. In the 80's, I guess, bands of rag-tag renegades didn't NEED a hacker in their midst. In today's world, it's a requirement (see Flinkman, Marshall on "Alias").
When I sorted all this out, two things immediately became clear to me.
1) I had just spent far too my time analyzing "Leverage," a show I enjoy mainly because it DOESN'T require a lot of analysis.
2) I know WAY too much about "The A-Team." Way, way, too much.


einnoczg said...

there is absolutely nothing wrong with knowing too much about the a-team. (i followed your entire train of thought about leverage = a-team. so, maybe i am a little defensive about the whole thing.)

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Zenow said...

don't know how long you've been watching Leverage, but I just dropped halfway into my first episode episode, and by the end I reached the first conclusion. I actually googled 'leverage a-team' to get here. Unlike you, however, it means I've totally had it with the show. It IS the same recipe, ingredient by ingredient, and it is intentional, of course. That means I can also predict where this show is going. Like the A-team, it's going nowhere. No character development, no story development. Really, why bother watching?

Anonymous said...

About 2 months ago my friends hooked me on Leverage and now I am fully caught up. On a recent Episode Nate said "I love it when a plan comes together." Instantly I knew I had heard it before. Just today I realized that was from Hannibal and made the connection between the two shows.

I agree with Einnoczg, there is nothing wrong with knowing too much about the

Anonymous said...

well yeah and the ring leader on leverage says "i love it when a plan comes togother" just like Hannibal on the A team

Anonymous said...

Made the same connection and got here by Googling "Leverage A-Team" too. Wanted to add that I think Hardison is Frankie, the special effects guy from later A-Team seasons.

Anonymous said...


I just watched the first episode yesterday and half-way through it I said, "This is a rework of the A-Team!" LOL

Like the above commenter, I actually got here by searching "leverage a-team".

I watch entertainment (I know this is a novel approach) to be entertained. If I want to grow, I study whatever subject I want to grow in. I don't 'grow' by watching someone else's fantasies acted out and recorded.

This is great entertainment. Fun to watch. Nothing wrong with that at all.

Anonymous said...

Made the same connection and got here by Googling "Leverage A-Team" too.
I watched an episode of A-team just to recheck.