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Leverage: The Complete Second Season - TNT television series DVD / drama DVD / action adventure DVD / suspense DVD review
LEVERAGE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 1/2 stars
Actors: Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf, Aldis Hodge
  Studio: Paramount
DVD release: 25 May 2010   Runtime: 707 minutes
(4 discs)
Format: AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Features: Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English; Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English), Closed captioned, All 15 second-season episodes w/ audio commentary, The creators of Leverage Q&A, John Rogers set tour, Behind-the-boom featurette, "The Hand Job" spoof video, Andy Lange music featurette, Season 2 wrap party gag reel

TNT's LEVERAGE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASONSeason two of Leverage is more of the same: great provoking heists wherein the little guy is avenged and the big, bad, greedy guy gets the snot kicked out of him in some mythically appropriate fashion. It is still led up by the wily Timothy Hutton and still makes for laughs and debates. In Leverage, the bottom line is a typical one: if you found that season one was enjoyable, this one will be gobbled up, too.

The Leverage team is made up of five people, each possessing a specialized skill that is useful to the art of cons and complicated thefts. Each character is re-introduced, but a couple of them are explored in more depth as the season progresses. Nate's (Timothy Hutton) history becomes more of an issue, while Sophie tries to put her own past lives to rest. The rest of the group really learns that although they've always been content to be solo thieves, they are now happiest to be a team - though they wouldn't put it that way out loud! Beth Riesgraf as Parker the thief and Aldis Hodge as the guru of all things computerized with Christian Kane as Elliot the tough guy round out their family. They are manipulative, intelligent, loyal and surprisingly likable.

Although most of the cons are highly entertaining, the best (by far!) is "The Two Live Crew," in which our merry gang of thieves comes up against a rival group questing to steal the same painting. Wil Wheaton is one of the enemy team. "The Tap-Out Job" might interest wrestling fans, as there are big name guest stars from the Ultimate Fighting franchise. In "The Ice Man Job," Hardison (Aldis Hodge) gets to be the one to go into character - over the top and hilarious! "The Order 23 Job" plays on the paranoia of a swindler by stealing a hospital.

Among episodes that are well done but not necessarily the best for re-watching is "The Bottle Job," which is simply sad. Explosions, mobsters, traps, crooked business men, ambitious and greedy losers - season two really does run the gamut in variety. This season also really allows each of the five stars to shine by putting them in new and different roles for each con.

A notable departure from their typical format is the loss of the "grifter," Sophie Devereaux. Gina Bellman, who brings Sophie to life, leaves for a while, popping in only briefly for much of season two. In her absence, Jeri Ryan appears - sent by Sophie to fill in - and their little group is tossed into semi chaos. While Ryan is a geek-fan favorite, and truly is beautiful and accomplished, Sophie's loss is felt by the team and by the viewers, too.

The special features offer a mix of worthiness and silliness. The first of these offerings is a Q&A session with the creators of Leverage. Sadly, it is too hard to hear what they are saying - it is tinny with echoes galore. (The significant lack of subtitles throughout the discs is really a problem here!) Other offerings include a gag reel, Behind the Boom (explosions, anyone?) and a set tour. The music video spot is enlightening, though one might wish to see a little more of the actual music in this segment.

"Sometimes, the bad guys make the best good guys." Who are the good guys? Hitter. Hacker. Grifter. Thief. Mastermind. Leverage season two is humorous but has a very solid human element. It is a winning combination.
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reviewed by Carolynn Evans
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