Leverage, Seasons 1-5
"Sometimes bad guys make the best good guys."
I love a good caper, a story involving a heist or con (or both), with crazy plot twists and scenes that mess with your perceptions and expectations. With the TV series Leverage, there are five seasons, 77 episodes, of great capers. And I love every minute of it. The show has former-insurance fraud investigator Nate Ford (played by Academy Award-winner Timothy Hutton) team up with four of the best criminals in the world: grifter Sophie Deveraux (Gina Bellman); hitter Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane); hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge); and the eccentric "20 pounds of crazy in a five-pound bag" thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf). Together, the crew cons and steals from the rich and powerful, helping "the little guy" being bullied and exploited.
The show tackles some serious subjects, like corporate and political corruption, but with a lot of humor and heart. And kickbutt action sequences. And nerdy pop culture references. And cinematic camera work. Each episode is like a finely-crafted mini-movie. And while each season is mostly self-contained, there is obvious and subtle character development running through the entire series, as well as frequent callbacks, recurring characters, and running gags. The series finale is one of the best I've ever seen, a final episode that rewards you for sticking with the series all the way.
"Age of the geek, baby!"