By Beau Smith

There’s a new TV series on TNT called Leverage. It stars Timothy Hutton, the son of the late Jim Hutton, a very fine actor that went too soon. Episode #3 will air on 12/16/08 at 10 PM on TNT. I highly suggest that you get on the TNT website and watch the episodes that you have missed.

Leverage has quickly become one of my favorite new TV shows. I have to admit, I thought it was going to be another lifeless, humorless, actionless TV show. I was wrong. I happened to trip across a mini-review that mentioned that it was a heist/Mission Impossible type of series that had a wicked sense of humor and characters were likeable. That got me to watch it. The mini-review was so right. Leveragehas all that and much more.

Lemme give you the rundown. The show is about a team of very likeable thieves and grifters that each have very special talents and distinct personalities. They’re all VERY good at what they do, but they are used to doing alone. That’s where Timothy Hutton’s character, Nathan Ford comes in. He’s an honest, hard drinking, former top-level insurance investigator that rounds up this team of thieves that he used to hunt and turns them into a modern version of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Hutton is the much needed glue that keeps these talented individuals together. They in turn keep him from falling off the wagon and under the wheel.

The rest of the team includes:

Gina Bellman as Sophie Deveraux. A beautiful, exotic grifter that when on a heist is the greatest actress in the world, but in her off time when auditioning for a real acting role is just flat out terrible. She and Hutton’s character have a common bond: they shot each other in the past. Needless to say, this leads to some sexual tension. I know it always works for me.

Aldis Hodge as Alec Hardison. The guy looks like he would be a star wide reciver for an NFL football team, but in reality is a hardcore computer wizard that knows more about pop culture than any man should. An opening scene with him and some hookers dressed as Princess Leia from Star Wars is just too funny. Did I mention there were lightsabers too? Of all the team of thieves he has the strongest moral compass. Get the picture?

Christian Kane as Eliot Spencer. If Matthew Bourne were a thief with a sense of humor this would be him. At a few inches well below 6 feet, Spencer is in the Wolverine mode when it comes to hand to hand combat and knowledge of everything violent. With a slight Texas drawl and deadly hands, he always lights up the screen when he’s on. A lot of you will remember Kane from his Wolffram & Hart role on Angel.

Beth Riesgraf as Parker. Parker is a supreme cat burglar. She’s very quirky and may be the reason the phrase “Doesn’t play well with others” was invented. Her semi-dark past explains why she is the way she is. It’s very plain that you don’t want that dark side to come out.

Leverage is co-produced by Dean Devlin of Independence Day fame, it’s written by Chris Downey and one of my favorite writers, John Rogers. Leveragehas the great action/drama/humor blend of such shows as Burn Notice, Bones, Maverick and Eureka. Thankfully you won’t find any of the cliché’ dialogue, over-acting and melodrama of shows like Heroes. Leverageis smart, fun and has the production values of an A-List film.

A TV series like this doesn’t come along very often. I really hope that you’ll give it a try and support it. It baffles me how depressing and badly acted shows like Law and Order and CSI: Miami can stay on for years and years when fun shows are tossed out like empty beer bottles out of my truck window. I guess I must be in some sorta minority.

Check the show out and tell them your buddy, Beau told you about it. I think you’ll enjoy Leverage. It’s got all the attraction of a warm summer night, a cold beer and dating someone that is much smarter and better looking than you.

Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week

This week is a “twofer”. You get both of the lovely ladies from the above mentioned TV show Leverage, Gina Bellman and Beth Riesgraf. They cover sultry, sexy, blonde and brunette. Treat yourself and check them out on Leverage.

Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week: Storming Paradise #2
Cover Art by Butch Guice
Interior Art by Butch Guice and Eduardo Barreto
Story by Chuck Dixon
Wildstorm Studios

Storming Paradise is one of the sleeper series of 2008. It’s a war story and a alternate history epic all in one. The art is jaw dropping inside and out. Just look at this cover and you’ll see what I mean. Do yourself a favor and “spread the wealth” from one of those sissy super hero books that you’re buying, but not really enjoying and purchase Storming Paradise. Very meaty stuff!

The Roundup

Christmas is almost upon us, boys and girls. It’s my favorite time of year. I’m always in a little bit better mood in December. My birthday is the 17th and for one day out of the year everyone feigns submission to my iron will and showers me with good wishes and great gifts. Then a few days later it’s Christmas and I get more good things thrown at me. Why, it’s been rumored that around Christmas time I even drop some of my usual real man hyperbole and pat a few people on the back instead of putting my boot on their neck. Like I said, that’s just a rumor.

Most of my Christmas shopping is done and wrapped. My tree is up and looks mighty good. I think I’ve even caught up with all my Twitter, MySpace and Facebook messages. I’m hoping that my Chicago Bears will win their last two games and the Minnesota Vi-Queens will lose theirs. It’s a slim chance Chicago will get into the NFL playoffs, but I never give up hope.

After Christmas I hope to post up the usual photos of my sons decked out in the awful attire that they find in their stocking every year. Middle son Brad and his lovely wife Kaci won’t be making it in from Lake Tahoe this year, but Kaci has promised to take a photo of Brad in his Christmas misery for me. Dana and Nick will have the honor of being humiliated here at the ranch in person.

Okay, I had better sign off. I’m gonna shower up, bring the dogs in, lay in bed and read the latest issue of American Rifleman that came in the mail today. I’m betting you’re doing the same.

Sure you are…

Your amigo,

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin