This Week in Geek (14-20/07/14)


I got Enemy on DVD, but everything else is Leverage-related: Season 5 of that show on DVD, all three Leverage tie-in books, and after a cursory reading of the Leverage RPG, both of its Companions. I'm all about the con, man!


DVDs: As it may appear, I'm all about feeding my current obsession with grift stories. I thought White Collar would be similar enough to Leverage and/or Hustle to be worth my time, but unfortunately, it's one of those Mentalist deals where an unconventional expert pals around with a law enforcement character and helps them solve crimes. (I've never seen The Mentalist, but I know the formula well through Castle.) Neil Caffrey IS a con man, sure, but perhaps principally a forger, and a lot of his cases with the FBI skew that way. Ultimately, even if he practices cons to get in and out of situations, the structure is strictly cop show and not con job. It's not what I was looking for. Not that it's not a good program. Matt Bomer (who we learned to kind of hate as Bryce Larkin on Chuck) is perfect for the role and has great chemistry with Tim DeKay as his FBI handler Peter Burke. Both characters are very smart, as is the rest of the cast; there's no being talked down to. But it IS formulaic, with the case of the week supported by a seasonal arc about Neil following clues left by his ex-girlfriend, etc. Season 1 was a pleasant enough experience, but I'm no hurry to continue the journey at this point. The DVD includes fair commentary on select episodes (more reactive than enlightening), deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a few short featurettes on casting, costuming and the show's FBI consultant.

RPGs: RPGs: Justice Legion - A Fragile Peace, episode 7 (finale): Armistice. Because our 28th-century DC Adventures campaign ground to a halt last November due to real-life concerns, I decided to scrunch all my plans into a big finale and be done with it. Happily, most of the players who participated could show and it became a good opportunity to bring back characters (it's a Legion, most players got to play different characters throughout the run) and have them be important in scenes occurring "meanwhile". The story - and I'd been mixing superhero scenarios with space opera, specifically the structure of the Star Trek TNG RPG's A Fragile Peace (right), with the Dominators and Durlans taking on the Romulans' role - culminates in a Dominator plan to annex a planet the cusp of United Federation of Planets membership, just as Earth is. Aaron Strange (descendent of you know who) and Green Lantern Br'k (yes, he's a brick) were joined by new members Grundy (Solomon G. as more cultured but no smarter Southern gentleman zombie) and Gordy West (a Federation ambassador with a tiny fraction of his ancestor's speed powers; character sheets below) and stopped a Durlan spy from destroying the planet's unity. Simultaneously, the Question, Wildcat, Martian Manhunter and Oracle were on Earth exposing the new Earth president's murderous VP as a Durlan, while a teaser took care of a long-standing subplot featuring Enigma (a female Riddler) destroying Batman's legacy in Old Gotham, with Fennec (the male Vixen), Plastic Girl, Ferro Man and the Question (he's everywhere) putting her in Science Police hands. It all came together quite well I think, with great conspiracy rants from the Question (could HE be a Durlan agent? he'll never know for sure!), the Green Lantern ring passing to a creature that is essentially Godzilla, the two space adventurers consistently stealing each other's thunder, and Solomon Grundy being reborn on a Monday and leading the resistance on a swamp planet. Thanks for the memories, guys. Next stop: James Bond 007 using the Leverage RPG by way of the Illegitimates comics series.
Hyperion to a Satyr posts this week:
V.i. Ophelia's Funeral - Olivier '48


American Hawkman said...

I'll miss hearing about the Justice Legion campaign. Sounded really fun. I'll note that White Collar ultimately gets much more heist-based, if it helps... but it's never as much FUN as Leverage.

Siskoid said...

Few things are. Leverage is MY JAM, MAN!

This, on the heels of finishing Season 5... I'll get through the DVD content and talk about it next week, I guess.

Justice Legion WAS a great deal of fun, but it's not just the concepts, it's the people. Same people in the "Bond's Bastards" game I'm prepping so... yeah. I expect the same insanity with the superspy genre.

American Hawkman said...

I will say this to White Collar... Mozzie is a pretty amazing character in his own right, sort of a nebbishy JLU Question. Episodes where he has more to do easily outstrip ones he doesn't.

Madeley said...

Leverage is one of the most consistently entertaining shows I've watched in recent years. Great writing, top notch cast, I was pretty gutted when it ended but it at least ended in a wholly satisfactory way. It really deserved to get more attention than it got.


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