While this tv show isn't precisely science fiction or fantasy, it occurred to me while watching the end of Season 2 last night that a major part of the appeal of this show is the action, the adventure and the "magic" of its conceptual underpinnings.
The premise of Leverage seems hokey at first glance, but don't let it dissuade you. This show follows a team of thieves and con-artists who have banded together to work for the proverbial "little guy," using their underhanded talents to right the wrongs inflicted by life's bullies. They use all manner of high- and low-tech tricks to pull off their contra-cons, adding appeal and cleverness to the concept. Sometimes the tech seems a little far-fetched, but the show writers in the DVD commentary claim that they check and confirm that each tech twist is indeed possible in this day and age. The premise is un-apologetically a clean-cut, action-packed revenge fantasy, and in that respect, you will not be disappointed. It is at the top of its game in the con-artist genre, but if you look for more than a concept in your fiction, don't worry, there is much more to this show.
Leverage is not what I'd call an expressly character-driven show; ultimately each episode is about the plot, and you could watch the episodes out of order without missing anything significant. There are, however, underlying character threads running throughout the show that make the cast of Leverage much more likable than in your average plot-centered show. Consistent fans of Leverage will enjoy watching the character arcs over the course of seasons while the casual viewer won't feel left out of the background details.
You'll never hear me say that Leverage is an intricate or challenging drama - it's not in the same league as a show like Dexter, to borrow a fellow example of the revenge genre. But for a fun, episodic, plot-driven show, it's definitely a crowd pleaser and one of the best of its ilk in recent years.