As Hollywood promises to take a hard look at violence, TNT cancels Leverage, one of the most non-violent shows on television today.
In the weeks following the Sandy Hook tragedy, we heard a lot about “cutting back” on violent media. Syfy changed the air date of one of it’s episodes because it “depicted scenes of violence at a high school”. Vice President Joe Biden even flew to Los Angeles to talk with Hollywood executives about what they could do to reduce the steady flow of violent images and content on televisions and movie-screens. And yet, in the midst of all this talk, the only show I know of that regularly has a character dismantling guns instead of using them was cut after just five seasons.
Leverage was a one-hour drama that amazingly did not open with a dead body. In fact, they managed to make 77 episodes without ever needing to “get into the mind of the killer”. There were no blood spatter patterns, no bullet trajectories and no autopsies. Instead, the show focused on the value of teamwork and helping those who are not able to help themselves. A breath of fresh air in the middle of an unending stream of “who-dun-its”. We all like solving puzzles, Leverage simply showed us that all puzzles don’t have to involve murder and that all talents don’t have to revolve around an ability to think like a killer.
I sincerely hope that TNT reconsiders it’s decision and that we are treated to a sixth season of this oasis. Otherwise, I’ll be stuck like I was last night, tuning into Castle just in time to hear the words “bound, gagged and beaten”. A lovely end to my day.