Two of my favorite shows have their season premieres this week: Burn Notice returned on Thursday, and Leverage debuts tomorrow night. Both shows, of course, involve ensembles of quirky characters, experts in a variety of extralegal activities, who band together to help the Victim of the Week get revenge on the bad guys making their lives difficult, while pursuing the not-entirely-benevolent agendas of their nominal leaders.
The big difference is a matter of resources: the Burn Notice team tends to scrounge and improvise, and have to stay off the grid most of the time; they deal with gangs, drug dealers, and the occasional international terrorist. The Leverage crew, on the other claw, scored big on their first outing, and have huge wads of cash to finance bleeding-edge technology; their adversaries are unscrupulous corporations and con men who screw the little people in ways that make them hard to touch in a court of law..
They both fall into my favorite genre: cool, competent people being cool and competent.
When you have two shows that are so similar in so many ways, you just have to ask yourself ...
If the team from Burn Notice somehow wound up on opposite sides from the Leverage team, who'd wind up on top when the dust clears? Let's ignore all the logical reasons about why they wouldn't ever get in a head-to-head; maybe it's mistaken identity; maybe David Xanatos arranges it all; maybe Nate Ford and Sam Axe meet in a bar, get drunk, and make a really, really stupid bet ...
... you know, that last sounds the most plausible.
Michael Westin and his Burn Notice buddies!
Nate Ford and his Leverage cronies!
The cast of some other show who aren't nearly as clever or interesting as these two!
AUGH! This is harder than Doctor Doom vs. Lex Luthor!