Burn Notice

july 13, 2007

I saw the commercials for Burn Notice after the pilot aired and the only reason that I gave it a shot was because of Bruce Campbell.  So, I actually watched the second episode before I watched the pilot.  I did catch the pilot when USA Network reran it, which is great that they do that.  Am I glad that I started DVR'ing this show because it is one of the better shows of the summer season. I hope USA Network continues the show and doesn't cancel burn it. Burn Notice follows a CIA spy who has been given a "burn notice" -- in other words, he's been fired and the government has disavowed him. Even worse, his bank accounts have been frozen and he's been dumped off in Miami where the FBI is watching him closely. The burned spy, Michael Westen, is a great character (as he should be since he's on the USA Network where "characters are welcome") because he's:

  1. A softie.
  2. Not the typical spy.
  3. McGyver, but tougher.
  4. Doesn't kill if he doesn't have to.
The show is well-written and the characters are well-defined. The show is really reminiscent of a movie based off an Elmore Leonard book (think "Get Shorty" or "Out of Sight"). Jeffrey Donovan plays Westen; Donovan is awesome in the role. Donovan looks down-to-earth enough to be the guy-next-door. But, when he gets into the action, he also is mean enough to look like he can kill a room full of guys (all packing heat). The thing I like most about the show, other than it being great, is the little "How-to Be A Spy" tips that Westen gives throughout the show. They are great, like in the pilot, Westen tells us that the best place to fight is in a public bathroom. Why? Because there are a lot of hard surfaces to smash people into, therefore saving one from breaking their own knuckles in the fight. The supporting cast is also wonderful. The previously mentioned Bruce Campbell is a FBI-snitching friend of Westen's -- he's also a drunk, a womanizer and works best without pants on (you'll have to see the show to understand). Campbell is awesome in the role. Sharon Gless plays Westen's very needy mother. And Gabrielle Anwar is great as Westen's trigger-happy girlfriend. I don't know if you can actually catch the pilot of the show anymore, which is a shame. But, if you have time, catch this show on the USA Network. It is a gem of a show in a sea of reality TV.