Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Burn Notice

I've been looking forward to seeing the USA Network series Burn Notice since I first heard about it. Aside from the fact that it was ostensibly a spy show, it co-starred Bruce Campbell of Evil Dead and Bubba Ho-Tep fame. But, I don't have cable, and had to wait for the series to come out on DVD.

Well, the first season (a paltry eleven episodes!) is now available on digital disc, and I persuaded the wife, on the basis of our shared enthusiasm for Campbell, to let me pick it up. I've only watched four episodes so far (but, I guess that's nearly half of them, isn't it?), and I like it a lot.

Jeffery Donovan plays secret agent Michael Westen who – while in the middle of a sensitive mission in Nigeria – finds himself suddenly cut loose by his employers – "burned." He soon finds himself dumped in Miami with no job, lots of enemies, all of his assets frozen and no idea why he was burned, nor who's responsible. With very few other options, he finds himself taking on odd jobs for people that need help, jobs where he can employ his years of espionage tradecraft and combat training. With the help of trigger-happy former flame (and ex-IRA terrorist) Fiona (played by the always lovely Gabrielle Anwar, who looks particularly hot now that's she's got some maturity on her) and a burnt-out, boozing ex-agent (Campbell), Westen ekes out a living helping the helpless while trying to uncover the person behind having him burned, and why it was done.

It's kind of a hipper, younger take on The Equalizer, but instead of a middle-aged ex-spy and gritty New York locale, you've got a hunky ex-spy and lots of sunbathed Miami vistas.

And girls in bikinis.

The stories are okay, but the dialogue – and Westen's voice-overs – really shine. The writing is smart, sarcastic and funny. The action is well-staged, and the stories move along briskly. It's good stuff.

The DVD set is fine. Picture quality is quite nice, considering that the show is shot on 16mm film ( a rarity these days), sound is strong, and there are a few decent bonus features. There are a couple of lame ones, too, but that's the way it goes.

I guess the second season is or will be airing this Summer on USA. If you've got cable, it's worth checking out.

7 comments:

Craig Zablo said...

I tried it, but got bored with the first episode. Maybe I should consider giving it another chance...

Charles Gramlich said...

I saw this advertised and it looked pretty smart. I'll have to try and catch it when it's out.

John Platt said...

This is one of our favorite shows. Enjoy watching the rest of the set.

Glen said...

I really like this show. I was the one who submitted it to the Thrilling Detective PI list.

laughingwolf said...

thx chris... like you, i have no cable, so will have to find it elsewhere

Sidney said...

I have to check that out. I never got to watch that last summer. I see it is also on Hulu so I may watch it there.

Tanner said...

Give it another try, Craig. It was a little slow to get going, but little by little, you'll be hooked. The show really grows on you.