So it’s summer and that usually means that TV sucks, and for the most part that’s true. However, there are a few bright spots, courtesy of USA. I’ll talk about their new show “Royal Pains” in other reviews but in this one we’ll focus on the returning spy action/comedy Burn Notice. The third season kicked off a couple weeks ago and I hadn’t really paid much attention to it until they had a marathon before the premiere. You start watching and find out that it’s an extremely cool and stylish show.
For those uninitiated, Burn Notice follows the adventures of government secret agent Michael Westen, played by Jeffery Donovan. While in Nigeria he gets “burned, the spy equivalent of being fired. While burned your assets and travel freedom are revoked and you are blacklisted in pretty much every database known to man. Barely escaping from Nigeria he boards a plane and passes out, waking up in Miami. While trying to find figure out who burned him and why, Michael gets help from his IRA, gun running ex-girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) and old buddy/FBI informant Sam (Bruce effing Campbell) as they perform all sorts of jobs for anyone willing to pay. At the end of the second season Michael finally figured out who burned him, a mysterious organization who wanted him for a job. After meeting with the big boss in a helicopter, Michael refused and jumped out. Season Three began with Michael’s long swim back to shore and consequently getting arrested. The season premiere seemed fairly unimportant and not that exciting but I suppose it was mainly to set up what’s going to happen this season, the main plot being that Michael now has to deal with a nosy detective played by Moon Bloodgood. The next two episodes kicked it up a notch as Michael and Sam performed a reverse interrogation on a kidnapper and had to keep a revenge seeking arms dealer from killing his little brother Nate.
You’ll probably come into Burn Notice for the Bruce Campbell but you’ll probably stay for the Jeffrey Donovan. Campbell provides great comic relief as the ever drinking, ever Hawaiian shirt clad Sam but Jeffrey Donovan really makes you believe he has all of this spy experience, especially in the highlight of the show “Spy Tips”. Frequently throughout the show there will be narration from Michael explaining how to make things or what spies would do in certain situations. Past tips have included how to lose a car tailing you, how to break into homes and more. Gabrielle Anwar does a fairly good job as the trigger happy Fiona but she’s supposed to be kind of the sex appeal and I don’t really see it. The show also has a great sense of humor about introducing characters. When a new character is introduced a subtitle will appear with their name and someting about them like “the rich guy”, “the muscle”, etc and they’re usually pretty interesting, especially the bad guys. Great action rounds out the show as you’ll find shootouts, car chases and explosions a plenty. Some episodes aren’t as exciting as others but you can say that about pretty much any show. Overall, “Burn Notice” is a fun, cool and stylish show that is like a refreshing margarita in the dry desert of summer TV. If you’re looking for something to watch on Thursdays then definitely check it out.
4 out of 5