With taglines like, “Spies don’t get fired, they get burned,” and, “Sunny with a chance of espionage,” who wouldn’t be attracted to USA Network’s Burn Notice? The intriguing spy drama stars Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen, a former covert intelligence agent trying to get his life back after being burned and framed for war crimes he never committed. After being dumped in his hometown of Miami with no money, no credit, and no job history, he reconnects with ex-girlfriend Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar) and ex-Navy Seal Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell). Together, the three work as “freelance agents,” helping ordinary citizens with extraordinary problems like drug traffickers, arms dealers, and kidnapping. Also along for the ride (unwillingly) is Michael’s chain-smoking mother Madeline (Sharon Gless) who worries and nags like a mother should and is sometimes used as leverage to manipulate Michael. It doesn’t take more than a couple episodes to realize that the four have formed more of a family than a team.
Over the past five seasons, the Burn Notice writers have developed a delicate balance between the fast-paced action needed to sustain the attention of a summer audience and the complex relationships that are a part of any good fall/winter drama. Burn Notice seems to have perfected the art of presenting its audience with episodes that on a superficial level have nothing to do with one another, while keeping up with an arc that never loses sight of the central question – who burned Michael Westen?
With so many ways a show can go wrong, USA’s original series has accomplished the one thing I thought no show could do: they’ve put the voice-over back in my good graces. Playing out much like a covert operative instructional video, Michael explains (in a brilliantly monotonous voice) exactly what he’s doing during each freelance mission. From planting bugs in cell phones, to building a fake bomb, and even reverse interrogation, we’re never able to forget the skills Michael picked up working for the government.
With great dialogue and a team of trigger-happy spies you’ll wish were your friends, Burn Notice is just as informative as it is entertaining, making each episode well worth the watch.
Briana is an avid reader, a budding author, and a huge fan of anything and everything to do with Henry VIII. She considers herself a TV addict and over the years has watched a little bit of everything, both good and bad. A few of her personal favorites are The Big Bang Theory, Dexter, Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, and Sons of Anarchy.