I thought for a long and hard 10 seconds about what to write about in my first “real” post.  (that other post was imaginary…like my best friend Kiko the Wonder Monster)   I thought about dragging out Gregor in to a streetfight about Keaton vs. Bale.  I thought about talking about how as a Towson graduate it makes me quite conflicted to think of a UDel QB as the Ravens future.  I considered pointing out how, right now, I’d probably be a good option at shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles.  I mulled over talking about how I’m cautiously optimistic for Metallica’s upcoming album Death Magnetic.  Yes, I think about a lot in 10 seconds.  Stephen Hawking ain’t got shit on me!

But in the end I’ve decided that I want to talk about my favorite TV show right now.  Well, being shown right now.  I still pine for Dexter but the new season is still a little while away.  No, I speak of Burn Notice.  Because let’s face it, a show that can take the best qualities of the A-Team, MacGyver, Magnum PI, The Equalizer, etc, and make it fresh is aces in my book.

Burn Notice

And if that weren’t enough…Bruce Campbell.  BRUCE.  CAMPBELL.  If you aren’t watching this show, or going to USA’s website to catch up already, what the hell is wrong with you?  Were you born without the gene that tells you when something rules?

For those of you who didn’t manage to catch the first season, or the blitz of re-running the first season right before the second season started 3 weeks ago, Burn Notice is about Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), spy.  Sorry, ex-spy.  See, he was burned.  Hence the name of the show.  Let’s try and keep up.  He’s got no clue why, but he’s cut off, and stuck in Miami…which happens to be his hometown.  I doubt that’s coincidence but we’ll never know until the plot fully plays out.  Since he’s cut off, and desperate to find out why the hell he was burned and to clear his name, he does “odd jobs” to make money.  And since he’s a pretty smart and resourceful fellow, he manages to make due with what is handed to him…of course, it seems that’s exactly what the people who burned him wanted…but that’s getting ahead of the game.

Along the way to help him are his ex-girlfriend (who was also an IRA agent who loves guns and destruction) Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), who needs to eat a FREAKING SANDWICH GIRL!), and ex-Navy Seal turned washout alcoholic Sam (the aforementioned Bruce Campbell, who looks like he should stop eating sandwiches…maybe give them to Gabrielle).  During the first season, his annoying brother Nate was also around for the ride sometimes…but it looks like he’s going to be absent for the second season.  Which is good, because the character was kind of annoying.  He also has has to deal with his hypochondriac chain smoking mother (Sharon Gless), which gives the show a weird Everybody Loves Raymond vibe sometimes.

But hey, spies have mommies, too.  And as the series progresses, we get to see why a guy like Michael would want to become a spy, and stay the heck out of contact with his family.

One of the things I love about the show is something I would normally bitch and moan about on any other show…voiceovers.  Mainly because on other shows, they’re cutesy, trite, and annoying.  With Burn Notice, they’re a great glimpse in to the mind of our protagonist…I really like the ones where the action stops or slows while he explains his thought processes in that split second.  MacGyver did this early on and abandoned it.  Of course, MacGyver abandoned a lot of things…like the fact that he was a spy that worked for some sort of shadowgov front called the Phoenix Foundation…because halfway through the show he just sort of turned in to a jack of all trades that worked for this random charitable foundation called…the Phoenix Foundation.

But I digress…the voiceovers work mainly because Donovan makes them work, exactly like he makes Michael work.  That wry wit, calm demeonar that belies the very dangerous man that lurks right beneath the surface, this guy is a diamond in the rough.  I remember seeing him on other shows, ultimately ill-fated, but it seems like he’s now found his role, and hopefully he’ll stick around.

I also, for some reason, love the “character introductions.”  Whenever a new person or show specific character is shown for the first time, a little blurb pops up, usually saying who they are.  Sometimes they’re straight forward, like the first time you meet Fiona, it simply says Fiona: The Ex-Girlfriend.  Sometimes they’re funny, like when Michael is being talked in to a job, and is told someone has a problem, and the blurb says ” ‘The character’s’ Problem.”  Why I find that so amusing, I don’t know.  Oh look, a yellow hat!

The show has style, the show has grace, Rita Hayworth gave good face (and I hear Princess Vespa gives great helmet).  Michael is a bad ass, but he’s also not infallible…he’s gotten his ass handed to him on occasion.  I particularly like the time someone twice his size is trying to get info out of him, but is choking him.  This exchange is classic Michael Westen.  Getting asked questions, he chokes out “I..can’t tell you…if you keep…choking me!”

It’s also chock full of running gags.  Like yogurt.  Or when Sam and Fi introduced themselves as Cagney and Lacey (Gless of course being on that show).  It’s enough to keep a pop culture junkie like me giggling.

So, I submit unto thee Burn Notice.  If you’re watching it, good for you, you’ve got good taste.  If you’re waiting, stop.  Watch.  Love.

I bid you adieu to you, and you, and you.

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