Burn Notice – Season 1 & First Two Episodes of Season 2

Burn Notice is the antithesis of Chuck.  In Burn Notice the lead character is a spy who has fallen out of favour ie burned and dumped unceremoniously in Miami.  In Chuck the lead character has been forced into the world of espionage and is desperately trying to hang onto his ‘real’ life which is being chipped away.  Here are two guys that need to compare notes.  Burn Notice soars on story, Chuck succeeds on characters.

In Burn Notice, the series hero Michael has no ID – everything has been taken away from him and Michael has been put on a short leash with the warning not to leave the city.  Naturally Michael’s quest is to have his Burn Notice revoked enabling him to return to his former life as a spy.  The show is rounded out with a great cast highlighted by fan favourite Bruce Campbell and Cagney and Lacey vet – Sharon Gless.  The show is tightly plotted – something which Chuck can never lay claim to, quickly paced, humourous, and fills the necessary action quotient. 

The weakest link of the show is the main character Michael.  He is intelligent, charming, athletic, and must have been force fed McGuyver reruns growing up as he turns everyday items in weapons or espionage tools.  He has foibles and his relationship with his mother is often hilarious.  Sadly his past is predictable with unresolved issues between the two and Michael’s father – who has passed away.  It all rings a little false though.  For a character this cool and calculating the home issues don’t quite ring true.  Something about the actor or character just doesn’t make me buy into him caring that much about his past. 

Maybe as the show progresses Michael may come to realize that the old life he is so desperately trying to go back is ultimately a shallow one and that the life he is living now offers the true things that are important.  It would be a nice payoff for him to suceed in getting his burn notice revoked and then decide to stay.  His obsession has already caused his girl friend to break up with him.

Besides that the show is a blast to watch and seeing Bruce Campbell and Sharon Gless throw out zingers is well worth watching.  In the end the show is imminently enjoyable  but also instantly disposable ie little to no replay value.

There is a upcoming Chuck/Burn Notice tie in.  Tricia Helfer who is playing Michael’s handler so far in the first two episodes of Season 2 will be showing up in a guest spot on Chuck in the same capacity.  General Beckman is becoming concerned about the growing bond between Asset Chuck and Handler Sarah.  Should be a fun installment and expect some BattleStar Galatica references to be worked in.

Reading

Been in a real reading funk lately.  Can’t seem to find anything that will hold my interest.  Just picked up Stephen King’s latest short story collection – Just After Sunset.  I am expecting the Master to get my reading restarted.

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