TV Series On Different Trajectories – SuperNatural & Burn Notice

Follow Through

It is intriguing to watch 2 very different shows, both established, set themselves up to move to a new level, and achieve widely different results.

SuperNatural S4 has brought Armageddon to the table. This escalation is a logical extension of the show’s mythology. The expansion of the world from the Winchester family’s personal viewpoint to a global one is a bold move. Based on the first half dozen episodes this move has been brilliantly executed.

Burn Notice S3 took a risky step too and removed Michael Weston’s safety net. The blanket protection by the higher ups who have shielded him from the intelligence community and the authorities at home is gone. Michael is on his own and vulnerable. An exciting setup for the season, no? Well, one would think so but so far the show has really not stepped up to the plate and delivered on the potential of this new premise.

For the first 3 episodes Michael was being ‘hounded’ by a local cop. Problem was she only showed up at the beginning and end of each episode. Rarely did she walk into the middle of mission and raise new dramatic situations for Michael to deal with. By the third episode, Michael helped solve a case for her which then had her step back and stop bird dogging him. Oh-kay. That played like out like a wet fart.

The next episode had Michael captured by a Russian mercenary looking for revenge but the trained merecenaries came off no better than any of the previous thugs Michael has bested.

Back to SuperNatural – the world expansion that now includes appearances by the other ‘team.’  In the first three seasons all the unnatural appearance where from the bad side;  demons, vampires, ghosts, tricksters, and shapeshifters. Now the other side has decided to enter the frey in a more visible way.   ArchAngels are deftly interwoven into the Winchester’s personal dilemmas. Dean has been retrieved from hell by an angel for a higher purpose while Sam wrestles with not using his psychic abilities because they are fueled by the demon blood fed to him as a baby. Here we see the dynamics of the Armageddon theme pushing the characters to new areas.

Quite a contrast with Burn Notice, which is really treading the same water it has the previous seasons.

In Burn Notice’s favour the stories themselves are as tightly written and scripted as before with the requisite amount of humour. And who could help but laugh out loud at Michael’s mother, played to perfection by Sharon Gless, being the one to ‘torture’ the information out of the bad guy when Fie and Sam failed?

It comes down to follow through. SuperNatural is moving to new heights and/or depths out of the gate while Burn Notice seems to be sticking to previously explored ground.

Advertisements

Canada Day – 142 Years Young + Dribs & Drabs

Half a year gone and the country is a year older. All things told this is still a very, very, awesome place to live. Nothing is perfect but I can’t think of a country that gets closer to it than this one.

On the Climate Change front a couple of summers ago it seemed we were heading towards record high tropical summers. The last two years have been on a bust on that front. Last summer was one of the wettest I can remember. This one has not been as wet but not that far behind either. Right now the forecast calls for showers consecutively for the rest of the week. That trend started on Monday and has come to be true every day so far.

The even more frustrating aspect is the continuing lower temperatures. Beyond a handful of days in the 80s and beyond; the majority of days the temp struggles to break 70F. Too bad some form of weather bartering with other drier and warmer climates can not be employed!.

Finished Robert McCammon’s 17th century Matthew Corbett sleuthing novel Speaks the Nightbird. McCammon is a delight to read. Descriptive prose marks his style with colourful characters. I prefer the second book more – The Queen of Bedlam due to the setting differences and the maturing Corbett character. Plus TQOB offers teasing glimpses of the uber story that awaits Corbett. The next book in the series is the tantalizingly titled – Mr. Slaughter.

Burn Notice continues to truck along. It looks like the hounding cop storyline has been closed off for now. Frankly I was underwhelmed how it played out. The possibilities of the cop stumbling in the midst of a job by Michael never materialized and is a squandering of a great storyline to my mind.  Is that the case or is it one of my expectations exceeding the show’s goals?

True Blood continues to delight.  Two storylines converged and the net result was the surprised, and maybe temporary, release of Lafayette.  I truly believed he was either going to be killed or turned.  Jessica; the newly turned vampire created by Bill, has made enough of an impression that I can remember her name now; continues to grow and her storyline is becoming a new favourite.

Looks like Bill and Sookie are on their way to Dallas to help solve the mystery of some missing vampires there.  Since everything is bigger in Texas this storyline could turn out to be a lot of fun too.

And Suddenly Its Summer

Both on the calendar and in the weather. After a spring of below norm temps and persistent rainfall the skies have opened. The sun has ventured forth and instead of struggling to break 60F we jump 20 degrees or more. The long range forecast promises near 90F weather and sunny skies for the rest of the week.

Huzzah!

Sadly work on the pool is halted to allow the ground to dry out from all the rain. Hopefully tomorrow will see a recommencement of work.

Burn Notice continues to hum along but I have to admit I was expecting more of the unprotected Michael storyline. So far the law being on his back segments are restricted to the teaser and tag sections of the show. Still hoping for the collision of the law in the midst of the latest mission.

ChuckMeMondays continue this week at 9pm tonight as we group watch Chuck Vs The Wookie. While doing so we group twitter and voice chat about it over Skype it. Its a communal get together intended to keep Chuck in the spotlight as we await the start of the third season.

Details can be found here on how to join in.

You will need:
1) A Twitter account
2) Acess to the Chuck Season 1 episodes
3) Optional – Skype software, a headset and mic, and a Skype account to voice chat with fellow Chuckaholics.

So please join in on the fun!

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.