After watching this week’s awesome episode, I realized I wrote a draft about the show after watching the entire second season in one sitting while under the weather. I never posted it because it was too wordy, but the new season was, in my opinion even better than the second, so I decided to post it anyway…
I love the crapping crap out of this showy show, not 100% sure why.
I understand its allure; after all spies, gadgets, action and sexy ladies (like Michael Weston’s moms) are undeniably appealing. However, it happens to be a coolified hodgepodge of crap mainly derivative of The A-Team, The Bourne Identity, MacGyver, and a chain smoking, boozing reject from the Golden Girls (Estelle Getty RIP, my love). With Bruce Campbell playing the part of the zany neighbor, Larry Dallas.
While the scripts are well written, the acting is decent and the action is exciting and well shot, it’s grossly formulaic and often unbelievable to the point of making it fall into the “guilty pleasure” category. A standard episode usually follows this guideline:
- Michael (usually with Fiona) picks up where he left off trying to find out who burned him in the previous episode.
- Someone rains on his parade and pleads to help him with an insurmountable problem to which he begrudgingly agrees to help.
- A plan is put in place and the legwork begins.
- Plan receives monkey wrench to extend episode to 43 minutes.
- New ridiculously impossible plan is created on the fly with little or no recon.
- It’s close, but the plan goes well. “Client” thanks him, he refuses payment.
- A talk with mom.
- Burn notice investigation continues and a move forward is achieved after little or no progress throughout episode.
Another aspect of the formula is how Jeffrey Donovan goes undercover and gets to put on a fake accent. This allows him to show off his “acting chops” honed after years and years of playing nobodies on television shows (with the exception of the brilliant Touching Evil). It also allows him to separate his teeth when he talks, which is a treat for the viewers.
Throughout this roller-coaster ride Michael Weston speaks in a pretty smarmy voice over and says things like, “Know what it’s like being a spy? Like sitting in your dentist’s reception area twenty-four hours a day. Read magazines, have coffee, and every so often…someone tries to kill you.” Subtle as flatulence in an elevator. Not only is the lead character beyond unbelievable, he manages to pull off the most insane timing week after week. It’s absolutely absurd how perfectly orchestrated everything is, it reminds me of a musical. Regardless of what your brain tells you, these moments are extremely exciting.
Now like most people, I’m a pretty big Bruce Campbell fan and he’s pretty good in it so the fact that he’s still playing Ash County Jr. is fine by me. It’s also nice to see him making jokes instead of being the target of them. He’s always done well playing the role of an obnoxious prick as evident when he was hilarious in his performance as an obnoxious prick when me and a few of my buddies went to get shit signed by him at a comic shop prior to the release of Army of Darkness. He told us to, “go buy something or get the hell out of here!” That guy is funny as hell.
Now I’ve certainly got no problem with the lovely Anwar and her ripped arms, but I long for the less gaunt face she had in the days of Body Snatchers and Things to do in Denver when You’re Dead. You know back when she was sexy and slightly less emaciated (also, I think something’s medically wrong with her neck).
All in all, Burn Notice is fun as crap. So fun I always forget how stupid it is. Now would somebody get me a mojito?
Annotation: 3/7/09 – Just saw the season finale, best one yet. The show reminds me of when I came out of Rocky II and we were all fake boxing until one of my asshole “friends” punched another one of us in the face and blackened his eye. I’m not saying that’s cool or anything, but I am saying that this show makes me want to karate-chop my grandma in the face (not really, it’s a metaphor the kind like House M.D. uses only it makes less sense).
In conclusion, the show with holes so big you could drive a planet through continues to excite and entertain me, relentlessly.