Question: Is it just me, or is Burn Notice similar to The Pretender? Michael Westen is seeking answers from a covert organization, but at the same time he is running from that organization (much like Jarod and the Centre). He also spends every episode using the skills that organization taught him to help an innocent person and bring a perpetrator to justice (just as Jarod did). Maybe the connection seems stronger to me because Jeffrey Donovan played Jarod's brother in The Pretender and I'm still pining for the third and final Pretender movie, but I definitely see similarities (although Burn Notice takes a slightly more lighthearted approach). Given the success of Burn Notice, it seems to me that The Pretender was simply ahead of its time. Would you agree? Do you think there is any chance Pretender fans will ever get any closure in the form of a final movie or miniseries?
Answer: You Pretender fans never give up. Not that you should. I mean, they're still making Highlander movies over at Sci Fi, so anything's possible. (Although I just saw Michael T. Weiss in an off-Broadway play, and it would seem to me that he's moved on.) Anyway, in all the time I spent watching Burn Notice this summer, I can't say The Pretender ever came to mind. MacGyver, maybe, in the way he adapts whatever's at hand to get him out of scrapes, having learned to be resourceful on the job. But Michael Westen isn't nearly as bogged down with mythology as Jarod was (at least from what I can remember), and the CIA backdrop puts the show a little more in the real world. This is a straight-up, fast-paced, funny (which also sets it apart) caper about a spy who didn't choose to leave the business and who is doing everything possible to get back in the game. He does often "pretend" to be someone else to pull off his scams and schemes, but otherwise, I just don't see the connection. And given that it had a healthy run of four seasons, I wouldn't say Pretender was ahead of its time. It had its time.