Question: A TV show that (almost) fills the void left by my dearly departed Alias, USA's Burn Notice has become my new favorite show. While it's not as flashy as Alias, and the twists and turns not nearly as breathtaking, it does manage to seamlessly blend the best of all worlds: action, comedy, espionage, sexual tension, family dramedy, escapade-of-the week storylines and a series-spanning mystery to solve (who put out the "burn notice" on Michael and why). It's as if someone threw Alias, Moonlighting, CSI: Miami and MacGyver into the spin cycle and out popped Burn Notice. Jeffrey Donovan, whom I only remembered as the smarmy client in Hitch, delivers such a charmingly witty performance as burned CIA operative Michael Weston. The spectacular casting of his cohorts — bold-n-brassy yet sexy former-IRA assassin (Gabrielle Anwar), washed-up alcoholic ex-spook with uncertain loyalties (Bruce Campbell), not to mention his formerly estranged, not-as-helpless-as-she-seems mother (the ...
I know this blog is coming a little late in the game, but Ive been watching this show since the beginning. So whether youve been a fan from the first episode or a Johnny-come-lately, welcome to the party.The PlayersMichael Westen: a former spook whos been burned. He's deposited in Miami without any money, credit or job references. He takes on local cases to make money while he tries to find out who burned him.Fiona: Michaels former flame, who still carries a torch. Her accent in the first episode (and her name) might have us believe shes Irish, but she can fake an American accent pretty well. Shes former IRA and met Michael on the job.Sam: a spy buddy of Michaels forced to keep tabs on him. Sams living comfortably off his pension and cant have his friendship with Michael interfere with that. When Michael discovers his duplicity, the agency sends in new surveillance.Jason Bly: the new guy. He works for a branch of the NSA and isn&...
Jeffrey Donovan in Burn Notice by Dan Littlejohn/USA Network Photo
On the heels of TNT extending its Saving Grace to a full, 23-episode season, USA Network has ordered a second 13-episode season of Burn Notice. The USA spy drama premiered to four million viewers. Last Thursday's episode delivered 4.4 mil, its largest audience to date.
Jeffrey Donovan and Bruce Campbell in Burn Notice by Glenn Watson/USA Network Photo
Sources confirm that USA Network's Burn Notice which, judging by my AA mailbag, is the best show I'm not watching has just been greenlit for a second season. No surprise considering last week's episode notched a red-hot 4.4 million viewers, up a cool mil from the previous week. OK, this weekend is all about catching up on Burn Notice and Greek. Anything else I'm missing out on?
Question: I must admit, I am a huge fan of sudsy spy serials. I really enjoy Burn Notice on USA. I think it is fun and light, as summer TV should be. One thing is driving me crazy, though. Wasn't there a show in the '80s called The Equalizer that was almost the exact same premise? I was very young when Equalizer was on, so I can't remember clearly, but I thought it was about a spy who got shut out for some reason and started helping civilians. Am I crazy? Is Burn Notice an updated Equalizer?
Answer: It's more like Burn Notice is an ironic Equalizer. If memory serves — the show ran for four seasons from 1985 to 1989 — Robert McCall (memorably, moodily played by Edward Woodward) voluntarily retired from his secret-agent job and put himself on the market as a one-man justice league. He wasn't fired. Tonally, the shows couldn't be more different. The Equalizer strikes me as having been dead serious (although not without wit in its characterizations), whereas Burn Notice is more of a snark ...
Glenn Close, Damages
Question: It seems strange to be saying this, but I think I'm actually enjoying summer TV much more than I enjoyed regular-season TV this year. And it's all because of cable. I have a show to watch every night that is really good: Mondays have My Boys (and Greek isn't bad), Tuesdays have Damages, Wednesday has Rescue Me and Thursday has Mad Men. They are all really good, well-acted, well-written shows. During the season I was really having trouble finding shows I enjoyed (Heroes, The Office and Friday Night Lights were about all). I don't remember ever really watching any scripted TV during the summer in the past, besides maybe the occasional show (The O.C. comes to mind). I'd assume it has a lot to do with cable networks putting out really good original TV, since I'm not watching anything on network TV. So, is this really the best summer TV schedule ever?
Answer: It's certainly the busiest TV summer ever. But yes, it's also shaping up to be among the very best. The fall season would be
Question: Am I the only one wondering how a good (perhaps "great" would be too strong a word) sitcom like My Boys is sitting on TBS? I missed it last season, but I watched the all-day marathon last weekend and I must say I'm impressed. I set my TiVo to catch Season 2. Meanwhile, I've only got three sitcoms on my list to watch so far this fall. With the networks obviously struggling to fill their schedules with good comedies, how do ones like My Boys or Psych fall to cable?
Answer: Why ask why? TBS has rebranded itself as a comedy network (mostly on the back of syndicated sitcoms), and part of that strategy is to develop a few signature comedies of its own. For now, My Boys is the only one that's truly worth recommending (The Bill Engvall Show being mildly mediocre, and Tyler Perry's House of Payne verging on the excruciatingly unwatchable). The fact is that the qualitative lines between network and cable have been blurred for quite a while (Psych, and more recently the clever Burn
Question: Weeds? Damages? Greek? Side of Life? Army Wives? Dr. Who? Battlestar Galactica? Psych? Monk? Burn Notice? Mad Men? Entourage? Closer? My Boys? Got anything on any of these? You would be my savior!
Answer: Wow, lots to choose from there. Let's go with BSG. As Syfyportal.com already reported, three humanoid Cylon models will be completely wiped out next season. Well, I just found out (Spoiler alert) which ones are getting retired, and I can tell you they all have one thing in common: their gender. And here's another tasty morsel: the name of the 13th Colony in the Colonial Scriptures? "Cylon."
Question: I've watched the first two episodes of Burn Notice and am enjoying it much more than I expected to. Michael's forays into the feeling world, after years as a spy, are interesting, and I really enjoy the MacGyver aspect of his quick thinking and gadgets. I was wondering what you think of the show. It seems to be flying under the radar. Are others out there enjoying it as much as I am?
Answer: So far, it seems that they are. The show not only opened well but (rare for cable in summer) held on to its audience the second week. I now think I was too dismissive of the show when I gave it a mini-review a few weeks ago. I liked the star and the premise but felt the show was lacking a certain polish, panache and energy. I've seen a few episodes since and am still not blown away, but I can see why people have taken to it. USA Network has really cornered the market on quirky, funny crime-solvers, and Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) continues the tradition just fine. I'll be keeping a ...
Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar in Burn Notice by Jim Fiscus/USA Network Photo
Buoyed by a strong lead-in (National Treasure), USA Network's Burn Notice performed a rare feat this past Thursday, retaining all of the four million people who tuned in for the series' premiere.... Married... with Children: The Complete Seventh Season arrives on DVD Sept. 18, the series' 20th anniversary.... ESPN will broadcast David Beckham's first Major League Soccer game as a player on the Los Angeles Galaxy on July 21 at 9 pm/ET.... Expecting to "double sales at a minimum," Sony has cut the price of its PlayStation 3 by a Benjamin, to $499.... Which returning sitcom are you most looking forward to? Choose from our list and vote here (bottom right).