Sometimes it takes being away from an old friend to make you realize how much you appreciate them, and that’s exactly how I feel about the show Burn Notice. So you can imagine my excitement that one of the most underrated shows on all of television is returning tonight to the USA Network lineup.
Premiering tonight at 9pm ET, Burn Notice starts right where we left off at the end of last season. Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) is scouring Miami looking for Anson (Jere Burns), who is out to ruin his career and his personal life by blackmailing him. Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar), meanwhile, has turned herself in on charges of terrorism to save Michael, who must now team up with his entourage of Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) and Jesse Porter (Colby Bell) to make sure she doesn’t spend her life in federal prison.
Got all that? Truth be told, it doesn’t really matter. Not to offend the writers, but the plot is integral but not paramount to necessarily enjoying this program. And no offense to the actors, but it’s probably safe to say they can make plans elsewhere the night the Emmy Awards are handed out. Burn Notice, pure and simple, is a great diversion from so many other dramas on TV that take themselves too seriously.
As a fan of the hit FOX drama 24, Burn Notice fills the adrenaline void I felt when Jack Bauer decided to walk away. Fortunately, there are many similarities between the characters of Bauer and Westen. They are both cerebral agents who can get out of a jam with their minds and their hands; they are both trained assassins who have no problem taking a life if absolutely necessary; and they both try to distance themselves from their family and friends for fear of drawing them into their unpredictable worlds.
The two shows are also very similar in that there is very little downtime between the action scenes, with car chases, explosions and some form of excitement filling each episode. Much like watching an action flick at the theater, all you need to do is kick back with some popcorn and a cold beverage and soak it all in.
Perhaps most appealing, though, is the witty banter between the actors (this is where the writers and cast really shine). There is great chemistry between Donovan, Anwar, Cambpell, Bell and Sharon Gless (who plays Michael’s mother), which makes the characters more likable and believable.
And that’s why I feel like I am seeing an old friend tonight for the first time in a long while. Welcome back, old pal.
Photo credit: Glenn Watson/USA Network