Thursday, February 19, 2009


Did you know when a spy gets 'fired' that means he's been burned.  Blacklisted, stripped of all his assets and resources, with no explanation whatsoever.
I had no idea!  And yet, I'm learning every week as I watch the hot hit BURN NOTICE.  Have you seen it?  If you like spy shows and light thrillers you really should check it out.

I initially avoided the show.  Watched a few minutes of an episode, decided the main guy didn't do much for me, then never gave it another thought.  I must have been bored one night and decided to sit through a whole episode.  Okay, so this show had promise.  I saw the first season DVD on sale, and bought it.  For some reason, watching a show straight through, without any commercials, makes it very different.  I think I watched season one in less than a week.  The lead character, Michael Westen, the sexy, resourceful burned spy, had rubbed off on me.  And yeah, he's very sexy.  I don't know what it is, but he really does it for me now.  ;-)

Is it the narration that occasionally talks over the action during the show?  Could be.  Michael Westen provides details on spy stuff that is like candy to an author, or just plain fun to the casual watcher.  Jeffrey Donovon plays Michael perfectly.  Not over the top, not a bit cocky.  He's calm, cool and usually clad in Armani and those sexy amber aviator glasses.  He even allows Michael a bit of desperation, which really endears him to me.  He's not always got a handle on the current situation, and will admit when he needs help.  And when he does, the two supporting actors add fascinating dimension to the show.

Gabrielle Anwar plays Fionna GlennAnne, an ex-IRA operative who really loves her explosives and big guns.  Guns bigger than she is, tiny little thing.  She shoots first and asks questions later.  But when she is asking questions, it's the uncomfortable relationship kind of questions aimed at Michael.  They once had a thing, and though it's not clear how it ended, we know she feels rejected and wants some straight answers.  The sexual tension between the two is tighter than a harp string, and the show's writers have really been tweaking that string a lot lately.

Though the show never takes itself too seriously and has a lot of humor, Michael's best friend, Sam Ax (played by Bruce Campbell) provided the comic relief as he trolls the locals Miami bars for mojitos and Sugar Mommas.  He's former Navy Seal and is always willing to help Michael get out of a bind (sometimes those binds are results of Sam's innocent interference).  If you haven't seen Campbell in Army Of Darkness ("Give me some sugar, baby.") you are missing something!

Why blog about a TV show?  I hadn't any other topics in mind for today, so it just popped into my brain.  It's such a fun time, with the perfect mix of action, adventure, spy-stuff and sexual tension.  I can't do the alphabet soup of crime shows because they're too gritty, too complicated.  I love to read stories like this.  What about you?

Do you eagerly wait for Burn Notice every Thursday night?  Ever hear of the show?  What other shows that may be similar could you recommend?  Shows that don't take themselves too seriously except when it comes to providing entertainment.


Cindy Gerard said...

Michele, I too, am a devoted Burn Notice fan. and I happened on the show the same way you did. At first i wasn't too impressed with Michael but wow, has he grown on me. You're right, he's perfect for the role and Fi and Sam are perfect characters to round out the cast. And I love Micheal's mom - darn, can't remember her name but she was either Cagney or Lacey once upon a time. You're also right on about the narrative. Love all the little insights Michael gives us.
Another show I would recommend is In Plain Sight - it showcases a female U.S. Marshall who is responsible for placing and protecting people in the WPP (Witness protection program) Great humor and great action and cast. NCIS also comes to mind because it's such a great blend of drama, action and humor.

Michele Hauf said...

Sharon Gless plays Michael's mom, and she has that part nailed. Haven't seen much of her in the second season unfortunately.

I've seen commercials for In Plain Sight with the blond chick, right? That's USA as well. I'll have to check out what night that one is on.

Helen Brenna said...

Haven't seen it, Michele, but it sounds like something I could use right now. Feeling a bit of a burn out creatively and this sounds like it might get the party started again!

Michele Hauf said...

I don't think I mentioned, the show is on tonight (Thursdays) at 9:00 pm central, the USA network.

lois greiman said...

My sister was just telling me I should watch it. But I don't have cable. I love Bruce Campbell. Was Army of Darkness a movie?

Michele Hauf said...

Yep, Army of Darkness was either #3 or 4 in the Evil Dead series. Never saw the first movies because they were horror. But AOD, while horror, was delicious campy fun. Really makes a person cringe to watch pre-CGI movies now, but still , the fun is worth it. Any Bruce fan must see that movie.

Tori Lennox said...

I'm another big fan of Burn Notice. Such a fun show!

Keri Ford said...

This show is awesome. We came to it when USA was re-running the first season before season 2 geared up. I'd been watching USA a lot in the afternoons and they advertised this like crazy. I tivo'd the first episode and hubs and I watch it every week. It's really becoming our new favorite show.

Psyc comes on USA on Friday nights and it's a lot of fun. It takes some getting used to the character and the humor, but a great place to see how the clues fall together and make a mystery. Shawn hooked me instantly (there's just something about him) and hubs is slowly warming up.

Christie Ridgway said...

Michele, I've been meaning to get into Burn Notice. It is my kind of thing, but I just haven't done it yet. I'll have to see if it's on Do you guys know hulu? They have a bunch of TV shows and some movies that you can watch online with teeny little commercials.

Right now I'm loving Bones. I'm not a huge fan of the Tempe Brennan books (by Kathy Reichs) though I have read a few. The Tempe Brennan in the the TV series and her FBI partner Booth are a fab combo. I hear they're going to kiss this season. They have a lot of chemistry going on, but they're also friends and trusted partners.

Betina Krahn said...

Michele, I would have pegged you for a "Burn Notice" girl. I haven't gotten into it-- I'm waiting for a stretch of time so I can buy the DVD and really get into it. My kids adore it and even went to a Bruce Campbell film fest in the Twin Cities and hung around the stage door to talk to him. I LOVED him in Brisco County and everything since.

I confess the guy playing Michael in BN doesn't do much for me, which is probably why I haven't tuned in before now. But on your recommendation, I'll sure give it a try!

And did you see that Nathan Fillion has a series starting soon? SWOON. I hope it's good!

Kathleen Eagle said...

I haven't seen the show, but the idea that the hero has some doubts, some vulnerability is really appealing. You don't often find that in action-adventure--at least, not enough to suit me. I'll give it a try. Love a little humor, too.

Michele Hauf said...

Keri, I've noticed Psyche, but can never remember to watch it when it's on. Must be more diligent.

Christie, I actually checked out Hulu the other day! I love that TV commercial with Alex Baldwin playing the alien come to suck out the gushy brains of all the TV addicts. Do they not have a lot of BBC stuff at Hulu? I searched for a few shows, but they didn't have them.

Betina, give Jeffrey Donovan (Michael) a chance. I don't know what it is about him, but he definately gets under your skin, in a good way. I think a big part is that he does show vulnerability and then there's him mother, who drives him nuts, and yet he would never refuse her nagging calls to help his brother or simply visit her. He has so many layers; I think it takes a few episodes, or more, to really start liking all the characters.

Let's all watch Burn Notice tonight!

Debra Dixon said...


My hubby is a fan. I like it when I watch it but I don't make a plan to watch it or make sure it gets recorded.

But, iTunes just had the first season on sale so I bought it to get caught up.

I love watching a show without interruptions and without waiting a year to see all the episodes. I'm a huge DVD fan of tv series.

Debra Dixon said...

Oh, and a new favorite of mine is LIE TO ME. I don't think it's the best show ever but I'm absolutely hooked on learning the science and eagerly await the moments when they explain a physical response of lying and show multiple pictures of the exact same response. Or "micro expression" that is involuntary.

Michele Hauf said...

Deb, I've wanted to catch Lie To Me as well, but I think it's on the same time as LOST. I love Tim Roth. He always plays such wicked villains. Would you suggest picking up the first season on DVD when it comes out?

Sarah Grimm said...

I've been fan of Burn Notice since it's beginning. I usually DVR it so I can skip the commercials.

I also like In Plain Sight, but I've never really gotten into Psych.

flip said...

I love Burn Notice. I don't watch in on Thursday. Thank goodness for tivo.

Sam is my favorite chracter although Michael's mom is a close second.

Virginia said...

I always watch Burn Notice, never miss it unless our power is out, favorite show. I also like The Closer and the new show Lie To Me. If you haven't watched these, check them out. If you like a little Sci-Fi try Fringe.

Jane said...

I love "Burn Notice." Sharon Gless is great as Michael's crazy mom. I also started watching "Psych." The show is really funny and the two leads have great chemistry. I liked the first episode of "Dollhouse," but I hope it gets better. I'm a big fan of Joss Whedon.

Anonymous said...

Don't have tv so I rely on the computer. Which is really nice for some shows especially this one. I've been on Hulu since beta and LOVE it- Burn Notice, Life, Bones, and House are all on my list that tells me when a new episode is available.

I also like Leverage on TNT- Timothy Hutton is still hot

Colleen Kayter said...

I'm with you, Michelle, about Burn Notice. Jeffrey Donovan's voice-overs do it for me. Smooth like a snifter of warm Amaretto. Same voice when he's talking to his mom or Fiona, it turns to ice when he's threatening bad guys.

The only person on the show that makes me crazy is Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar). I love the character, but Anwar looked much healthier in '92 when she was in Scent of a Woman with Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell. I realize that was 17 yrs ago, but now she looks likes she's not just older, but anorexic with collagen-injected lips. Oh well.

Psych, I just can't get into it. In Psych, James Roday's character (Shawn) is too Machiavellian and it gets really old really fast with Dule Hill's character (Gus) constantly nagging him to have a conscience.

House is definitely HOT! Hugh Laurie is scruffy, but pure intellectual seduction. I guess I just like male characters who are more honorable and deeper than they want the world to think.

Just finished reading Cindy's Whisper No Lies. Yup. Johnny Duane Reed is one of those guys. Can't wait for the next story. Raphael Mendoza and Stephanie Tompkins? It would be a great comfort to know it's in the works... (Hint, hint.)

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Colleen. Thanks for the props on LIES. And I'm on a March 1 deadline to deliver Mendoza's book :o) FEEL THE HEAT will be out in Oct!!
Now I have to run. Raphael is waiting ..... :o)

Heather said...

I gave Burn Notice a pass when it first debuted, partly it didn't sound like something I would like, and partly because it was on opposite something else I watched. Then I caught season one over the summer and was hooked. I also love Psych, though the humor certainly doesn't appeal to everyone, and In PLain Sight, which starts up again in March. Reruns of House and NCIS also have me tuning into USA on a regular basis.

MJFredrick said...

I LOVE Burn Notice. That and Psych are shows the family watches together.

Leverage is another of my favorite shows, new this season. Really clever...a group of thieves who work together to right wrongs. I missed the first few episodes, so I'm not sure of how they got together, but they work well together. Funny dialogue, too.

Virginia Lady said...

I watch it on Friday evenings on Many fewer commercials and when there is a commercial break it's only 30 second individual spots, usually PSAs.

Burn Notice rocks. I absolutely love Fiona, but the entire cast really contributes as well.