A show about an ex-spy living in Miami? No way that has a shelf life right? Wrong!
Thursday September 12th, 2013 marked the end of Burn Notice’s exceptional seven year run on the USA Network. It will be a sad day indeed.
Created By Matt Nix and starring Jeffery Donovan, this action/drama hour long adventure is a rare example of a show that’s found a way to remain both entertaining and addicting throughout its entire duration.
Why is it entertaining and addicting?
The acting of course!
Jeffery Donovan plays Michael Weston, a highly skilled CIA agent who is forced to return to his hometown of Miami upon being burned (fired for being untrustworthy) by his government. With no reason given for his abrupt dismissal, Michael makes it his sole mission to find the ones responsible for his banishment.
Along his way to personal salvation, Michael mends his strained relationship with his chain smoking, opinionated mother Madeline (Sharon Gless) and his old friend, the charming Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell), a retired Navy Seal. Campbell’s constant scene stealing performances once again prove he is horribly underutilized by the mainstream production companies.
The addition of Coby Bell “The Game” in Season 4 as fellow burned spy Jesse Porter brought a new emotional dynamic to the show that perhaps was lacking in prior seasons.
Not to be outdone by the main players are the ever revolving door of guest stars who have provided no shortage of memorable moments. Tim Matheson, Tricia Helfer, Jay Karnes, Chris Vance, Chris Ellis, Paul Tei and most recently John Pyper-Ferguson have all left a lasting mark.
A leading man is nothing without his leading lady!
No two people are alike and so sometimes it is fun to think about what it would be like if a character were to be played by someone else. No die-hard fan of this show will ever imagine anyone other than English actress Gabrielle Anwar “The Tudors” taking control of the seductive ex-IRA operative Fiona Glenanne.
Gabrielle Anwar’s mysterious and occasionally over the top portrayal is a fine counterpart to the reserved performance typically given by Donovan. It’s easy to forget you’re watching a scripted show when these two are together. The producers could not have found a better duo if they tried.
Sometimes it’s the little things that count.
Much like Michael C. Hall on Dexter, Jeffery Donovan has provided some of the shows best work during Michael’s voice-overs.
Allowing the viewers to live inside Michael’s head as he struggles to find a balance between sane and lunacy has easily been a wonderful treat.
It all begins with page one.
An actor can only be as good as the script they are given.
The key to successful writing is to force the audience to suspend their disbelief long enough so they become legitimately afraid for their favorite characters despite the fact it’s widely known he or she will be in the next dozen episodes.
The writers behind Burn Notice have time and time again found ways to make viewers believe Michael, Fiona, Sam, Jesse and Madeline are in mortal danger only for them to prevail in ways that you and I likely would have failed.
Thursday night’s series finale was surely a sad night indeed, but just like a beloved friend or family member that has passed on, do not mourn for the show, instead be grateful for seven long years of entertainment.
Shows like this are why Netflix is a gift from the heavens!