It is fitting that Burn Notice has its own comic book version, because there is something wonderfully campy about both the dialogue and action scenes in the USA Network drama — which returns tonight in a two-hour fall premiere at 9pm ET.
Anybody who watches Burn Notice for the plot is probably tuning in for the wrong reason. Sure, there are some outrageously fun storylines to give the show some structure, but they merely serve as stage for a ton of explosions and what could be the most underestimated cast on all of television.
It all begins with Jeffrey Donovan, who, as Michael Westen, has the ability to be a bad-ass spy who can snap a bad guy’s neck in one scene and then go undercover as a nerdy TV repairman in the next. Lending a hand are Gabrielle Anwar as his feisty girlfriend Fiona, Bruce Campbell as his best friend Sam, Coby Bell as a fellow burned spy named Jesse and Sharon Gless as Michael’s mother.
The combination of action scenes and a wonderful cast surely had a lot to do with Burn Notice winning Channel Guide Magazine’s prestigious award for Best Spy/Espionage Show. We also need to tip our proverbial cap to the writers of the show, because the witty banter and barbs between the characters add another dimension.
You’ll see some of that in tonight’s two-hour fall premiere episode, “Desperate Measures,” when Michael, Fiona, Sam and Jesse are stranded in Panama and are forced to hijack a plane to get back to Miami. With great over-the-top gusto, Fiona at one point says, “We’re dodging the FBI, the CIA, God knows what else.” Sam adds to the excitement by declaring, “We’ve just got keep our heads down and get ourselves back to the States.”
The scenes with Michael and Fiona always stand out, but to me there is no better partnership on TV than that between Michael and Sam. They share the same skills and goals for every mission, but let’s just say that Michael tends to take things a tad more seriously. Here’s an example from tonight’s show when he tells Sam he is going after his former CIA mentor that killed his brother:
Michael: “I’m going after [Tom] Card, and I’m going to need help.”
Sam (sitting in a hot tub with a drink in his hand): “All right then, let’s go do something insanely dangerous.”
Like I said, just like the great, campy stuff you’d find in a comic book.
Burn Notice returns for its fall premiere Nov. 8 at 9pm ET on USA Network.
Credit: Glenn Watson/USA Network