My neighbor, Harry, strongly recommended that I check out a new television show called Burn Notice.
Given how much TV I already watch, the thought of yet another hour of my life pissed away in front of the idiot box did not intrigue me. But Harry, whose taste in television maps closely to mine, was adamant that I had to watch this show.
So I fired up the TiVO system and got it on my list of things to watch. And watched it.
Burn Notice is set in Miami, the TV land of over-saturated colors, pretty people, women who view clothing as a way to enhance nudity, and bad guys who dress way, way, way too well.
In this series, the lead, Jeffrey Donovan, plays the role of a CIA spy, Michael West, who got burned. Which loosely translates to: fired. A fired spy is a problem. His old friends no longer trust him or can associate with him. His old enemies have no use for him. And because he’s a spy he can’t just write his resume and describe his work experience of the past 10 years.
So our spy is trapped in Miami, surrounded by a drunk FBI agent Sam Axe played by Bruce Campbell, a brother, Nate Westen played by Seth Peterson, who suffers from a gambling addiction, an ex-girlfriend, Fiona Glenanne played by a very attractive Gabrielle Anwar, who likes to blow things up and a set of handlers whose job it is to make sure that our ex-spy never really finds out why he got burned.
In many ways Burn Notice is a superficial remake of The Prisoner. The village is Miami. The reason Michael Westen is in Miami is a mystery. Only someone in the CIA (our ever-present #1) knows why Michael Westen is in Miami. Every so-often the CIA or FBI handler (the #2) whose job it is to ensure that he stays in his place changes. And like in the Prisoner, our spy has to figure out why he is where he is all on his lonesome while surviving in a city with no money, no job experience and no friends.
This is great television.
Added some links