Saturday, November 10, 2007

Strike Watch, Episode I

No, I'm not going to provide updates on the progress of the Writer's Guild of America strike. If you want to get more information, may I suggest this link ? While we wait for greedy execs to give writers their fair share of DVD proceeds, or for whiny keyboard monkeys to get the hell back to work (depending on your point of view), I thought I'd suggest some shows to add to your Netflix queue, for when our prime time favorites go into reruns. In other words, what to watch during the strike - Strike Watch, get it? Oh, never mind.

Today I've chosen to squee about Burn Notice. An attractive yet emotionally stunted protagonist? Check. Feisty love interest? Check. Goofy sidekick? Check. Fast-paced adventure with just the right combination of espionage and explosions? Double check. Basically, this show hits all my buttons. If only there were a zany, chain-smoking mother in the mix, it would be perfect.

Burn Notice, have you been reading my diary?

Revisiting my summer fling with this quirky spy drama from the USA network will be just the thing to get me through the winter of TV writer's discontent. The cast includes some of my favorite faces - Jeffrey Donovan (aka Kyle from The Pretender), Seth Peterson (aka Robbie from Providence), and Bruce Campbell (aka the most famous chin in Hollywood). The setting of sunny Miami is perfect for the vivid cinematography (read: bright colors!) that make me love this network. But don't let it's shiny packaging fool you - at the heart of this show is Michael's innate sense of the human character. He isn't a spy because he can smile toothily, shoot a gun or build a bomb out of detergent, soda cans and duct tape. He's a spy because he can get in your head and mess you up.

The duct tape stuff is pretty cool, too. Michael's running commentary to explain his tricks makes the spy trade seem both easy and fun. Yes, I realize that I could not become an international woman of mystery using only products found in my local hardware store. But Burn Notice makes me think I can, and that's the real measure of any television show - how much the audience buys into the fantasy. Also, the extras available on the show's website are great fun.

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