Reviews, Television

DVD Review – Burn Notice (Season 1)

Buy Season 1 of Burn Notice at

Buy Season 1 of Burn Notice at

Yes, I am aware that I didn’t finish my recap of Season 1 of Burn Notice. To make up for it, I’m going to review the entire season (and season 2 besides, on a later week). However, we need to begin at the beginning. There will be spoilers, but they’ll be below the cut. I’ll try doing some spoiler-guarding stuff this time.

The Premise:

I’ll let the star of the show take this one (courtesy of IMDB):

Michael Westen: [voice-over] My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy. Until…
voice on phone: [phone rings] We got a burn notice on you. You’re blacklisted.
Michael Westen: [voice-over] When you’re burned, you’ve got nothing: no cash, no credit, no job history. You’re stuck in whatever city they decide to dump you in.
Michael Westen: Where am I?
Fiona Glenanne: Miami.
Michael Westen: [voice-over] You do whatever work comes your way. You rely on anyone who’s still talking to you. A trigger-happy ex-girlfriend…
Fiona Glenanne: Shall we shoot them?
Michael Westen: [voice-over] An old friend who used to inform on you to the FBI…
Sam Axe: You know spies… bunch of bitchy little girls.
Michael Westen: [voice-over] Family too…
Sam Axe: [phone rings] Hey, is that your Mom again?
Michael Westen: [voice-over] … if you’re desperate.
Madeline Westen: Someone needs your help, Michael!
Michael Westen: [voice-over] Bottom line? Until you figure out who burned you… you’re not going anywhere.

The Good:

This show is, in a word, awesome. This is, quite possibly, my favorite TV show currently on the air. Now, I haven’t seen Chuck, I haven’t watched Dollhouse, and I haven’t watched The Unit. However, Burn Notice is currently my favorite show. Unfortunately, I don’t have cable, so I have to rely on Hulu or USA’s web page to watch it – or Netflix. The dialog is great, the direction is great, the acting is excellent. The stories are wonderful. I just, in general, love it.

The Bad:

I know that there are probably so many locations in Miami they can shoot at without running into serious crowd control problems, and admittedly I haven’t been to Miami, so I can’t say for certain how true this is, but they make Miami look really small. The only episode I encountered where they really make Miami look big is the scene in Little Havana. Otherwise, a lot of the neighborhoods look the same.

The Ugly:

The second guy who tries to kill Michael, and then the assassination of the guy who (we thought) burned Michael. Those two things don’t add up with what we learn in Season 2. I’m used to TV shows making things up as they go along, and writers having to compensate for reveals we’d gotten earlier. I read comic books after all. Still, these are loose ends that are left hanging, more or less. At this point it’s not clear about whether we have two organizations competing over Michael, or if we we have two factions within the same organization, or what.

Use for Gamers:

This is, basically, a contemporary Shadowrun TV show. This isn’t just because of the team aspect of the show, but because Michael Westin is a SINless person, in the Shadowrun sense. He’s scraping by on the fringes of society. However, instead of working for organized crime syndicates, or corrupt corporations, he’s working for the little guy. I’d recommend any Shadowrun players or GMs to add this show to their to-watch list.

The Verdict:

In case you hadn’t already figured it out – I’m wholeheartedly recommending this show. This is one of the greatest dramas on television today.


2 thoughts on “DVD Review – Burn Notice (Season 1)

    • Alexander Case says:

      Actually, I’ve started watching Season 1 of Chuck right now. Thus far I like it, though the Buy More segements can be annoying at times (mainly due to Tang).

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