on June 1, 2010
Season three of BURN NOTICE does much to forward the story of ex-spy Michael Westen's attempt to rejoin the spy world while at the same time rounding out the story of Michael Westen the human being. While that may not sound like much in a weekly action series that takes some doing. To do so with the perfect combination of action, humor and story is even tougher. But the people behind this series make it seem easy.
If you recall from the origin of the series, Westen was a super spy who was put on burn notice. A burn notice is when a spy gets left out in the cold or as he puts it in the voice over at the start of each episode "...when you're burned you've got nothing; no cash, no credit, no job history. You're stuck in whatever city they've decided to dump you in. You do whatever work comes your way." Fortunately for Westen he was left stuck in Miami.
And in Miami Westen was fortunate to have contacts like an ex-flame Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) who has an explosive temper to match her skills with weapons and bombs, a friend from his past and ex-Navy SEAL Sam (Bruce Campbell) who keeps him in touch with information and his mother Madeline (Sharon Gless) who, well, does all the things a worried mother would do. I mean what would have happened had they stuck him in a small Midwestern town?
Westen, played superbly by Jeffrey Donovan, has shown in two previous seasons that while killing was his living while going up against bad men around the world, he truly has a heart of gold. Each episode formed around two core stories, the first being about Michael attempting to find out who burned him and the second being a case where he had "clients" that he had to help with one problem or another. Season two put him in touch with a lead that could have led him to the person behind the burn. But that season ended with her being shot and "management" telling him they would stop protecting him.
Thus we start season three with Michael still stuck in Miami with the same crew. The only difference is that now the agency that prevented people from finding out he was alive and where he was located, have stopped all protection. This results in bad guys around the world coming in search of Michael while he continues trying to find a way back in as well as help a new client each episode.
A lead takes Michael into meeting with an agent of sorts who takes on former spies and uses them as mercenaries for various tasks. Once again Michael has the chance to find out who burned him and to get back in. But as we've seen all along, former love Fiona would be happier if he put his past in the past and focused on their future. But Michael is driven by a need to help, a need to serve his country and a need to find out who did this to him not just to get back in the game but to make sure the people he cares about are safe as well.
What makes this series work is the same thing that a number of series have begun to take seriously: the cast. When you have a cast that gels well together and that you can believe, it makes the difference. Think back to a series with a cast of 4 or more people that didn't work and you'll see what I mean. When it works the viewer cares about the characters and is willing to invest time to be with them each week. And while they shoot people and blow things up, these are characters you begin to care for.
Each actor does a job that unfortunately has gone unrecognized by awards programs thus far. Anwar is great as the sexy love interest whose emotions are much more revealed than her character would be in any other show. Gless does a great job as a worrying mother trying to make up for the past. Campbell takes his iron jawed, womanizing, best bud character and makes him the kind of guy you'd want to have a drink with. And Donovan as Westen is amazing.
Each week Westen is called on to turn himself into another cover, another person, to do the job he needs to do. Donovan in short plays not just Westen but Westen playing other people, be it mentally challenged individuals, terrified accountants, tough talking deal makers or cold blooded murderer. He does so with ease while making Westen's character seem like the most competent spy that ever existed.
Season three brings Michael closer to finding out who had him burned. It provides several stories that show the depth of character and truly caring person he really is. It offers plenty of action for fans. And it shows that Michael has more familial feelings than even he would care to admit. Season three has it all. The only thing missing that can fault this DVD offering is that season four isn't there and ready to go as well. It will start soon though and you have the choice of catching up and becoming a fan by renting/buying all three previous seasons before it begins or just jumping onboard now. No matter what, this is one series that deserves to be watched.
One bonus for TV fans in season three: the reunion of actresses Gless and Tyne Daly, the former stars of CAGNEY AND LACEY, together again in one episode. If you were a fan, you'll love seeing them together again.
on October 5, 2009
I would never promote drug usage of any sort, but this show is media crack! They lure in the audience with their superb storylines, witty banter, romantic teasing, and "how-to tips." The chemistry between the cast and the way they outsmart the bad guys...priceless. Throw in some interesting clients and wacky side-kicks and you're hooked. I started watching the show during it's third season. After viewing a couple of episodes during a marathon one day, I found myself out purchasing seasons 1 and 2 DVDs. I fell in love. In season 3, you will see how the characters have developed and genuinely love each through thick and thin. Now, I'm going through withdrawals waiting for the remainder of season 3 to return in January 2010. What can I say? I'm addicted. This IS must see T.V.
on September 20, 2009
Our family thinks "Burn Notice" is the best show on TV now with "The Closer" 2nd. Great character development on both shows. Note: To get the full flavor of both shows and the character development, we think you should start at Season One with both series. No matter how tempted you are to get to the "meatier" shows in the following seasons, take the time to watch season one's set-ups for both of them. Don't get us wrong, they are *both* great first seasons, but the characters and plots get much more complex as the shows mature. Trust us on "Burn Notice" however, the shows a winner, and should be up for multiple Emmy Awards. This show has some of the best writing, casting, acting, directing and editing on TV.
Its a great show with a dynamite cast and great writers, all with a sense of humor to add a light touch to things. Its nice to have a show thats not a sitcome that has characters you can like. This has got it all.
on July 3, 2010
Chances are if you're reading about season 3 of Burn Notice, you're already a fan of the show. I'm not going to talk about the episode quality in detail here, it's the same fun show it always was. But this DVD set is completely bare bones when compared to seasons 1 and 2. There are no audio commentaries, no gag reel, no deleted scenes, pretty much no extras to speak of except for two short, simple featurettes involving the stunts of the show and some fun with Bruce Campbell at Comic-Con. These extras were alright...but that's all you get.
Regardless, season 3 is definitely worth owning, but unless you're a die hard fan that needs to have these episodes on display right now, consider waiting for the price point to drop. You're pretty much getting JUST episodes with these DVDs, and it would be a much cheaper route to just purchase the episodes in a digital format instead of shelling out close to 50 bucks retail. Let's hope season 4 gives us the stuff we want to see with a television DVD release.
EDIT: The specs of the season four DVD set (releasing this summer) are quite promising. Kudos to them picking up the ball again.
It's described as the hottest show of the summer in the TV ads, and I've got to say I have a hard time arguing with that. What show? Burn Notice, of course. If you want action and adventure with lots of explosions, you've come to the right place, and season three continues to keep the burning going.
The show revolves around Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan). Michael was a spy, and a very good one, until he got "burned." Someone set him up with fake documents that made the US government not trust him any more. They dumped him in Miami, his childhood home, which means he has to interact with mom Madeline (Sharon Gless). Miami also happens to be the home of his on again off again girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), an arms dealer, and Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) a buddy who has retired from the FBI. Michael supports himself by taking on jobs for people who are having problems the law can't deal with while also trying to clear his name from the burn list so he can go back to being a spy.
This season picks up exactly where season 2 ended. Michael has just come face to face with the man who is responsible for having him burned. In response to a job offer to work for him or deal with increasing pressure, Michael jumps from the helicopter where they are meeting and swims to shore.
Arriving back in Miami, he finds himself continuing to take the odd job to make money. He helps capture a man stealing land in Venezuela. He works hard to find a kidnapped boy. He attempts to stop the leak of covert operative's names with only the word of a mentally disturbed man to go on. He even takes on insurance scammers.
Unfortunately, he finds that this mysterious organization really has been protecting him. Suddenly, he finds the police are asking way too many questions about all the explosions that seem to happen around him. He's audited by the IRS. And he makes contact with someone still working for the CIA who might help clear his name. But all his efforts to clear his name cause friction in his relationships with Fi and Sam. Will the three be able to continue working together?
This show works on two levels. Each week features an A story that is resolved from start to finish in that episode. But there is also the ongoing B story that continues from week to week about Michael's attempts to get his burn notice reversed. As with last season, there are really two arcs to the B story, each lasting half the season and leaving you with a cliffhanger to get you to watch the next bit of the story. Yes, some stuff from the B stories will get spoiled if you jump in here or watch a random episode, but you will have no problem following the A story.
I find both stories are worth tuning in to see every week. I can never see how our heroes will get out of their predicaments alive, and yet they manage to at the last minute. And they always manage to do it with lots of explosions and gun shots. Really, this is the best action show on TV at the moment with lots of chases and gun play to keep any guy entertained.
Because of the conflict Michael, Fi, and Sam had over Michael's actions for most of the season, I felt the characters really grew. And Michael's mom continues to develop, too. I no longer see her as extraneous like I did in season 1 but very much a part of the show. The character development did make the show felt more serious at times, but it was worth it for the rich characters.
Not that they don't include some humor in the mix like always. Michael's voice over narration continue to provide some great lines as well as information on how to operate and build crazy gadgets (not that I'd try any of them myself). And the wise cracks coming from the main characters continue as well.
Because of the added character development, the actors really had to step up this season, and they delivered. Even the guest stars seemed to be up to the challenge. This is a believably acted show on every level.
Season 3 consisted of 16 episodes, which are presented here in wide screen and full surround on four discs. The final disc has a couple of extras, including the comic con panel for the show and a look behind the scenes at the stunts of the show.
If you haven't seen this show, you don't know what you are missing. Whether you start with season three or go back to season 1, now is the best time to get into Burn Notice.
on May 25, 2015
Have just completed watching Season 3 after a long layoff from the series. It remains true to it's fundamental formula of sun, fun, and spies in Miami with "burned" spy Michael Weston and friends helping various clients all the while Michael works with various unsavory characters trying to get the burn notice revoked. This is light entertainment as long as you can suspend belief on a number of levels. My biggest problem is the cars are two primary heroes drive this season. Michael continues to drive a classic 1973 Dodge Charger with a large hood scoop, not exactly the most inconspicuous ride even in Miami. Worse yet for several episodes Sam Axe is driving a bright red, beautifully restored 1960 Buick LeSabre with white interior- yup, just the choice for covert ops. Fun fact, in the girl group The Go-Go's drive an identical car in the video for their hit song "Our Lips Are Sealed" which came out in the early '80's. Anyway, things end up with Michael missing and his future in doubt. I'm concerned about Season 4 as the show runners mess with the nicely balanced cast chemistry adding a new team member named Jesse, I hate him already and haven't seen one episode yet...maybe he'll grow on me?
on November 13, 2014
This show is amazing!!!!! I love everything about it! I love Michael Weston, Fi, Sam & Michael's chain-smoking mother! It has the detective good-guy/bad-guy cop-show aspect that I love, a great story line, characters with personality, the frustrated love-story between Michael & Fiona that keeps getting more interesting each season as as Michael realizes how much he really does love Fiona time and time again. Characters from past episodes revisit to continue the story line. The aspect of sweet revenge is rich in this series. Michael and his team always come up with a perfect solution, and a perfect ending that satisfies. When you feel like the episode is over, unlike most similar shows that leave you hanging and let you fill in the rest, there's always a bit more that gets resolved in a final longer-than-normal scene that makes you happy it's not over yet.
From a critical aspect, it is annoying that Michael never keeps one red cent from his clients, even when he's incurred a lot of expenses on their behalf and he has no money to begin with. That part is over-the-top, and frankly, he should at least charge a small fee. Fiona and Sam, as good as friends as they are, they can't dedicate their entire lives to Michael for free--it's pretty unrealistic. Also a bit over-the-top are Fiona's scantily-clad outfits, as well as the plethora of bikini shots of passer-byes, etc. This is unnecessary and does detract from the overall quality of the show.
However, this show has some great plot lines, funny lines, fantastic lines, and is just, incredibly entertaining. I like shows such as Criminal Minds (which can have some themes that are too heavy, but you have to love the characters), Flashpoint (sorry they ended that one--love you Greg Parker), Blue Bloods (Tom Selleck, you still got it!!!!), Under the Dome (who would have guessed--yes, I'm addicted), and now...Burn Notice--LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! I'm going to burn through these seasons quickly at the rate I'm going, and then, I'm going to miss Michael Weston & his buddies.
on April 18, 2010
ALthough this isn't some masterpiece, the characters are well developed, not overhyped and cheeky. The whole series takes on a smart, creative, and tongue in cheek attitude. Think classic Sean Connery Bond stuff. All set in sunny, bikini-laden miami. I'm never bored and can never quite tell what's going to happen (other than Michael solving the problem in an original, interesting way). Highly recommended as fun & smart spy series.
on February 23, 2013
I absolutely love this series!!!!!!
The character development is superb. I have 4 seasons of this show and I have watched them more than 20 times. Even so, I still laugh in the same place because each time I watch, it's as if it's for the first time. The writers are to be commended on the consistency of the characters. I love the fact that the top 4 characters, as well as the supporting characters, have well-developed personalities.
Jeffrey is the star, but his supporters are portrayed as real people, with real lives, who hold their own against his leadership.
Unlike Star Trek, The Original Series, the leading character in Burn Notice can really act. The supporting characters do not have to carry him.
This is my first review of a series and I know it sounds a bit incoherent, but I hope I have expressed myself well enough to indicate that I think this is a first rate show, with first rate writers and actors, and I hope this series will continue for many many years.
I know this would be a physical hardship for the actors and I would continue to be a purchaser of this series even if the actors are given more time off to recover sufficiently. Along with fewer episodes, I vote for lower prices!! I no longer pay more than $30.00 for any series; no matter how much I love them!!