Burn Notice: Season 1
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Covert intelligence operative Michael Westen has been punched, kicked, choked and shot. Now he's being burned, and someone's going to pay! When Michael receives a "burn notice," blacklisting him from the intelligence community and compromising his very identity, he must track down a faceless nemesis without getting himself killed in the process. Meanwhile, Michael is forced to double as a private investigator on the dangerous streets of Miami in order to survive.
Burn Notice is a canny, clever comedy-thriller show about a covert operative with a heart of gold. Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) is in the middle of a top-secret mission when he discovers he's been "burned"--basically, fired without warning. After barely extricating himself from danger, he wakes up in Miami, where the government has abandoned him and locked him out of his own bank account. To make ends meet, he takes on private detective jobs (helping an old lady who's fallen victim to a con artist; rescuing a young girl who's being tricked into white slavery; helping a mother whose son has been kidnapped by the boy's father... only it turns out the father is the rightful parent and the "mom" is an assassin sent to kill him--a nice guest star appearance by Lucy Lawless, Xena: Warrior Princess), while trying to figure out who burned him and why. Westen tries to remain clinical in his approach to these problems, but he always ends up protecting the helpless with his sophisticated spy skills. Over the course of the first season, he gradually uncovers a mysterious conspiracy that plans to use his talents for their own nefarious ends. Burn Notice deftly mixes the old and the new. The old: Our hero has a hot ex-girlfriend (Gabrielle Anwar, Scent of a Woman), a goofy sidekick (cult hero Bruce Campbell of the Evil Dead movies), and a meddling mom (Sharon Gless, Cagney & Lacey) who help and hinder him in his investigations, as well as a MacGyver-esque skill for making deadly devices out of common household products. The new: A media-savvy way of deconstructing the tricks and techniques of spies and government agencies, often resulting in smart and highly entertaining plot twists. Donovan, handsome but cheeky, combines a light comic touch with a convincing secret agent cool, and the supporting cast fill their niches with aplomb. Their escapades are pretty breezy and occasionally skirt being glib, but most of the time the show finds an extremely entertaining balance between action, romance, and humor. The extras are few (some montages of characteristic moments from the series, including one of the many bikini-clad girls the Miami locale provides) and the commentaries, rather than covering entire episodes, just discuss a few select scenes from each show. Fortunately, the series itself holds up; imagine a cross between Magnum, P.I. and The Wild Wild West (the classic series, not the insulting Will Smith movie) and you're on the right track. --Bret Fetzer
Stills from Burn Notice (Click for larger image)
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- 11 episodes on four discs, including the double-length season finale
- Scene-specific audio commentary for each episode by show creator Matt Nix and stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, and Sharon Gless
- Gag reel
- Character montage
- Action montage
- Girls Gone Burn Notice montage
- Jeffrey Donovan audition footage
- Gabrielle Anwar audition footage
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Top customer reviews
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A home run -- keep this series going!
A. Jones, Toronto, Canada
Pick an action hero, pretty much any will do, and they are the good guy, right? Well, sort of. If the "Bad Girl," the one who just killed some innocent person, throws herself at our hero, he'll do the honorable thing and have sex with her, and then turn her in. Wait, honorable?
Or our hero will engage in a high speed chase through city streets and residential neighborhoods, with no regard for the potential loss of innocent life. Hey guys, there is a reason the police don't do high speed chases, and it is an ethical one.
Or our hero, trying to get away from police who are chasing him, will execute some cool driving maneuver that results in half the police fleet crashing and flipping spectacularly and, often, in slow motion. Wait, what happens when the 911 calls go out tomorrow?
Or the hero is an ex-CIA man who wipes out a dozen agents because some nutball at the top wants him terminated and he wants to live. Hard to root for one of our guys killing, um, our guys.
And so on.
Burn Notice takes a different tack. The hero tries to do the right thing at all times, and, when he cant' he admits it and still does the most ethical thing he can. This is refreshing.
For example, the female lead throws herself at him, and he keeps throwing her back because she's a trigger happy bomber. Not many men, hero or otherwise, would through her back. At one point he has to get rid of a drug dealer who has pulled a gun on him before, so he shoots the guy in the leg, and gives him antiseptic and a bandage so he won't walk with a limp after it heals. He steals a car because he has no option, but the voice over says he he will have it back by 5 PM, and he keeps his mother from smoking in it and stinking it up because it isn't his car.
This may all seem trivial, but it sets the show and the hero apart from so many others. It gives the show character and depth, and adds to the fun.
I have been watching many TV dramas and this one is my top 3! (Maybe one.)
I'm really impressed how the show is made. It's just amazing and fun to watch.
A comment from the back of the DVD package describes the show very well.
This show is very enjoyable and makes me watch more.
I love Michael. He is a great character and adorable. Fiona has good job being around Michael.
I'm really happy to meet this show!