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Burn Notice: Season 1

4.8 out of 5 stars 445 customer reviews

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Product Description

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)

Special Features

  • 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

Product Details

  • Actors: Jeffrey Donovan, Sharon Gless, Bruce Campbell, Gabrielle Anwar
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 535 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (445 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015RRNMA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,699 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Burn Notice: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 22, 2008
Format: DVD
Michael Westen: "Most people would be thrilled to be dumped in Miami. Sadly, I am not most people...I've never found a good way to hide a gun in a bathing suit."

When you're a spy, getting a burn notice means that you've been officially deemed unreliable by your covert brethren, and that you're no longer wanted in the cloak-and-dagger community. Always good at rubbing people the wrong way, international spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan, TOUCHING EVIL) is in Nigeria brokering a deal with a terrorist when he learns of his burn notice over a cell phone. Barely skedaddling out of Nigeria with his life, Michael somehow finds himself stranded in his hometown of Miami, with his finances frozen, his options about nil, and former friends and colleagues keeping far, far away.

Michael decides to lay low for a while and, because a man has just got to make a living somehow, becomes a makeshift private investigator and troubleshooter. But, even as he takes on the criminal elements in Miami, his overriding objective remains finding out why he was blacklisted. But it's hard going as, mysteriously, no one will tell him anything. Meanwhile, various spooks are monitoring his every move. So, something's going on...

Yup, I dig this show. The USA Network's BURN NOTICE proved to be one of the more pleasant surprises of 2007. Not having seen a lot of Jeffrey Donovan's work, I'm still quickly becoming a fan. He brings a wry, deadpan charm to the show, and he looks like there's stuff just churning underneath his character's self-contained exterior. And it's exactly because of this distant persona that I appreciate Michael Westen providing a very quotable, "been there, done that" voice-over narration.
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This is a don't miss show for many reasons--including multiple important characters--none of that one person on the screen all the time. Yet the male lead is not only caring, but clever and able to "MacGuyver" and improvise necessary equipment and tools. That adds so much to see inventiveness back on the tube instead of just standing around waiting for the laugh track. Additionally, the female lead LOOKS appropriate. She's an EXPERIENCED, beautiful "agent", member of the spy underground and for a blessed change--she's not some dumb bunny 19 year old. She looks strong, yet there is no fear in letting a little weariness appear on her face. She has earned it. Of course, the always hilarious and smack-on perfect comic timing expert--Bruce Campbell--is the third member of the team. Perfectly slimy, yet dependable in a pinch. This show uses the backdrop of Florida to a "T" and craft their show with good sense. These folks are not always on the right side of the "law". One of my favorite episodes was a notorious, vicious drug dealer received just desserts at the hands of the team. Instead of, once again, watching the bad guys walk away because of legal juggling. Very satisfying.
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I really love this show. It's one of my 'new' favourites. To be honest, I first started watching it because of Jeffrey Donovan, who plays the lead, Michael Weston. I used to watch him in The Pretender and Crossing Jordan and loved him, so I began to see what this was like. It's a great show and I make sure not to miss any episodes. Speaking of episodes, this is how season 1 plays out;
PILOT - Michael Weston, a contract agent for various agencies including the CIA, finds that a burn notice has been issued for him. Stranded in Miami, he takes the case of a caretaker accused of stealing millions from his boss.
IDENTITY - Weston is roped into helping his mother's friend get back money she lost in a scam, but Fi and Sam may ruin everything with their bumbling and bickering.
FIGHT OR FLIGHT - Michael's landlord, Oleg, is having a problem with one of his waitresses. She hasn't come into work because she witnessed a crime committed by a man who just happens to be a member of a local drug cartel. Michael is (mostly) happy to look into it, as he also continues his investigation into who stuck him with his burn notice.
OLD FRIENDS - Michael's brother is back in town, and he involves him in the search for a friend's daughter for less than pure motives. Elsewhere, an agent with a grudge comes after Michael.
FAMILY BUSINESS - Michael takes on arms dealers for an airport worker, while Nate obsesses about the car and their dad's will.
UNPAID DEBTS - Michael helps out an old SEAL buddy of Sam's who has gotten himself on the wrong side of a smuggler while trying to repossess his boat, and a new agent hits town set on making Michael's life miserable since he won't give up on finding his burn notice.
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5 Comments 55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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What makes this series great isn't just the excellent writing, but the cast. Sure production values, directing, and F/X are wonderful as well, but it is the cast that truly makes this show work. The chemistry between Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, and Sharon Gless makes it worth watching alone. I have always enjoyed spy type TV series, but this is an interesting approach to it. An agent is retired, given a burn notice, while he is still quite young and capable. Him figuring out why is the main focus. Add in the fact his friends and family are trying to find him work which is mostly of a detective nature and you have a good mix of action and comedy. I highly recommend it, especially if you are a fan of series like Magnum PI. Though "Burn Notice" is a bit more "MacGyver"-ish than Magnum PI, you still see the similarity.

I couldn't help but make some comparisons to that series with a handsome hero narrating his thoughts, good dramatic stories, interesting and often resourceful friends, beautiful locations, and some very funny comedy thrown in at the right times. I think Donovan is perfect for the role. I recall when I saw CSI the first season why William Petersen was so good in the role. If you had seen him in "Manhunter" several years prior it was like the role was designed for him. I swear this role in "Burn Notice" is designed for Jeffrey Donovan. Don't miss the best new series of 2007. You can bet I pre-ordered it. The box is mediocre but the DVDs are excellent. I am a little disappointed there were not more episodes, but the price is quite reasonable. I highly recommend this series and give thanks to USA channel for having the intelligence to properly support it unlike some of the other major networks that often fail good TV series.
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