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September 23, 2014

Burn Notice: Pilot (series premiere)

by Paul Goebel, posted Jun 29th 2007 12:19PM

Jeffrey Donovan(S01E01) The first thing that struck me about Burn Notice was how the show appealed to my senses. While watching the show, I could almost feel the heat of the sun, smell the salt water and taste the Pina Coladas.

I really appreciated the lack of explanation in the pilot. Most of us have already gotten the premise from the ads for the show, so once the action kicked in, right at the beginning, I was hooked. Generally, I don't like voice-overs but it was a great way to give details that make the show very interesting. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was getting MacGyver flashbacks when Michael was explaining how to make a listening device out of two cell phones.

I've always been a fan of Bruce Campbell but I never thought he was ever given the right role on television...until now. Bruce is perfect as the boozed-out ex-spy and he's only a part of this extraordinary cast. Gabrielle Anwar and Sharon Gless are a welcome sight in addition to being perfectly cast.

The best cast member, however, had to be the city of Miami. Unlike CSI: Miami, this show was clearly shot on location and it showed. The art deco architecture and the beautiful women gave the most accurate portrayal of Miami in any show I've ever seen.

Lastly, I was really struck by the dichotomies that filled the first episode. The show took place during the holidays with Christmas trees in all the houses but the sun was shining in every scene. Michael Westen is a spy through and through but he has no allegiances. The show is about life and death situations but makes me laugh with physical comedy. Michael is clearly consumed with his own interests and yet, he cares deeply about helping other people.

The premise of Michael taking PI cases in Miami while trying to solve the mystery of his burn notice is a good enough premise to keep me watching, the rest of the show is just gravy and I love gravy.

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buffaloedan1

loved this show. its pretty sad that the best shows this year are the summer replacements and on cable- the riches, the closer, burn notice, pysch, army wives, and the two new series that lifetime is planning for sundays. why cant the big networks get their act together during the fall ?

July 02 2007 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tammy

I consider this fun, summer tv. I wasn't as bowled over as the rest of you with the pilot. I felt that some of the comedy in the voice overs was a tad forced. Plus the voice overs already are starting to get old. Sure it was good to learn about bullet proof doors and hardware stores etc. but some of the voice overs were unnecessary. I just think they need to tone it down some.

Still the show has promise and I will definitely keep watching. New shows during the summer are a welcome relief.

July 02 2007 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jgs9455

Really liked the show. It had me hooked from start to finish and now I can't wait for the next episode. I hope they keep it up.

July 02 2007 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pamela

I enjoyed it and will watch again. The cast is great. Have always loved Jeffrey Donovan since I saw him Touching Evil. I loved that show and was disappointed that it was killed.

July 02 2007 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

Just got to it on the Tivo. Very, very promising show - I always love shows that show clever approaches to difficult situations. The tone and some of the themes of the show reminded me of "Spies" from ABC, which I found as appealing. It was disappointing that the show was canceled, though I'm thinking Burn Notice's USA parentage means it'll have far lower expectations. I never really enjoyed Psych (too silly and unrealistic), but I'm looking forward to a good run for Burn Notice.

July 01 2007 at 6:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
La-Di-Dah

Love this show too. I had a smile on my face through the whole thing. Don't know if he's the most probable spy in the world, but he's the funniest and most enjoyable. Definitely loved how they drew the character and his little insights (e.g. broken home = perfect spy, etc). My second favorite character was the kid who "wanted him to really kill somebody," but everyone (girlfriend, buddy, mother) was fantastic and spot-on.

July 01 2007 at 2:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JLM

I was pleasantly surprised to a show on USA that actually has some clever dialogue (not just "kooky" characters, which seems to be what most of new shows rely on). Since pilot episodes are usually difficult to write well, I was impressed with the production. It will be interesting to see if they can keep up the momentum.

I looked at the credits of Matt Nix (the show's EP/writer) to see what else he had done. Check out the short film he did a few years ago (be patient, it's short and there is an unexpected ending). Link is below

http://www.atomfilms.com/film/me_big_guy.jsp

June 30 2007 at 10:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vacelts

My favorite voice-over was the one about being tailed with his mother in the car.

http://redlightnaps.wordpress.com/2007/06/30/burn-notice-pilot/

June 30 2007 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

I'm adding this show to my list...it's just really entertaining, it's not too over-the-top, and all of the characters are believable and (with the exception of mom) likeable.

On a side note, I'm really impressed with the original series that USA Network has put out recently: The Dead Zone, The 4400, and Monk have all been well-made for a couple of years now. Then last year they added Psych (which is silly but fun), and now this. Who needs HBO? Thank you USA Network!

June 30 2007 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
az1324

I'm with #9 I did not like it at all.... well besides when Gabrielle kicked that guys ass.

June 30 2007 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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