Burn Notice – DVD Review
by Scott "Kubryk" Sawitz on July 30, 2009

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Burn Notice has claimed the title of being one of the best shows on television for a very good reason: because its the absolute truth.

Following the further tales of Michael Weston (Jeffrey Donovan), a former CIA superspy who has been blackballed from his profession (called a “burn notice,” hence the shows name), the films cult status was seemingly lifted as Burn Notice found a bigger audience awaiting. With a cliffhanger at the end leaving much in the air at the end of the first season, the second answered as many questions as it asked.

When we last saw Michael, he was pulling his 1973 black Dodge Charger into a semi, looking for answers as he eagerly wanted to know who burned him. Whereas the first season was about discovering who burned him and why, the second is about exploring the people who burned him. Through a handler he only knows as Carla (Tricia Helfer), Michael spends the second season at her beck and call while trying to gain some type of upper hand against her. Joining him are his ex-girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) and his best friend Sam (Bruce Campbell), who both have their reasons for helping him out. Sam understands why Michael wants back in but likes having a sounding board for his romantic liaisons. Fiona and Michael have an understated relationship; as it develops throughout the season it gives a deeper meaning to it all.

And thats what drives the series in an interesting way. As Michael tries to get in, his relationship with Fiona gets very interesting. Anwar and Donovan have an amazing chemistry with one another that elevates what could be mediocre material with different actors. Campbell provides a comedic presence that Anwar or Donovan cant provide, as hes often used as the comedic sidekick because neither Donovan nor Anwar are skilled comedians. While his dramatic chops are used much more than in the first season, when he mainly was the shows resident comedian.

Throughout the series the films calling card, which is a combination of crime thriller chills and spy thriller techniques that turn into one of the more unique television shows out there and deserving of the reputation it has quickly developed.

Presented in a widescreen format with a Dolby digital surround, Burn Notice has a terrific a/v transfer. This is a colorful series that has a unique soundtrack that comes through wonderfully.

Most of the episodes have Deleted Scenes and several have a Commentary Track

Nixin it up on Burn Notice is a behind the scenes look at the episode “Do No Harm,” which is the one that series creator Matt Nix took over as he wrote and directed it. Its interesting to hear discuss working with the cast; he readily admits he cant tell them how their characters will act and react to things because they know them well enough that they dont need to be told. The episode itself is a bit different in that it eschews the shows formula and turns it on its head. It gives an interesting look at how Nix looks at the shows production and what he feels he needs to do in order to make the show.

It may not have a wealth of extras, but most television series released onto DVD dont have them. Burn Notice is such a good show that it doesnt need a wealth of extras to justify the purchase.




20th Century Fox presents Burn Notice. Created by Matt Nix. Starring Jeffery Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Sharon Gless and Bruce Campbell. Running time: 684 minutes. Not Rated. Released on DVD: June 16, 2009. Available at Amazon.



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Scott "Kubryk" Sawitz

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