Thursday’s premiere episode of “Burn Notice” choked me up a little, and then it made my question why I was rooting for Michael Westen. In other words, Matt Nix’s top-rated cable drama (which drew an astounded 9.1 million viewers for its mid-season finale) accomplished all of its goals and more.
The basic premise of the show remains unchanged: Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) is still trapped in Miami and still hoping to untangle the mystery behind the burn notice that trapped him in the city with no records or job history. Fiona and Sam (Gabrielle Anwar and Bruce Campbell) are there to offer their assistance, and there is also his chain-smoking mother Madeline (played effortlessly by Sharon Gless).
Even though this episode is a continuation of the summer finale, there is still a new mission be done. On the surface, it seems all about Michael trying to help a woman in need; there are car chases, an undercover mission, fake accents, and some of the MacGyver-like use of equipment we’ve come to expect from the show. (There is also a lovely bit involving a hotel room.)
However, this episode was really all about Michael’s relationship with his mother. Without giving any of the finer details away, the problem is deeply rooted within Michael’s work and it involves Madeline’s new friend (guest star Tyne Daly, who of course was on “Cagney & Lacey” with Sharon Gless). The scenes with Daly and Gless are beautifully done, and they serve as a remainder that “Burn Notice” can be just as strong of a drama as anything out there on the major networks. Michael has to again question his motivations behind his work along with some of the implications is had upon his family.
If you haven’t watched any of “Burn Notice” yet and you are looking for the perfect time to jump in, now is as great as ever. Though there is a storyline carrying over from the summer, it is easy to catch on to. If you love action, then this is definitely the show for you.
Meanwhile, more diehard fans should find quite a bit to like with “The Dark Road” even if it doesn’t break any new ground (outside of the scenes with Tyne Daly) and it doesn’t progress the main plotline by leaps and bounds. It’s top-notch scripted work at 10 o’clock–since NBC isn’t offering it right now, why not go to USA?
“Burn Notice” will air every Thursday. Are you excited for the premiere? Let me know your thoughts with a comment below. To follow the show on Twitter, follow this link.
Want to read more of the latest TV news? Then click the “subscribe” button at the top of the page to receive continuous updates. You can also follow me on Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter.’
Today’s top TV stories:
Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller’s hearing postponed
“Survivor” contestant Jenn Lyon dead at 37
Conan O’Brien trashes NBC in Spanish
“American Idol” recap: yes, some of them can!
Snooki from “Jersey Shore” talk about eating disorder, reality show
Conan O’Brien’s “Fox” Twitter page raises questions