Brian F. from ROHNERT PARK, CA Reviewed on 4/20/2010...
Great season. Not as good as the first and the third, but the whole MacGyver meets the A Team meets 007 goes a very, very long way to making a great TV show.
An amazing season, better than the first and well worth your
Pamela R. Heath | Bay Area, CA | 03/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The writing for the first season of Burn Notice was excellent, very tight with interesting characters and situations. However, towards the end, a lot of fans were worried. Some of the helpless clients of the week were starting to feel a touch repetitive.
We needn't have worried.
The second season just finished, and I can assure you that the writing is even better, the characters stronger, and many of the story lines more compelling, than in the first season. It's no wonder the show has doubled its viewing audience. I particularly like how the characters have evolved. Michael has dealt with some of his family issues, gotten closer to his brother, and understands that his mother really does care about him--even if that's easier to take when she's not blowing cigarette smoke (literally) in his face. The bad guys are organized and smart, which means he have to be even smarter. It's good story telling.
However, even with all the other positives that made me pre-order the DVD set as soon as it was possible, there are several particular episodes that stand out from the rest, which alone are worth the price of the DVDs. One of these involves Michael Westin trapped inside a bank during a robbery with a government agent, Bly, whom he blackmailed the first season and who hates Michael's guts. Watching the respect build between the two, and the way they wind up working together -- not to mention Michael Westins way of dealing with the robbers -- is delightful. It's nothing you've ever seen before. It's not Die Hard and it's not like The Ransom of Red Chief (where a little boy makes kidnappers regret ever taking him to the point they wind up paying the parents to take him back). From start to finish, the robbers never figure out that they have a tiger by the tail. The only one with a clue how dangerous that Westin can be is Bly, who had read Westin's dossier in season 1 and has been dancing back and forth with him to see who can top whom. The ending is particularly satisfying. So, I really loved "Bad Breaks" and doubted (silly me) whether they could top this story line in the remaining episodes.
The season finale completed a fascinating story arc involving an ex-CIA agent, Victor, gone to the dark side. This 4 episode story arc alone makes this season is a must-have for fans. What can one say about this amazing character? Played by Michael Shanks in a recurring role, Victor took us through the gamut. We went from hating him and thinking he is a psychopath wavering on the edge of sanity (you were never quite sure how he was going to react to things), to realizing he was an incredibly tragic character and a cautionary tale of what Michael could have been in other circumstances. The emotional roller coaster we share with the characters on screen as we learn of Victor's back story (which comes out in the finale) and resulting changes in his relationship to Michael Westin is story telling at its best.
I have not been a fan of Michael Shanks in the past. However, his acting here is truly inspired. It goes far beyond anything I've seen him do other than in "The Arc of Truth" in the prison scene when Shanks' character, Daniel Jackson, finally gives up hope. It is worthy of an Emmy. Moreover, even with the already great supporting cast of Bruce Campbell (always worth watching and allowed some great scenes in the 2nd season), Sharon Gless (as Michael's mother who smokes while exercising to Jack LaLanne--which you have to watch to realize how funny that is), and Gabrielle Anwar (as the explosive Fiona), there's something magical about the chemistry between Shanks and Donovan that seems to kick Donovan's acting--already extraordinary--up a notch to a level seldom seen on the small screen. And if the ending is shocking, the choices made surprising to the viewer, one cannot help but feel that the characters have been changed forever by this experience and nothing will be quite the same again. Perhaps best of all, it makes the viewer asks of season 3, what's next? Because if there's one thing the writers, actors, and producers have shown us, it's that they understand good story telling, and can be trusted to make choices that will keep us on the edge of our seats, coming back for more.
I highly recommend this DVD set, especially if you haven't seen the show on TV. Although most of the story lines could work as stand-alones, there is an on-going story arc (of how and why Michael got burned and what he's doing to get his life back) that makes more sense if you watch them in order. The extras on the season 1 DVD set were excellent (including Donovan and Anwar's audition tapes), and I expect them to be equally good here. So far, I know of at least one extra that should be a lot of fun. Michael Shanks has reported recording a commentary track with Bruce Campbell and Matt Nix.
I speak for many fans when I say I can hardly wait for June, and the start of season 3 on USA network! Thank goodness Donovan's contract has been extended for another 6 years (total 8 seasons)! I love this show!"
Dry, Educating, and lots of fun!
Guy E. Cooley | Charlotte, NC United States | 08/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mike, Fiona, and Sam are an outstanding group who are always getting into more trouble than they bargained for, yet somehow manage to make their way through the various encounters with a grin and a chuckle.
Quote from Wanted Man: Sam: Mike, I gotta tell ya, this is more fun than I expected. I mean, I haven't done this sort of thing since... Gee, since there was an East Germany. Mike: Glad you're enjoying yourself. Sam: So how are things at home? Mike: A little strange. Fiona likes to test relationships with the emotional equivalent of artillery fire. Sam: Does she even want this guy? Mike: I don't know, I've never been able to figure her out. Sam: Well, I'm not one to tell you how to live your life.
I'm a real fan of dry humor, though I can never pull it off. The only time people laugh at me is when I'm being serious. My jokes- when I try to be funny -all fall flat- and nobody can tell when I'm serious or just kidding. My coworkers would tell you that it makes for an 'interesting' working relationship (if they're being nice). I... don't know what it is.
So - when I came across this show, I started watching the reruns from the first season, as a run-up to the 2nd season... and I've been really enjoying the show. It seems to be very educating - there are things that are presented here that I never thought about - in each episode... I discover a different way of thinking about things, a different way to do things, get things accomplished.
Things never quite turn out how I expect them to, or go off in directions that I didn't anticipate. Then again, I'm a computer guy: what I know about people you can fit on a (corner of) a postcard.
I love the show because of the dry banter, just the right amount of conflict (I give it a PG10 for the average American), and the new way of thinking about things. Oh. The acting is outstanding, the dialogue is clean and very well done.
I'm definitely looking forward to more shows. My other 'top of the list' television shows include Life (NBC) and Firefly (which the FOX network brainaics cancelled).
Great show, great acting, great plot, wonderful writing - hopefully the USA network will continue to see the value in this series for quite a while yet.
Quote from Turn and Burn: Mike: Fi - get me a sniper rifle and some C4. Fiona: Oooh - I like where this is going...
Lousy Blu Ray Burn Notice S2
Stacey Yeggy | NC, United States | 06/26/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have to agree with these other reviewers and had I seen the reviews first I would have not bought this. In fact I'm in the process of returning do to the horrible (very grainy) look. The original airings on USA were much better. I've also lodged a complaint with fox but doubt it will do much good."
Terrible Blu-Ray Production
David A. Block | Columbus, Georgia | 06/22/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Burn Notice is such a wonderful show! Season Two was shot and broadcast in HD and looked awesome on my HDTV when it was aired. So how is it possible that FOX did such an inept job in transferring it to Blu-Ray? The scenes are grainy, sometimes out of focus and I swear I saw artifacts. Hands down, these are the worst Blu-Ray discs I own. My standard discs of Season One look ten times better than Season Two. Don't waste the extra money on Blu-Ray! Buy the standard DVD's."
My new favorite show
Book girl Eva | 03/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I did not start watching this show until after the 1st season aired. I will admit that the concept sounded kind of stupid, but was urged by a friend to watch the 1st season that had come out on DVD. I was instantly addicted and watched the entire 1st season in 1 day (only 9 episodes). I couldn't wait for season 2 and it did not dissapoint. Here is a tired idea that is made fresh and original with great writing, direction, and great performances from the cast. Jeffrey Donavan, Gabrielle Anwar, and Bruce Campbell really are what make this show great. I love the dry wit and interesting spy facts that are shared, all over a compelling storyline. The main storyline behind the show (who burned Michael and why) is still a mystery after 2 seasons, but you don't get frustrated that the story is going no where. The show focuses on what Michael is doing now, taking whatever jobs he can get for whatever pay they can afford, and that keeps the show going for the most part. I highly recommend this show to anyone that is tired of the bland cookie cutter shows that the networks keep putting every year. This show is really something special."