Burn Notice: The Complete Fourth Season

Burn Notice: The Complete Fourth Season
I think it's great that Burn Notice picked up where the '80s left off, emulating such stellar fare as The A-Team, Magnum P.I. and Miami Vice. You just don't see that many close-ups of girls' asses in bikinis, slow motion shots of cars blowing up without pieces falling off or a person dodging excessive gunfire by doing a summersault on night time TV anymore. And, to be candid, if Private Practice or Grey's Anatomy featured any of this stuff in the midst of their bed-hopping shenanigans and repetitive love triangle storylines, I might not feel quite so bad about the state of scripted television and society as a whole. If something is going to be bad, embrace that badness with a nod and wink, as this overly colourful and cheaply made Miami spy show has done for the last four seasons. And despite the occasional diversion, such as "burned" spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) going to prison briefly or sassy, gun-toting explosives expert girlfriend Fi (Gabrielle Anwar) getting kidnapped, every episode of Burn Notice is exactly the same. Most of them involve either blackmail or a kidnapping and feature a couple of explosions, a gunfight and at least one car accident. Comic sidekick Sam (Bruce Campbell) says something inappropriate or perverted during the various missions to thwart criminal enterprises through bizarrely executed plans, while Michael's mom Madeline (Sharon Gless) chain-smokes, makes sarcastic remarks and delivers a bit of sanctimonious morality. The only genuine distinction about the fourth season from the rest is that Jesse Porter (Coby Bell) ― a spy that Michael burned ― joins the team for the majority of their missions. There's also a female assassin thrown into the mix for a few episodes and a subplot about a Bible. The quality hasn't deteriorated from season one, which is a plus, but at the same time, I'm not really sure I would notice if crap became crappier. Included with the DVD set is a supplement on the stunts, which takes place at an outdoor press conference, along with a tongue-in-cheek segment on the drinking and womanizing Sam Axe. The Burn Notice/White Collar roasts are also included, as they are on the White Collar box set, poking some much-needed fun at the campiness of both shows, while the gag reel and commentary track expand upon an affable cast with a solid sense of humour. (Fox)