Burn Notice, a quirky but extremely entertaining dramedy returns for Season 6 this June. The USA Network, where we are frequently reminded that characters are welcome, has Burn Notice to thank not only for the station’s obvious success but also for paving the way for a popular, inventive lineup of TV programs that also includes Psyche, White Collar, Covert Affairs, In Plain Sight, Royal Pains, Necessary Roughness, Fairly Legal, and Suits. With every new entry, USA demonstrates that cable can compete with broadcast and premium channels.
Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) and Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar), the forever lovelorn spy pair, will no doubt provide us with another season of bomb building exercises, sarcastically sweet exchanges and never ending save the day antics. Joining Michael and Fiona are former Navy Seal Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell), ex-Counterintelligence Agent Jesse Porter (Coby Bell), and Michael’s chain-smoking, fashion-challenged mother, Madeline (the amazing Sharon Gless). The interaction between members of this talented, colorful cast adds to the show’s appeal.
The city of Miami is the back drop to the show and cast, embedding itself as the sixth main character. In each opening of Burn Notice, Westen describes his predicament, explaining that he was “dropped” in a city as Fiona gently whispers, a single word “Miami.” The home place of Westen’s childhood, Miami is a much sought after destination with world class beaches and beautiful people. It’s true; the pace is slower, but this city remains a paradise of sorts.
We learn that a “Burned Spy” has little means and must survive on wit and intellect alone. Westen has taken us on his journey of discovery to understand who burned him and why. Like with any great script, he claws to the surface and just when you think we’ll learn all the answers, a twist shatters the notion. Personally, I don’t want to know because the actual hunt is much more fun.
As a resident of Miami, the scenery that Burn Notice provides fills me with enormous pride. Those who wonder should know that this series is mostly filmed in the quiet back roads of Coconut Grove, a beautiful Miami suburb, so as not to disturb the easy going life style we covet here. It rarely makes the local news, except in anticipation of its return; Burn Notice glides through the streets with respect and admiration for Miami residents, making us feel like a part of something truly special.
For locals, Burn Notice can be considered a savvier version of the popular 80’s series Miami Vice. Gone are the pink and teal shades of Sonny Crockett’s then trend setting blazers; now replaced with sleek beige slacks and crisp white shirts that Michael Westen wears oh so well. His signature aviator sunglasses only add to his undeniable mystique.
The evolution of Miami and its undesirable mean streets of the 70’s and 80’s once ruled by drug lords now belongs to tourists from all over the world and its residents who are lucky enough to call this city home. Westen, a superhero in his own right puts the people of Miami first as he fights for the ill-fated and the disenfranchised with a pistol in one hand and a Greek yogurt in the other.
Grab your spyware and gather the gang, Burn Notice is sneaking up on us and I for one am ready for the espionage to start all over again.
Burn Notice’s new season begins on June 14. Go to the USA Network website for schedules and updates.