Monday, June 7, 2010

Review: BURN NOTICE S3 DVD

The third season of the USA Network action series, Burn Notice is new on DVD, once again delivering for fans and collectors sixteen hours of some of the best escapism on television.

In this third season, "burned" ex-spy Michael Weston (Jefferey Donovan, Blair Witch 2) finds himself still stuck in Miami, but now completely unprotected. He and his "team" - gunrunning lover Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar, If Looks Could Kill), ex-SEAL Sam (Bruce Campbell, Evil Dead) and his mom, Madeline (Sharon Gless, Cagney & Lacey) - are soon under scrutiny by a tenacious Miami police detective and fending off attacks by a slew of Weston's old enemies, all while continuing to help the helpless and trying to get his old government job back.

As with the previous seasons, fine casting and engaging performances make a potentially routine premise into something highly entertaining. Bright South Florida locations, lots of Miami Beach glamour (including seemingly endless background beauties in bikinis), exciting car stunts, fiery explosions, convincing fights and intriguing scripts mix smoothly into a tasty action-adventure stew.

The characters are the key, though, and the third season does a great job of keeping them fresh and the viewer genuinely interested in what happens to them. In this third year, Weston really pushes his friends to the limits of their loyalty, and has to involve his mother in his schemes to a much greater extent than before. There are a number of great guest stars this year, as well, including Tim Matheson (Animal House) making a return appearance as one of Weston's old adversaries, and Tyne Daly (The Enforcer), who shows up for a cute Cagney & Lacey reunion with Gless.

The four-disc set from Fox Home Entertainment includes all 16 Season Three episodes in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers and Dolby 5.1 Digital audio. Image quality is bright and sharp, and the audio is robust. This set is slim on bonus features - unlike the previous seasons - containing only a short documentary on the series' stunts and video of the cast & crew's appearance at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con.

I follow this show on DVD (Season 4 is just starting on USA now, but I don't have cable and hate watching shows on my desktop), and I always burn through the seasons in a couple of days. The year-long waits between sets can be rough, but by the time the new season hits DVD, I'm really missing the characters and am eager to jump back into their world. Burn Notice is smart, fast-paced television and is highly recommended.

2 comments:

Armstrong Sabian said...

I thought this season had some places where it dragged a bit (the ep. where they fake the alley shootout where Michael poses as a priest at the end was a bit fanciful for my tastes), and I think that they're risking Michael turning into some sort of superhero. I advocate him having some failures in the coming season to make him question the path he's on. Still, much better than most of what else is on television now.

Christopher Mills said...

I loved that episode. It was a pure MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE plot. Maybe fifth season, M:I, but still it was fun to see.

I agree about him being a bit too infallible, though.