Friday, September 13, 2013

Adios, Burn Notice

I don't know how many of you watched USA's series Burn Notice.  I started watching it when it came on originally.  The premise was intriguing as was the fact that it was shot in Miami.  I was born in Miami and spent many happy summers there as a child.  To say I was stunned at the enormous city shown on the tv screen would be an understatement.  Of course I haven't been back to Miami since my grandparents died.  So, as far as I know there could be space aliens sitting at the cafes sipping mojitos.  Some of my friends are sure Austin, TX is already full of them...I'll reserve judgment on that one.

Anyhow back to Burn Notice.  I always thought it was an exciting series, full of action, but also with some human pathos for balance.  It had a great cast who worked well as an ensemble.  I liked all of them.  They all did a wonderful job in their respective roles.

My favorites were Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe and his alter ego - Charles Finley.  I have always been a fan of his.  They frequently referred to his character on the show as the "guy with the chin."  If you have seen Bruce Campbell, he does have a memorable chin.  It became a running joke.

My other favorite was Sharon Gless who played Michael's mom, Maddie Weston.  I have liked her for years, from the time she and Tyne Daley, played female detective partners for the NYC police dept in the breakthrough tv drama, Cagney and Lacey.  It was the first tv show that had a female team of investigators.  I loved it.  Of course we were all much younger then.  It was the heyday of feminism in the 70s.

Throughout all the difficulties in the storyline of Burn Notice, Gless played a courageous woman who had two sons at the beginning of the show.  At the end, she had one living son and a three-year-old grandson.  SPOILER ALERT - the hardest, most jarring part of the finale last night was when Maddie Weston sacrificed herself so her little grandson could escape from the bad guys.  She sent him to safety with Jessie (one of Michael's crew) and sat calmly smoking a cigarette, when the bad guys burst in, their weapons ready.  She looked at them and said, "this is for my boys."  Then she pushed the button on the detonator connected to C-4 that she held in her hand.  Goodbye Maddie as well as all of her would-be attackers.

Jessie took care of the two guys left outside and got the little boy to safety.

In the end, Michael and Fiona, as well as Sam and Jessie made it out alive.  Although Michael and Fiona let everybody think they were dead and went to another country with his little nephew.  Sam and Jessie were off on another mission to help someone in need.

It was a satisfactory way to wrap up the story.

I always watched Burn Notice.  It was a good combination of action and wry humor.  Last night was no exception.

I will miss seeing these guys tooling around Miami going after the predators who preyed on their human victims.  I will miss Sam's wry humor, Maddie's love and her problem with cigarettes, as well as Michael and Fiona with their on-again, off-again love story.

Nice job, folks.  Enjoy your respite from series television.  I know you will enjoy those residuals you get.  That's the real beauty of series television for the actors.  Once you reach a certain number of episodes "in the can" - the residual checks just keep on coming as long as the series is shown in reruns.

You can thank the Star Trek crew for that.  They didn't get residuals from that show.  Since then the acting unions lobbied and got a deal to take care of the actors when a show goes into reruns.  Nice gig, if you can get it.

Take care and enjoy the upcoming fall shows!

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