DVD/Blu-ray Review: BURN NOTICE Season Two

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release date: June 16th, 2009
MSRP: $59.99

Stars: Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless

Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) is a government agent that is kicked ot the curb (given his burn notice) by the government. With no idea as to how this came about, Michael tries to figure out just what happened. In the meantime, he uses his skills to assist others (and make some extra money). Doing this results in him going toe-to-toe with drug dealers, con-men, assassins, gun runners and other assorted types of scum.

Michael is assisted by Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), an ex-IRA operative, on/off flame and Sam (Bruce Campbell), a semi-retired government agent whose pastimes are women and booze. Also…well, not helping but rather rounding out the cast is Sharon Gless as Michael’s chaining-smoking mother. Gless does a wonderful job and the character has really been fleshed out. No longer is she simply there as a source of frustration for Michael, their relationship has improved. That is a good thing since she was pretty damn annoying last year.

Season two finds Michael dealing with Carla (Tricia Helfer), a CIA handler that forces Michael to work with her. In addition to coping with Carla, Michael tussles with the Russian Mafia as well as world class thieves, hit men and con men (and woman) as well as an appearance by Michael’s former fiancĂ©.

I have to give a special mention to Tim Matheson for his role as a former partner/mentor to Michael. He was fantastic and really should be brought back down the line. He has directed several eps so hopefully Larry returns. Also wowing me was Silas Weir Mitchell as Seymour, a flakey arms deal that bonds with Michael and Fiona. They don’t bond with him, but he feels he has a special connection with Michael as they are both bad asses. Seymour HAS to be return, he is awesome!

As in the first season, Burn Notice does an excellent job of mixing action, drama and humor. Lord knows Hollywood has produced more than enough wacky action shows with wise-cracking protagonists. BN stands above them. As I said, the dialogue and funny, but there is real heart here as well as the gun fire and jokes. Donovan, Anwar and Campbell had nice chemistry in season one and that has only improved over the course of time. I have no problem believing they have known each other for ages and genuinely care about one another.

I was a little thrown off by the overall look of the picture. There is a fair amount of grain. I am pretty sure it is intentional. So while it is annoying, you can’t blame the transfer, you have to blame BN creator Matt Nix.

The colors are nice and the Miami setting is gorgeous. This is an HD presentation so the overall quality should be a hell of a lot better than this.

The sound is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. With that in mind, the sound is so-so. Nothing bad, but it also does not rock your world. I just wish they would take advantage all five channels a little more often.

Season two has three commentary tracks (Bad Blood, Double Booked, Lesser Evil) that feature writers and directors as well as Bruce Campbell and Matt Nix. Surprisingly, Jeffery Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar are nowhere to be found.

Also included are Nixin’ It: a fourteen minute segment on creator Matt Nix, some ho hum deleted scenes and one other spoof featurette.

USA likes it’s original shows to mix humor and drama, but Burn Notice stands above everything they have offered up thus far. While there are issues with the picture, the show itself is still fantastic. If you are not familiar with the show, pick up both the first and second seasons and get ready for a hell of a good time.

Order season two of BURN NOTICE.

Jeremy Lynch
For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.