Burn Notice

This is a smart, funny little show that does a lot of things I want to accomplish with Nyx and co.

You’ve got the gun-toting former IRA member ex-girlfriend, the alcoholic FBI-informing best friend (played by Bruce Campbell. Seriously!), the chain smoking hypochondriac mother who’s really bad at being a mom, and the ex-spy who’s gotten a “burn notice” i.e. been kicked out of spy business by a mysertious 3rd party.

There’s the overarching story – the spy wants to find out who kicked him out and get back in – and then there’s the story in each episode where our spy does good works and solves little mysteries, runs local jobs, blowing up cars and saving key witnesses and little old ladies and etc. for cash (all of his accounts have been frozen).

So you get to watch him and his quirky team – who have their own history together – work stuff out and screw up jobs on occasion (“Here’s what happens when you attach the bugging device to the gas tank instead of the electrical system”), and best of all, the ex-spy is incredibly good at what he does, but woefully bad at relationships. Not just with his on again/off again love interest, no, but with, well, everyone. He just doesn’t get it. The scenes where he’s trying so hard to say the right thing during an emotional situation just make me laugh. He’s far more comfortable blowing shit up.

It’s also set in Miami, and hey, sun, sand, and surf are pretty nice. Thus far, there’s been no “new chick he could possibly be romantically involved with” per episode, the way you see even in stuff like The Dresden Files series. Which wasn’t done so badly there – there was more a possibility than an actual inevitability that every chick in every episode would be a damsel in distress he’d get it on with – but it’s a noticeable difference here in the first three episodes that I do like (this could change, but I enjoy it so far).

I like that he’s got no money, he likes guns and hitting things, he’s terribly short on friends, and he’s really bad at connecting with people.

Basically, I like that he reminds me of a way cooler version of me.

Now, give me a chick hero like this, folks. Cause though Fiona is a pretty awesome character, the actress who plays her looks hungry and terribly breakable most of the time. I keep thinking she’s going to trip over her feet and snap her spine or something.

But: her character doesn’t suck. Nor does the mom. And if you look at the “main players” ratio, it’s an even split between male and female main characters. You’ve got Campbell and the spy, and Fiona and the mom in primary, recurring roles. And mom and Fiona are powerhouse characters who take active, strategic roles in every episode. They aren’t one-off or passive, and they get and give just as much as the guys.

Now, tell me how often that happens?

(and then: make a show like this with a chick lead! Until then, I’ll be waiting around for Sarah Conner to show up again)

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