Goodbye to a Good Show
Since 2007, I’ve always made time to sit down and watch Burn Notice. Wherever I was living, whatever the situation, Burn Notice was a must watch for me. It’s without a doubt one of my favourite shows on TV, but I’ll never call it one of the best shows on television.
It’s not the multi-layered character study that Mad Men is (the show that I do call the best show on television). It’s not the hard-hitting, complex morality tale that Breaking Bad is. It doesn’t have the glorious and expansive mythos of Game of Thrones or Doctor Who, the absurdity of Community or Psych. It is what USA excels at (besides NCIS marathons): procedural. The show follows a simple formula episode to episode, and does it very, very well.
When the show first started, my roommate commented “This is basically The A-Team: The Next Generation.” A team of highly skilled mercenary outcasts putting their skills to good use helping the wronged and the less fortunate of Miami. Yeah, the A-Team.
But what drew me in, and kept me around for these past 7 seasons was that it never lost sight of the overall narrative arc of the show, the one thread that tied everything together, and that was “Who burned Michael, and why?” And each season they upped the ante. Every time he got close to the answer, he got close to the truth, the stakes were raised, the danger was heightened, the conspiracy went deeper. To me, nothing ever felt like a cop-out, or as a too big suspension of disbelief.
And ultimately, it was just a big, fun show that never felt like an insult or guilty pleasure. No “I know this is bad, but I can’t stop watching.” They constructed a narrative that worked and kept me watching, and made it enjoyable to watch. It was pure entertainment. Escapism at it’s finest.
It certainly won’t go down as one of the best shows ever to grace the small screen. But it will always be one of my favourites. With the 7th and final season premiering tonight, I just want to thank Burn Notice for being a constant source of entertainment the past 7 years, and you’ll leave a hole that won’t soon be filled.