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'Burn Notice' 5.11 'Better Halves' Review

September 1st, 2011 10:02pm EDT
Burn Notice
Tonight's episode was the last Burn Notice before the summer finale. With momentum to build, the show gave us...the tired premise of a show's two leads going undercover as a married couple? It's above average, but you'd be forgiven for any deja vu.

We've seen this before. The X-Files did it well. Nikita didn't do it so well. I'm sure there are others I'm not currently thinking of. In the versions I've seen, it's a way to make commentary on the real relationship (or lack thereof) between the two characters via the fake one - and it usually comes off far too obvious for my taste. Bu...
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'Burn Notice' 5.10 'Army Of One' Review

August 25th, 2011 9:59pm EDT
Burn Notice
Last week's Burn Notice was the halfway point for season five, and it was a pretty good one. Now there's the question: what's the series going to do in the back half, to push itself to the expected next level?

What it's always done - bring plenty of action and lace it with sharp wit.

"So we're gonna snatch a murder with some magnets and a roll of duct tape?" Sam asks skeptically early on, to which Michael cheerfully responds, "And guns, Sam. Plenty of guns." The witty rejoinder is just the beginning of an opening that involves fire and shots being exchanged with the man who fram...
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'Burn Notice' 5.09 'Eye For An Eye' Review

August 18th, 2011 10:02pm EDT
Burn Notice
Things are full speed ahead in this week's Burn Notice. There's a case that shows us great acting and plenty of explosions, plus there's a substantive lead in the hunt for Max's killer. What more could we ask for as we approach midseason?

Thanks to Fiona's ex-boyfriend, Team Westen is now armed with the identity of the bomb-maker. His name is Lucien (Patrick Bauchau), and he happens to be an elderly war criminal in hiding. He might look innocuous (he's even got a cane!) but he is one wily piece of work. He's not inclined to be of any use until they threaten to deport his daughter - ...
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'Burn Notice' 5.08 'Hard Out' Review

August 12th, 2011 1:07am EDT
Burn Notice
I've never wanted to be stuck on an island. I've seen Lost (and before that, Gilligan's Island). However, if I had to be stranded on one, I'd want to be there with Michael Westen and Jesse Porter. At least then I might actually survive, or at least it would be interesting.

That's the premise of this week's Burn Notice. Agent Pearce (Lauren Stamile) has a new task for Michael: locating Steve Cahill (24's Henri Lubatti), a bad guy having a big meeting in the Caribbean. Pearce, Michael and Jesse set off to kidnap Cahill, whose dance partner is a "sadistic mercenary" named Miles Vander...
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'Burn Notice' 5.07 'Besieged' Review

August 4th, 2011 10:04pm EDT
Burn Notice
If nothing else, Burn Notice can always be counted on for a good time. Last week wasn't the show's best episode, but still gave us a villain from the past being delightfully evil. This week's episode gives me pretty much the same impression. To paraphrase a fellow magician, it's not so much about the plot as it is about entertainment.

Things are getting uncomfortable in the ongoing subplot. Sam and Fiona come to the rescue of Fake Michael (aka Jacob Starky, played by Charlie Weber), saving him from some armed thugs who decide to make a house call. This puts Real Michael in the awk...
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'Burn Notice' 5.06 'Enemy of My Enemy' Review

July 29th, 2011 1:07am EDT
Burn Notice
After a surprisingly run-of-the-mill episode, Burn Notice comes back this week with one that involves the return of yet another memorable villain.

Before I talk about "Enemy of My Enemy," a few quick words about last week's "Square One," which I missed reviewing since I was hip-deep in the insanity that is San Diego Comic-Con. I caught the episode over the weekend, and I was surprised that it was fairly rote. Although it boasts a cool guest appearance from the always welcome Matt Lauria (The Chicago Code), there's nothing in "Square One" that pops like earlier episodes such as "Blo...
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Celebrity Sightings At Comic-Con 2011

July 23rd, 2011 1:00pm EDT
Nikki Reed at the 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1' press confere
The world's largest comic book festival, Comic-Con international at San Diego, is winding down and ends today. San Diego certainly sees its share of freaks and geeks every July as well as plenty of celebrities promoting their latest film or TV shows. Here are a few celebrity sightings from the week.

Hugh Jackman promoting - 'Real Steel'

Amanda Seyfried and Justin Timberlake at the 'In Time' press conference.

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1' press conference.

Robert Rodriguez at ...
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'Burn Notice' 5.04 'No Good Deed' Review

July 14th, 2011 10:02pm EDT
Burn Notice
One of the little things I've loved about Burn Notice is that it doesn't just make characters up and then forget them; like real people, they come and go, and are often heard from again. That's the case with this week's episode, as longtime reluctant ally Barry Burkowski (Paul Tei) asks for help on behalf of his brother Paul, whom he describes as "screwed six ways from Sunday" after he's been framed for the theft of a valuable server at his credit union. The bickering brothers provide the episode's comic relief, but are also the in to a much more complicated story. With Burn Notice...
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'Burn Notice' 5.03 'Mind Games' Recap and Review

July 7th, 2011 10:06pm EDT
Burn Notice
It's only fitting that since last week featured Michael's awesome mom Madeline, this week's Burn Notice brings back his wayward brother Nate (played oh so well by Seth Peterson)...and his new baby Charlie.

The rest of the family Westen has moved back to Miami, and Nate thinks Michael should turn the Charger into a "spymobile," but Mike is not amused. In fact, he's picked up on the fact that Nate's wife is conspiciously absent. Caught out, Nate admits to his older brother that Vegas didn't exactly agree with him, and he needs his family's help to "stay straight." Normally, these ne'e...
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'Burn Notice' 5.02 'Bloodlines' Recap and Review

June 30th, 2011 10:02pm EDT
Burn Notice
What's one way to make Burn Notice even more awesome? More Madeline!

This week, Michael's in the middle of a motorcycle pursuit through the Costa Rican jungle - but it turns out he's just chasing Fiona, who's enjoying their vacation. That is, until two Army guys arrive and tell Michael that he has a phone call waiting for him from Langley. Wow, these CIA guys do thus far always seem to call at inopportune times.

Some time later our hero is meeting Max at his "first official government gig," assigned to keep an eye on "valuable asset" Carson Huxley, a genius nuclear engineer who's ...
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'Burn Notice' 5.01 'Company Man' Recap and Review

June 23rd, 2011 10:05pm EDT
Burn Notice
Burn Notice is back, and the burning (pardon the pun) question on my mind was how the show will follow one heck of a fourth season. The answer? It's not shabby at all.

At the end of last season, Michael was welcomed back to the CIA by Raines (Dylan Baker, sporting a beard since we saw him then). We get a quick rundown of all the things he's been doing since that handshake, complete with spiffy graphics. All that work has led Michael to Canada, where he's looking sharp and meeting Max (Melrose Place's Grant Show). Michael's burn notice hasn't been officially lifted, so he's just a...
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TV On DVD: 'Burn Notice: Season Four'

June 16th, 2011 5:28pm EDT
Burn Notice
Last Tuesday saw Fox Home Entertainment drop Burn Notice: Season Four, a four-disc, eighteen-episode set just in time for the show's fifth season premiere next week (June 23). Here's my review.

The Show

Season four stands as my favorite year of Burn Notice to date. I say that while eating a certain amount of crow, as I was convinced that it had the potential to be the worst, but it ended up being a very pleasant surprise. I've already discussed at length how the series successfully upended its own formula, so I won't repeat myself too much here.

This season will always be special to...
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Summer 2011 TV Highlights

May 24th, 2011 1:00pm EDT
True Blood
As much as you should be going to the beach, catching a hot concert or spending time with friends at outdoor barbeques this summer, there is also a lot going on indoors too. We’re talking about what’s going on inside on the television. Summer television shows aren’t always about the addicting and sometimes laughable reality programs since stations like TNT and USA have stepped up their game with shows like The Closer and Burn Notice. As much as we were anticipating the return of Mad Men this summer only to be disappointed by the news that the premiere is delayed until 2012, we found a few m...
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'The Chicago Code's' Matt Lauria Moves To 'Burn Notice'

May 13th, 2011 9:49am EDT
The Chicago Code
I love it when my favorite shows come together. And I love it when great actors land on great shows. This is both those things.

Just two days after word broke that The Chicago Code is no more, TVLine reports that Matt Lauria, who played Caleb Evers on the FOX cop show) will appear in the fifth episode of the upcoming fifth season of USA's Burn Notice. According to the article, Lauria will play Ethan, a discharged soldier who catches the attention of Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) for his skills. As with what seems like every guest role on TV these days, the job has the potential to beco...
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People That Aren't Doing It: Non-Romantic TV Relationships That Work

April 14th, 2011 12:00pm EDT
Hawaii Five O
(*Firstly, if you don't get the joke in the title, visit Failblog. I'll wait.)

There's been a tremendous response to my Tuesday article about the reasons why I'm not excited about TV romance. It's been really awesome to hear from fans of various shows and pairings, who wrote in with their own opinions and ideas, and helped create a great discussion of the topic and the issues surrounding it - most importantly, with respect for me and for each other.

As is natural and perfectly fine, there were some people who disagreed with my lack of enthusiasm. One reader suggested that romantic r...
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Interview: Coby Bell Returns For More 'Burn Notice'

April 7th, 2011 3:00pm EDT
Burn Notice
Season five of Burn Notice is underway in Miami, and I'm certainly looking forward to it! Thankfully, I don't have to do any spy work to get the dish; I went straight to one of the experts - series star and January People Who Are Awesome honoree Coby Bell, who's ready for his second season as burned counterintelligence expert Jesse Porter. Coby and I sat down Wednesday to talk about what Burn Notice fans can expect when the show bows in the summer, as well as the recently-concluded fourth season of his other series, BET's The Game. Spoiler alert!

You've just started shooting season ...
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Top 10 Current TV Character Crushes

February 14th, 2011 12:30pm EST
Fairly Legal
It's Valentine's Day, and that means love is in the air (for some of us, anyway). It's also a perfect time to pay tribute to the fictional men who've made my heart melt this TV season, for one reason or another, or oftentimes several. These are ten guys who, if they were real, would have no problem getting my phone number.

Warning: there are spoilers for certain series. Each show is listed in each character's heading. If you're waiting for the DVD's, I'd advise skipping those particular sections.

Before I get too mushy, here's the criteria for making my list:

1) They had to be from...
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'Burn Notice' Star Jeffrey Donovan Gets Probation For DUI Charge

February 2nd, 2011 11:36pm EST
Jeffrey Donovan
Actor Jeffrey Donovan avoided a jail stint on Wednesday after striking a plea deal over a 2009 DUI arrest.

Donovan, the star of TV series Burn Notice, was busted by police in Miami Beach, Florida in July, 2009 after he was forced to swerve his vehicle to avoid crashing into a stationary cop car.

He told the arresting officer, "Sorry, I didn't see the red light or your stopped car."

He failed a sobriety test, but insisted, "I really think I'm only borderline and not too drunk... The only mistake I made tonight was drinking (allergy medicine) Benadryl with three glasses of wine."

The acto...
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Get To Know Your 'Burn Notice' Prequel Cast

February 1st, 2011 8:25am EST
Burn Notice
Thanks to the folks at TVLine, we now know someone who'll be joining Bruce Campbell in the Burn Notice prequel telefilm. In fact, we know many someones.

Here's who you'll be seeing, where you've seen them before, and who they'll play:

Chandra West
Where You've Seen Her Before: As Devon on ABC's The Gates, Gail McKinney on CW's 90210, and Tina Blake on HBO's John From Cincinnati.
Who She'll Be Playing: Donna, a "sexy and fun" woman who's the love interest for a then-Lt. Cmdr. Sam Axe (Campbell).

RonReaco Lee
Where You've Seen Him Before: As snitch Julius Grant on Matt Nix's other series, ...
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People Who Are Awesome: Coby Bell

January 31st, 2011 10:09am EST
Burn Notice
Coby Bell tops my list of People Who Are Awesome because not only does he exemplify what this column is about, but he went from unknown to awesome in eight months.

There's so much attention given to those celebs who make headlines for all the wrong reasons, and not enough given to those who are honestly good people. I decided I wanted to devote some column space each month to recognizing those awesome individuals you might not know, and the moment I made that choice, I knew I had to start with Coby. It still blows my mind that eight months ago I had no idea who he was. In June of 2...
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Master Class: Celebrating 'Burn Notice' & 'Nikita' In 2010

December 23rd, 2010 5:45pm EST
My Thursday nights are empty for the time being, with USA's Burn Notice having wrapped up season four and The CW's Nikita not due back until next month. I knew this time was coming, yet I can't help but be sad, because the two of them together made for a perfect evening of espionage escapism every week. (In my opinion, there was no better block of programming on the current schedule, regardless of their being on separate networks.) If you're going through withdrawal like I am, then join me in taking a look back at how great both these shows have been in 2010. I can only imagine that t...
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'Burn Notice' 4.18 'Last Stand' Recap And Review

December 16th, 2010 11:19pm EST
Burn Notice
"Last Stand" obviously picks up where "Out of the Fire" left off. Our heroes are preparing to meet again with a bunch of people they'd rather put behind them. It's not long before a very cranky Vaughn (Robert Wisdom) calls and threatens Michael and everyone else. He'd threaten Michael's dog if he had one.

Having discovered Vaughn has someone at the FBI on his team, Sam recruits Madeline to pay another visit to the Senator she previously helped him intimidate, in order to discover who Vaughn has on the inside. Although Maddie isn't fond of the idea, she agrees to help anyway. Everyon...
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'Burn Notice' 4.17 'Out Of The Fire' Recap And Review

December 16th, 2010 11:12pm EST
Burn Notice
Can you believe we're at the end of Burn Notice's fourth season already? I was just getting used to having the series back again, and I'll be sad to see it go; this may be my favorite season yet.

Last week, "part-time spy, full-time sociopath" Tyler Brennen (Jay Karnes) returned, having had Marv (Richard Kind) killed to obtain Simon Escher's list of spies. Jesse is understandably upset at watching his old friend die in front of him, and not happy that Michael wants him to "sit on the sidelines and lie" to the counterintelligence agents who will want to know why one of their own is ...
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Interview: Coby Bell Dishes On 'Burn Notice' And 'The Game'

December 14th, 2010 10:40am EST
Burn Notice
I got an early Christmas present on Monday: the chance for a follow-up chat with one of my favorite actors, Burn Notice and The Game star Coby Bell. Picking up where our August conversation left off, Coby sat down with me to discuss that scene from Burn Notice, his second job on The Game, and a particular guest spot of his that you may have missed. Warning: this interview does contain some spoilers for both series.

You warned us in August that fans were going to be upset with Jesse - now we know why! What was your reaction when you realized Jesse was going to have to shoot Michael to sa...
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'Burn Notice' 4.16 'Dead Or Alive' Recap And Review

December 9th, 2010 11:02pm EST
Burn Notice
Burn Notice is on a roll. Last week it did an excellent job bringing back Nate Westen, and this week it provides the return of one of my favorite bad guys, arms dealer Tyler Brennen (The Shield's Jay Karnes).

The most important question from last week was "What is Michael going to do with the list of people who burned him?" We get a quick answer, as Michael tells Jesse they need to hand it over to the government. Jesse, in turn, has contacted Marv (Richard Kind), hoping to use the information to get both himself and Michael back into the spy world. Marv isn't too keen on Michael, so M...
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'Burn Notice' 4.15 'Brotherly Love' Recap and Review

December 2nd, 2010 11:06pm EST
Burn Notice 4.15
Last week, I wasn't too thrilled with the return of Natalie (Callie Thorne). This week, however, I am beside myself when it comes to Burn Notice, as it gives me the overdue return of Michael's ne'er do well brother Nate Westen (Seth Peterson).

Michael's bummed out, unhappy that Sam and Jesse are on their way to Santo Domingo to attend the auction of the list from Simon's Bible and he's not going with. Sam points out that his face wouldn't exactly be a welcome one in that company anyway, which gets Michael to relent. Leaving him behind, Jesse finally meets Justin Walsh (apologies as I ...
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2010 Emmys: Who Should Win & Who Will Win

August 28th, 2010 1:00pm EDT
2010 Emmys
It’s a transitional year for the Emmys, meaning this is one of the more exciting races in recent memories. The flood of new nominees (brought on by a stellar development slate) means that we can no longer rely on the predictable Emmy voting to determine winners. Instead, this is a year where we can see many newcomers emerging and starting a whole new slate of predictable nominees.

Yes, that was a little cynical, but it’s the sad truth of the Emmys – habits are hard to break for the voters. Luckily, this year the virgin nominees have afforded them an extensive choice for brand new habits.

...
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'Glee,' HBO's 'The Pacific' Land Massive Emmy Nominations

July 8th, 2010 10:26am EDT
Glee
Hit TV musical "Glee" is set to be the toast of the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards after landing a massive 19 nominations.

The comedy about a group of high school students in a choir club will fight for the Outstanding TV Comedy prize against "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Modern Family," "Nurse Jackie," "The Office" and "30 Rock," which has taken home the title for the last three years.

"Glee's" leading stars Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele have been nominated in the male and female categories for the outstanding comedy actor awards, while their co-star Chris Colfer has received a best supporting...
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What To Watch: Summer 2010 TV

May 14th, 2010 10:44am EDT
Summer TV 2010
There used to be a time when summer television was all reruns and special events, like baseball games and the occasional Olympics. Then it became a reality television zone, giving life to such mind-numbingness as CBS’ Big Brother, a show about thirteen insipid individuals put in a house and made to play inane games and “back door” each other for a chance at a half a million dollars. More and more, though, networks are scheduling new shows for the summer block that are quirkier, non-formulaic, and even character driven. What was once a wasteland is fast becoming a haven for smaller, niche sh...
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Fictional Characters We Wish Were Real

November 12th, 2009 2:52pm EST
Fictional Characters Who Need To Be Real
While we all have dealt with our own Michael Scotts, here are fictional characters we all wish were on our plane of reality.

Television

Claire Huxtable ('The Cosby Show')

A dramatic improvement from the current reality TV mom, Kate Gosselin, Claire would be a role model for moms and lawyers everywhere.

- Click pic for next page -

Leroy Jethro Gibbs ('NCIS')

If Gibbs looked like Mark Harmon, those intense blue eyes would beat out Jack Bauer's torture tactics any day.

- Click pic for next page -

Jack McCoy ('Law and Order')

Seriously, would you even ...
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