Between the end of the "regular season", a change in my work schedule, and post-finals lazyness, it has been a while for this blog. However, the summer season has started, and I've got a little catching up to do. First off, Burn Notice.
When last we left Mr. Weston, he'd saved Frasier's dad from Simon the Mad Bomber (who had better come back), and then was bundled off to some secret prison somewhere, where he finds himself in a tastefully appointed study. Michael has been recruited by Vaughn, a new mystery man, who needs his help to track down a new Big Bad with deep pockets and his fingers in a lot of pies. Welcome to Season Four.
After a stop to a "gun enthusiast" in the middle of the jungle, Michael agrees to take the case, and winds up back in Miami. He stops in to see mom, and apologizes...for everything. A rarity, a scene between Michael and his mother that I actually would have liked to see more of. The reunion with Fiona is next, and wouldn't you know it, she's loading up guns because she has a client. Winston has been green-lit for death by a biker gang, and negotiations aren't going well.
The biker gang stuff was standard client stuff, although the wrap-up involved a great chase scene and a couple of funny bits involving Winston and Big Ed (leader of the biker gang). As for the new meta-plot, Michael slips into a secure facility to grab some files but accidentally winds up getting the spy whose identity he "borrowed" arrested and blacklisted. As Sam points out, Michael just burned a spy. Next week...Michael helps that spy? Wow, nice turnaround.
Good start to the season, all the cogs are turning, and this season's plot seems a little juicier than last season's.
I also wanted to touch on The Good Guys, the new series from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix. The pilot was a little choppy, but I loves me some Bradley Whitford, and there were some promising elements in the episode. Bradley Whitford plays a former 70's supercop who's on the outs with the department, but still sticks around because of his fame from one big case back in his heyday. Colin Hanks is his by the book partner who is stuck with him because his behavior has annoyed everyone else in the department. The bit seems to be that they get assigned to embarrasingly minor cases, but then stumble into bigger ones. Nix has a good formula going with Burn Notice, and Good Guys looks to take the same approach: find a routine that works, and beat it into the ground. Burn Notice has the season long arcs to keep it going though, and once I catch up on episode two, we'll see if Good Guys will have the same kind of staying power.
Also, one thing I decided to check out was Top Shot on the History Channel. It's a marksmanship competition hosted by Survivor's Colby Donaldson, and it promises a variety of challenges with a variety of historical and modern weapons. I'm all for skill-based competitions, so as long as they keep putting them up on Hulu, I'll be checking it out.
The first team challenge is interesting, as they have to use four older models of rifles, but they actually get to practice with the weapons and get training from an expert. As opposed to the usual "here's some stuff, go nuts" way that challenges to on reality competitions, this is refreshing to see. There's still the social aspect of the game, but not as much as other shows, and there's still a lot of professional courtesy. Considering how many of them are military or law enforcement, and how disciplined the skillset is, I'm not too surprised.
Deciding who goes into the elimination challenge is interesting, some of these people know each other and have reputations as great shooters. Still nice to see that it hasn't gone too negative...yet. It is reality TV after all. Colby has learned a lot at the feet of the Probst. The finals were good, and it was some good respectful competition. Almost too respectful for reality TV, but props for History Channel for elevating the game.