“Burn Notice” is lightweight, but purposely so. And, with the exception of one or two comedies of discomfort on NBC, it may be my current favorite show on television. Pick any of the 16 episodes from its second season “ now compiled on a four-disc set “ and you’ll see why.
Jeffrey Donovan owns the role of Michael Westen, a former spy trapped in Miami after the government disowns him, erasing his identity and finances. As he tries to discover who’s responsible and why, each episode forces him to take a freelance gig to which his unique skill set as a covert agent prove mighty useful.
Throughout season two, Tricia Helfer pops up as a dangerous enemy with the answers he needs, and the sexual tension is palpable. But that continuing arc is less interesting than the weekly “Ocean’s Eleven”-esque parade of scams and heists.
My favorite, “Bad Breaks,” finds Michael trying to foil well-armed thugs while being held hostage during a bank robbery. “Do No Harm” is another especially strong entry, in which he helps swindle the guy who cheated a dad out of a fortune, presumably for treatment to save his toddler son’s life. Whatever the setup, the series delivers solidly with a rush of thrills made supercharged by a winking sense of humor.
Although Donovan is the show’s MVP, he’s well-supported by Bruce Campbell, Gabrielle Anwar and Sharon Gless as his best bud, former girlfriend and nagging mother, respectively. From the looks of the 10-minute gag reel, they have a ball together. So do we.