But the third season underwhelmed me, so I opted to wait to watch season four when it hit DVD. Now that it has, and now that I did, I think I’m kinda over it.
The concept remains the same, as the unchanged credits attest, but the stories aren’t nearly as fun as they once were. All but gone are the light, bubbly cons and heists that stood alone, replaced with grittier, deadlier stories that seem inspired by the big-screen “Bourne” franchise, but simply lack the effervescence of seasons past. What used to feel comfortable — i.e. star Jeffrey Donovan’s continuing “when you’re a spy …” style of narration — now just seems tired.
“Take it from someone who’s watched this show before,” says Gabrielle Anwar in one episode, and it’s hard not to raise a knowing eyebrow and wonder if the writers aren’t being a little self-deprecating. (They certainly love dishing it out, as the featurette roast of fellow USA crime series “White Collar” attests.) Casting Burt Reynolds as a guest-star safecracker seems like a smart move … but I already saw that decades ago when he shot “Breaking In.”
You’ve had a good run, “BN,” but the novelty and creativity have worn off. —Rod Lott