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Burn Notice

Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen

825 words

Burn Notice is now more than half-way into its fourth season on the USA Network. It is one of my favorite TV shows.

The premise is that spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) has been burned by the government agency that employed him. He has been dumped in his home town Miami, placed under surveillance, and told not to leave. His accounts have been frozen. He has no job history, no references, nothing but his formidable skills, his friends, and his family. His friends include Sam Axe, a hard-drinking ex-Seal played by Bruce Campbell, and Fiona Glenanne, an ex-girlfriend and ex-terrorist played by Gabrielle Anwar. His family consists of his widowed chain-smoking hypochondriac mother Madeline, played by Sharon Gless, and his ne’r do well brother Nate, played by Seth Peterson.

The story arc of the series is Michael’s quest to find out who burned him. But along the way, he helps out people in need, which provides the core story of each individual episode.

I like Burn Notice for a number of reasons.

First, the character of Michael Westen is genuinely heroic. He is intelligent, honorable, masculine, courageous, resourceful, and highly skilled in spycraft. He is what John Robb would call an “open source” warrior. In practically every episode he MacGyver’s up a listening device out of a cheap cell phone, creates explosives from household chemicals, disables cars in interesting ways, creates booby traps, out-cons conmen, out bad-asses bad guys, etc. And when things get physical, he can out-drive, out-shoot, and beat the hell out of practically anyone. A hundred men with Michael Westen’s skills could bring the American system to a halt. (Lucky for us, Michael Westen is a patriotic American . . .)

Gabrielle Anwar as Fiona Glenanne

Westen is also fluent in half a dozen languages, a master of countless accents, and a chameleon in dressing up and down. He’s not just tough, he’s smart and sophisticated.

Played by the handsome, charismatic, and versatile Jeffrey Donovan, Westen has the sex appeal to be a skirt-chasing playboy, but he is too manly for that. He exemplifies what Julius Evola describes as “Uranian” masculinity: Powerful, self-contained, focused on higher aims, he does not chase after ordinary women. “They bore me,” he says. But the best type of women chase after him, hence his relationship with Fiona, who is a true equal and soul-mate.

Second, Burn Notice is always highly entertaining, effortlessly mixing light comedy with engaging plots and bursts of intense suspense and dramatic conflict. The first two seasons are consistently good, but relied heavily on the show’s formula. The third season, however, was extraordinary, some of the best television drama I have seen in years, with remarkable scripts and powerful acting from Donovan. The fourth season is disappointing so far. The first eight episodes have been pretty much routine. Episode nine, however, had some of the smoldering intensity of the best of season three.

Third, Burn Notice is not overly politically correct. The main characters are highly appealing white people, and I think that this is one of the keys to its success. It appeals to what Kevin MacDonald calls “implicit whiteness.” Yes, the show is set in Miami, and there are plenty of good non-whites among Michael’s clients. However, many of the non-whites are rather realistically portrayed villains. In one episode, the villains were an ex-Mossad agent and his two thuggish sons.

Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe

Unfortunately, I think Burn Notice was regarded as “too white” by someone at the USA Network, because from the first episode of season four, the cast got darker, with the addition of a recurring black villain, Vaughan, and a black hero, Jesse Porter (played by Coby Bell), who now seems to be a full-fledged member of the team.

This has distorted the whole dynamic of the show, particularly by crowding out Sam Axe (played by Bruce Campbell, one of my favorite actors). Bell is the weakest actor in the bunch, and he drags the show down. Also, the characters aren’t acting like themselves anymore. They are acting “nice” for the “nice black man,” in a way that communicates their discomfort to the audience. The best episode of the season, number nine, was also the one in which Jesse played the smallest role.

Jesse Porter is widely and intensely disliked by every Burn Notice fan I know, and not just the evil “racists.” Frankly, I am hoping he will be killed off before season’s end. Name a holiday or a boulevard for him, but for God’s sake, something has to be done or this series has jumped the shark.

But even if you never watch season four, you should not miss the first three seasons of this extraordinary series. If more young white men decided to grown up like Michael Westen, our race’s future would be secure.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Posted August 13, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Nostalgic about the 1950s, yesterday I watched the 1954 sci-fi film Them!, where women behave like women and men like men, long before Sigourney Weaver inverted the traditional role of women in the 1979 Alien.

    The sad fact is that in Burn Notice the starring woman behaves like a man. Should I remind the reviewer that the new religion of liberalism, whose profane trinity is race, gender and sexual orientation, promoted by Hollywood’s Jews is our mortal enemy? Today’s culture is so ubiquitously corrupt that we look for bits of pieces of tradition in TV series and in presumably nostalgic movies about our grandmas’ values on virginity such as The Twilight Saga. While I can understand this longing, my guts shout at me that if the screenwriters of series like Burn Notice are our friends, who needs enemies?

  2. Vlad Katonic
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    Nothing wrong with tough dames, Chech. Especially in this day and age of wimpy metrosexual white ‘men’. My wife is tough and we are teaching our daughter to be that way too. I work 70 miles away from home and am glad they can take care of themselves.

  3. Michael Bell
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Chechar’s comment sounds like very unnecessary, very counter-productive nit-picking. While I have not seen a lot of the first season of Burn Notice, I must say that Lynch’s review is spot on. Weston represents the most ideal type of European man for today’s technocratic world: intelligent, innovative, clever, sly, disciplined, and physically fit. Fiona, while not a damsel in distress who sits around at home during every episode, is a beautiful, fit, strong, bright, resourceful, funny, and most importantly, loyal, White female. If Tradition demands that a female character always be the weakling who sits at home with bare feet and a pregnant stomach, and who doesn’t speak until spoken to, then Tradition makes for a dull story. Sure, she may act masculine at times when circumstances demand it, but why not? Should she allow herself to be overtaken by the bad guys JUST to maintain a traditional image? I think even Evola would agree that Riding the Tiger often demands that one step outside of traditional boundaries for the sake of self-preservation. In today’s world, a woman must absolutely have the ability to take on a masculine role, especially in a city like Miami. It doesn’t mean that she is betraying her female essence–it means that she won’t be raped by some perp. Fiona manages to be tough when necessary while also being feminine: she dresses sexy but not inappropriately, she uses seduction to her advantage, she follows Weston’s lead on missions, and romantically she is drawn to the truly virile man.

    It is also worth noting that Weston is the hero of the show instead of Axe. In most of today’s Hollywood hits, the male hero is the drinking, smoking, womanizing, Colin Farrell type of degenerate. With Burn Notice, we have the reserved yet powerful Roman type of man represented by Weston. He gets the right kind of girl when wants her, but isn’t a slave to either her or his carnal urges. Meanwhile, Axe constantly ends up in some kind of life-threatening jam, often due to his proclivities.

    The show is essentially healthy and definitely implicitly White. If we are bashing it because of the few meaningless negative attributes that it has, then we need to lighten up.

  4. Posted September 7, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    10 Thumbs up for the “open source” warrior. I so love this show!

  5. MOB
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    On the strength of the praise, I tried not once but twice to watch this show–both times, I actually had to *force* myself to give it a fair viewing! “Inane” comes to mind.

    I strongly recommend MI-5 ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0160904/ ).

    Pillars of the Earth is interesting, too.

    • Trevor Lynch
      Posted September 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      “Inane” is the last word I would use to describe Burn Notice, which is characterized by intricate and well-crafted plots. I watched a couple of episodes with my mother recently, however, and since they fell at the end of the fourth season, quite a lot of the season-wide story arch was presupposed, so she found it baffling. Maybe the same thing happened to you.

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