Tuesday, June 15, 2010


In recent months, I have really enjoyed watching the spy thriller series, known as 'Burn Notice', on StarHub cable television.

To understand what is a 'Burn Notice': spies don't get fired, they get burnt!

In the series, a covert operative in special operations, Michael Western (played brilliantly by Jeffrey Donovan) has been disavowed by his spy agency - with no cash, no credit, no job history & stuck in whatever city the agency had dumped him.

As a result, he has to undertake whatever jobs that pass his way to survive, & at the same time, trying his best to figure out what had actually happened.

Watching Michael Western in action is like watching super secret agents Jason Bourne & Angus MacGyver, all rolled into one.

Every episode has been a thrill to watch as he often has to improvise solutions & think out of the box to outwit his adversaries, some of whom came from his past.

Fortunately, he has the unwavering help of wonderful sidekicks in the person of a sexy ex-girl friend, Fiona (played by the beautiful Gabrielle Anwar) with past connections to the IRA (hence, she is always pretty cool with guns, bombs & fists), & a wise-cracking, occasionally goofy, ex-FBI informer, Sam (played by Bruce Campbell), who seemingly has wide "intelligence" connections.

Frankly, I like their unwritten "code of honour": they love to settle dicey problems, preferably in a non-violent manner as much as possible, & also love to help the underdogs, even when they have to risk their own lives, & worst still, when they are unlikely to be paid for.

Coupled with twisted plots, funny but witty dialogue, exotic scenes of Miami backdrop, mandatory car chases, shoot-outs & bomb explosions, & notwithstanding the heart-warming scenes of nagging & nosy-parkering from Michael's mother, Madeline (played by the still-beautiful Sharon Gless), the series has been truly great for entertainment, with a pretty good balance between action, romance, & comedy.

Never a dull moment, so to speak.

Best of all, also a lot of interesting & valuable lessons to pick up, especially about the power of observation, ways of eliciting & gathering information, techniques of conducting as well as evading surveillance, using everyday objects to improvise solutions, resolving conflicts, confronting fears, negotiating from a vantage position, impersonating - & staying cool - to get out of sticky situations, & thinking out of the box to stay alive.

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