August 28, 2008
IN CASE YOU DON"T FEEL LIKE GOING TO TEMPLE TONIGHT:
Scout's honor: Burn Notice ’s honest con job (CHARLES TAYLOR, August 26, 2008, Boston Phoenix)
One of the great jokes on Burn Notice, which is now in its second season on USA (Thursdays at 10 pm), is that it gives us an American spy who is neither a Continental wanna-be nor a shamus by another name. Instead, Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) is another established American icon: the Boy Scout. [...]Posted by Orrin Judd at August 28, 2008 6:00 PM
The creators have also given Michael a crew of gifted second bananas. Gabrielle Anwar as Michael’s ex Fi (short for Fiona, rhymes with tea), a former IRA terrorist, and Bruce Campbell as Michael’s buddy Sam, a retired Navy SEAL, are spectacularly funny. The hatred Fi and Sam express toward each other has nothing to do with buried attraction and, as critic Laura Miller has pointed out, everything to do with the jealousy of warring siblings vying for a parent’s attention. Whenever violence threatens to break out, Anwar shows both an excited gleam and contentment, anticipation and afterglow, all in one.
Campbell, whose lantern jaw is now padded with flesh (it matches his gut) and lined with bearish stubble, has the utter lack of vanity that can make a performer seem more appealing, even sexier, than the most chiseled he-men. In a succession of Tommy Bahama shirts swaddling his girth, he acts as if he were the hottest thing going and nearly convinces you. Anwar and Campbell — each afforded a chance to savor the sight of the other one getting tossed around — put on something like a deadpan Punch and Judy show, where withering looks replace the battering. When he’s around their squabbling, Michael does a slow burn that never erupts. This spy isn’t just a Boy Scout, he’s a den mother.