Burn Notice returns for season 6

(l to r) Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen, Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe, Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen, Gabrielle Anwar as Fiona Glenanne — USA Network Photo: Justin Stephens

I am excited to say that season 6 of USA’s Burn Notice begins Thursday, June 14th. This action-packed, wryly humorous TV series is one of the few shows I continue to follow. For those new to this show, here is a synopsis. Jeffrey Donovan stars as Michael Westen, a stoic, smart and resourceful former spy who was mysteriously and abruptly fired during a mission. The show’s title comes from the “official document issued by one intelligence agency to other agencies…that an individual or group is unreliable for any of a variety of reasons.”* In effect, Michael loses his past identity along with resources such as his bank accounts and government aid. The show begins with Michael being burned and being left in his hometown of Miami.

Burn Notice is largely centered on Michael’s search for answers and his hunt for the people who burned him. With the help of his small team, Michael also helps ordinary people who have been victimized by scam artists, thieves, drug dealers, and criminal organizations among others. Upon being forced to stay in Miami, Michael has to rely on people from his past: his best friend Sam, his ex-girlfriend Fiona and his mother, Madeline. In the process, he struggles to reconnect with them and resolve past issues.

The cast of Burn Notice gives amazing performances. Gabrielle Anwar plays Fiona Glenanne, Michael’s sexy, passionate, on-and-off girlfriend who remains his love interest. As a former member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), Fiona is a weapons and explosives expert. Bruce Campbell plays Michael’s friend Sam Axe, an easygoing, mojito-drinking former Navy SEAL who can maintain a sense of humor in the most difficult situations. Sharon Gless plays Madeline Westen, Michael’s strong, blunt, and chain-smoking mother. Amid the chaos in the stories, Madeline brings a sense of normalcy to the lives of others. Over the last two seasons, the cast has included Coby Bell who plays Jesse Porter – a younger headstrong former spy who was also burned. Jesse is a dynamic character who challenges the other characters in several ways.

Burn Notice inspires me for several reasons. Creatively, the show’s writing motivates me to step up my screenwriting skills. Specifically, I strive myself to write richer dialogue with several layers of meaning. Although, this series has an abundance of action sequences, the show also has suspense, dry humor and heartfelt moments. At its core, this show is about the complex relationships between people with troubled pasts. This series illustrates how the characters grow and improve their lives.

In Burn Notice, Michael and the other characters must constantly use their skills and resources to survive life-threatening situations. This inspires and motivates me to become more resourceful at solving problems in the different aspects of my life. When I am faced with a difficult problem, I try to find a creative way to solve it instead of instantly running to the store in search of a solution. Moreover, this show also inspires me to constantly keep my eyes open wherever I go. The characters constantly demonstrate the importance of being aware of your surroundings in order to anticipate risky situations. In our modern age of unlimited access to stimulation and distraction, I think this is a very helpful message.

The season 5 finale of Burn Notice left many questions unanswered and issues unresolved. I hope season 6 will continue to keep me at the edge of my seat. I also hope the show will keep me creatively and personally inspired because that is what great art does.

*DOD Dictionary of Military Terms

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