But now, a post all about the things I love about the show.
Michael Westen. He's smart. He's capable. He's awesomely technically creative like MacGyver. He has demons, but he works with them and acknowledges and accepts them. He's loyal to those he cares about to the point of self-sacrifice. And he's shockingly sexy.
Sam Axe! I love Sam. I love how I wasn't sure whether I could trust him to begin with, but then I did, because Michael did. And he showed in the final episode of the series exactly why. I adore Bruce Campbell anyway, but yes, Sam and his relationship with Michael pleases me greatly. It's a friendship I don't ship, which is increasingly rare these days. I was actually aghast at the idea of anyone slashing these two together.
Fiona Glenanne. taurenova and I were having a discussion about her, about the writers not really being sure what they wanted her to be, and I see that, but I also see a kick-arse character that has flaws, but is ultimately 'on the force of good', so to speak. But, you know, I'm not always sure about her motivations and I like that ambiguity.
Madeline & Nate. They're thorns in Michael's side in a lot of ways, but that grounding is very important. They're part and parcel of Michael's issues, but he loves them despite this. Madeline generally annoys me, but there are those moments where she and Michael have those meaningful conversations that tug on my heartstrings.
I love all of the interaction the characters have --- that Fiona spoke to Madeline before she met her, that Sam and Fiona have a chemistry that amuses me, where neither of them are sure if they want to be friends with each other, but they kind of are anyway.
This is also the reason I fell for Leverage --- I am a sucker for stories about people doing things for others. Like when Michael didn't take Ernie's life savings in 1.07? If you could jump fictional characters, I would totally have been Michael's loyal sex slave for ever and ever. I am big on the altruism thing. I think the world would be a better place if more people were. Now, yes, sure, they all get paid handsomely for what they do, but they've also all turned down monetary reward at various different times. So they're all awesome.
The spy theme. I find it deeply fascinating. The whole concept of the burn notice is interesting to me. I haven't watched a whole lot of things about spies before and so there's a lot that's refreshingly new to me.
The family theme. I am always happy to see families depicted on television in a realistic, but mostly happy-making way. It's one of the reasons I am a huge fan of Psych. The idea of family members initially having problems, but then slowly coming together and accepting one another again appeals to me greatly.
I like the thread of mystery that ties the episodes into an arc, and I think it's managed masterfully with the more episodic case-of-the-week vibe the show also has. I don't tend to like shows that are only serials; so I'm not really into soap operas, I don't watch Lost, Heroes lost my interest a long time ago (though I still watch it), and I ended up not loving the final couple of series of Buffy much --- but shows that weave serial and episodic plots together are awesomesauce in my book. The first series of Burn Notice does this really, really well.
The narration is fantastic; all of the little details Michael gives us in his short expository comments delight me.
The music is brilliant. Really effective, really engaging --- except for maybe one scene between Michael and Fiona where it was cheesy as hell and reminded me of due South (i.e, as if it belonged in the early 90s.)
I do not love the camerawork. The freeze-frames? Ugh. Die in a fire. The first couple of episodes overused that device horrendously. There have been a couple of push ins and pull outs that have distracted me in the bad way too. But I think this is my only complaint about the show; I adore every other element.
So, here I am, wishing I had watched this show when I acquired it (which was last year) and busily acquiring the second series. USA network, how are you so awesome?