I was hooked on basic-cable network USA's vigilantes-with-heart series Burn Notice from the first episode. And that's always bothered me a little bit. Not that it's not a good show, but it's not, you know, a great one or a groundbreaking one or a provocative button-pushing one; given its lush location and colorful cinematography and attractive principals, it's fairly blue collar as contemporary crime shoes go.
I thought at first that was what attracted me so immediately to the show. But as my relationship with the program went on, I realized that a sort of straight-up no-frills attitude and solid if not mind-blowing style couldn't be enough to keep me tuning in every Thursday. Nor could the presence of Bruce Campbell—hey, I love the guy, but come on, I don't exactly have McHale's Navy or My Name Is Bruce in my DVD collection—or Jeffrey Donovan, whom I loved in the underrated Touching Evil, or Gabrielle Anwar, who manages to balance being cut and a borderline sun-worshiping cautionary tale with both vulnerability and sex appeal.
So what was it?