Saturday, September 28, 2013

Extinguished: The Rise and Fall of Burn Notice, and why its Series Finale is a disappointment


Burn Notice ended its run several weeks ago, and I'm still mad.

Not that the show ended, because it was struggling to churn out plot a season ago, and not even for the death of a beloved character who happened to be one of my favorites.  I'm sad for the loss of potential.

It was once a champagne bubble of a show all about a spy who had lost complete control of his life.  Burned by his agency, he was beaten by his final contact and dumped in Miami, where he found himself running a sort of private detective agency with his retired Navy Seal best friend, volatile ex-IRA on-and-off-again girlfriend, eventually an ex-spy who had been trapped a and yes, even his mother.  The show drew its charm from Michael's deadpan observations, the way the crew applied their expertise to their client's problems, and the chemistry between the characters, which was strong and good right from the start.

I know EXACTLY how it went off the rails, and it all started with a gunshot.

Refutation and Reconciliation: a rebuttal for "the Girl Can't Help It" by Ehrenstein

Confession to everyone reading this: I am a Roger Ebert fan.  Though he occasionally said and did things in the critical world which leaned toward the ridiculous, he had some great opinions and is a childhood idol of mine.  I still have him on my Rss feed, and when this article about the Roman Polanski rape case, written by a Mister Ehrenstein at the website, showed up I couldn't resist comment.

Mister Ehrenstein's snickering "review" of Samantha Greimer's autobiography strongly implies that Ms. Greimer was not only asking for what happened to her, all of the sexual activity she engaged in  - including an encounter with her boyfriend directly after the rape - indicates that she made up her emotional trauma for money.  It suggests that Ms.Greimer's autobiography - which she wrote as a way to take her narrative out of both Polanski's hands and the police's - is a silly puff piece, tittering over Greimer's sarcastic narrator's voice and retrofitting excerpts drawn from the text to make it look like another simpering tell-all book. It is the most crystal clear example of rape apologia I've ever read.