TV Review Jackie K Cooper
"Graceland/Burn Notice" (USA Network)
As one USA Network TV series winds down, another one starts up. Yes "Burn Notice" has started its final season while "Graceland" tries to get off the ground. So far it looks like it would be better to keep "Burn Notice" and let "Graceland" slide.
"Burn Notice" has been around since 2007 and tells the story of Michael Weston (Jeffery Donovan), a CIA operative who has been "burned" by his Agency. In other words they have cut him loose and he is left to his own devices. He has ended up in Miami where he has allied himself with two fellow soldiers of fortune, Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell and Jesse Porter (Coby Bell). He also has a girlfriend who is an explosives expert, Fiona Glenade (Gabrielle Anwar). Plus he has his mother Madeline (Sharon Gless) in town for moral support.
Over the years these characters have bonded perfectly and make a winning team. The stories are still interesting and the actors still appear enthusiastic about their roles. It is a perfect example of having the right actors in the right roles in the right stories. That is why after six years the series is still going strong and is leaving with fans wanting more instead of less.
"Graceland" which follows "Burn Notice" on Thursday nights on the USA Network is everything "Burn Notice" isn't. This series focuses on an apartment building called Graceland where agents for the FBI, DEA, etc live together and operate to solve crimes in California. The newest member of the inhabitants at the house is Michael Warren (Aaron Tveit). He is the top grad in the recent FBI Class of agents. Another member of the house is Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata). He is legendary in Warren's eyes.
Just as quickly as Warren is settled in he gets sent out on a case. He is a little bit awkward but manages to win the day, impressing one and all. It seems he will blend in with the group pretty easily. But as presented, who cares? All of the people in the series so far are pretty bland and there is not an indication it is going to get much better.
If you don't put everything possible into the pilot episode to make people interested then you might as well kiss the rest of the series good-bye. There is too much competition out there, so if you don't draw the audience in with something special then you might not get a second chance. So far "Graceland" doesn't indicate it is something special.
"Burn Notice" still has its appeal for viewers. Make sure you don't miss any of the episodes of this final season as they have indicated they will be going out with a bang. As for "Graceland, here's hoping it makes a graceful exit as soon as possible.
"Burn Notice" airs Thursdays at 9PM on the USA Network followed by "Graceland" at 10PM.
Jackie K Cooper