CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
DVD Review: Average Release For ‘Burn Notice: Season Three’
CHICAGO – The most recent season of one of the sexiest and most stylish shows on television was released on DVD this month and the show itself is still entertaining enough to warrant a look but the home release for it is a bit mediocre. USA’s “Burn Notice” has loyal fans who would undeniably appreciate a more extensive home release than this average one.
DVD Rating: 3.0/5.0
Jeffrey Donovan stars as Michael Westen, a burned spy forced to run missions-for-hire in Miami while he tries to determine who ruined his career in the first place. Michael’s assisted by the super-hot Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), clever Sam (Bruce Campbell), and even his mom (Sharon Gless). Fiona and Michael have had romance in the past but, for the most part, only cautiously flirt now even though she puts her life on the line for him on a regular basis. One of the strongest subtexts of the show has always been that a spy is only as good as the girlfriend, best buddy, and mother who stand behind him.
Burn Notice: Season Three was released on DVD on June 1st, 2010
Photo credit: Fox
At the end of season two, “Burn Notice” essentially blew up their own dramatic foundation by suggesting that Michael’s exile in Miami might have been for his own good. The assumption that Michael needed “revenge” on those who burned him drove the good first season and the excellent second one, but changing that left a bit of an identity crisis in the third one, which feels more haphazard than the first two years.
Having said that, “Burn Notice” is an undeniably well-made, slick piece of entertainment. The character development and consistency that could take it to the next level and allow it to live up to its true potential is slowly coming back in the strong fourth season currently airing on USA. So, it looks like season three could be a small valley in the overall quality of the show. And it’s still a cool, sexy, clever valley in which to hang out for 16 episodes.
The home release pattern for “Burn Notice” is bewildering. As of right now, only the second season is on Blu-ray. Why wouldn’t they continue releasing the episodes in HD? Even if the second season sold poorly on BD, which one must assume is the reason for the shift back to standard-only, more and more people are joining the HD revolution every day and it’s a shame that fans of this show won’t be able to watch Gabrielle Anwar and Jeffrey Donovan in HD.
The old-ray video is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and is accompanied by a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. The very lackluster and brief special features include no commentary track nor deleted scenes. All that’s included on all four discs are two featurettes — “Smash, Crash, Boom: Inside the Burn Notice Stunt Unit” and “2009 San Diego Comic-Con International.”