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Few things say “confidence” like being picked up for a fifth and sixth season when season four hasn’t even aired yet, which just happened to Burn Notice, currently highly popular spy-meets-MacGyver-meets-A-team show with a decent-sized and fairly diverse following. While this is of course great – a slow rise to popularity and steady renewal is far better than the Firefly-effect – it does cause some concern for the avid fans like myself. Mainly: Will it be any good?
We all have our favourite shows that ended too early, cancelled after only a season or two, sometimes just a handful of episodes. But in many ways worse than this is the favourite show that DIDN’T end, but just kept going and going; the plots being recycled, the dialogue becoming stale and dumbed down, and the actors getting fed up. Some very fond memories have been tainted by later run-ins with the stale, zombified remnants of great shows, and even at best they still leave us thinking that it not only COULD but probably SHOULD have ended years ago.
Let’s face it – I love Stargate SG-1 to bits, but quite frankly they could probably have ended the show with a rousing finale as they ended the threat of the snaky little paracites it was all about. Suddenly, it was all about aggressive Lego and glowing squids – i.e. überpowerful beings of pure energy – and they changed the cast and… and…
At the end of the third season of Burn Notice – and what a lovely cliffhanger that was, leaving us hanging untill the show starts back up again in June – the show is still going strong, the main plot still in operation and the storylines still engaging. The feisty blend of spyfest, a touch of MacGyver («Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.») and the A-Team with their complicated scams and penchant for things that go «Bang» and «Boom!» seems to appeal to more than just me, and I’m hoping I’ll say the same in three years.
Personally, I favour the «out with a bang, not a whimper» approach to ending a show, but there’s no reason the bang has to be now, as long as we successfully preempt the whimpering. So here’s to our favourite suave superspy (yes, James Bond is cool, but he doesn’t do the brilliant voiceovers) – may he keep the badguys on their toes, the good guys out of trouble, and us fans happy for a good many years to come!