On a somewhat happier note, we finished up the second season of Burn Notice. It's not a great show, but it's a fun one, driven mainly by the likeability of the actors and characters involved. Bruce Campbell is pretty much the essence of likeable, Sharon Gless is close, and while I've never encountered Jeffery Donovan before, he's been great. McGyver as an ex-spy in Miami is a snappy high concept, and they are quite playful with it, down to the amusement of the titles they flip on screen to identify various players (my favorite was when 'The Client' whooshed off screen to be replaces by "The Assassin".
The beginning and end of the second season were dragged down by yet another 'omnipowerful giant conspiracy' plot, which I'm desperately hoping they'll mostly ignore next year. Michael being hindered by the US Government, powerful agency that it is, worked. Giant private agencies that control the government and can send squads armed with automatic weaposn to shoot up suburban houses without any fear of law enforcement, not so much.
Burn Notice... is surprisingly good for its type in gender issues. Michael's relationship with his mom is treated respectfully, as an important thing, and they've worked pretty hard to keep it from being a one note comedy of 'mom interferes hilariously with Michael's jobs'. She's gotten genuine character development. Fi not so much, but the actress manages to deliver the occasional romantic shenigans they dump on her with impish glee rather than needy clinginess, and the show does make a point of showing that Fi has her own career and life outside of Michael.
On the race front, they white-ify the shit out of Miami; it's a Caribbean city, with ninety percent of the population Latino or black, and you sure couldn't tell that from the show, even the extras. I wouldn't say it has skanky race issues, really, but it's sort of frustrating when so many roles that aren't racially coded invariably end up white, and the only black faces have been a football player, a Haitian father seeking revenge, and a Haitian criminal lord. Though that's doing better than the Latino front, where I'm not even sure there has been anyone who wasn't a drug smuggler, crime kingpin, or gunrunner.