BURN NOTICE, while never in a slump, is actually experiencing a bit of a creative renaissance in its fourth season with the introduction of Jesse Porter, a counterintelligence officer who was burned by Michael. It’s a brilliant inversion of the series premise that has refreshed the case-of-the-week format.
Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) accidentally burned Jesse (played by Colby Bell, whom some will remember as Officer Tyrone Davis on THIRD WATCH) at the end of the season premiere, when Michael used Jesse’s credentials to access secret files. Jesse is actually a lot like Michael used to be back when the series began: confused about what happened to him, but determined to get to the root of the problem, no matter where it takes him. The fun for the audience is, we know exactly where that quest will take him. Jesse has vowed to kill the man who burned him, so a reckoning is coming.
Sure, ROYAL PAINS featured its biggest guest star ever this week – the 7-foot, 485-pound Paul Wight, a.k.a. Big Show of the WWE – but I was more distracted by who wasn’t on the screen very much: Where did Divya go?
This second season of ROYAL PAINS is focusing a lot on adding big names: Henry “the Fonz” Winkler is recurring as Hank and Evan’s shady father, Eddie R., and Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden will be seen periodically as prickly Dr. Elizabeth Blair. And Christine Ebersole’s Mrs. Newberg is also on the scene a lot more lately. Last week, 24’s erstwhile Chloe, Mary Lynn Rajskub, portrayed Mrs. Newberg’s flighty daughter, Blake. Also, AS THE WORLD TURNS’ Marnie Schulenburg (Alison) appeared as Sherrie Tanner, a leather craftswoman (“I’m the only designer on the East Coast specializing in armadillo; it’s my schtick!”) who contracted Hansen’s disease – otherwise known as leprosy – from her own creations. (Get the joke? “Tanner” works with leather?) The soap trend continued this week with Florencia Lozano (ONE LIFE TO LIVE’s Tea) playing Faith, the high-strung sister/business manager of the action-movie star known as the Garbage Man (Big Show).