So it’s more than a little obvious that Mad Men and the world of advertising has become everyone’s form of escapism. A time when men were their jobs, women were gradually realizing a world of opportunities before them, and alcohol and cigarettes didn’t have to pretend they weren’t glamorous. But there may be a few in the biz who don’t want to come home and watch a show about their work, or maybe you’re one of those for whom the very idea of a job in advertising brings up memories more painful than Don Draper has after a few too many CCs. Maybe you just want something else to watch while waiting for the next episode.
Well for sheer escapism, I nominate Burn Notice as the show you should be watching. It’s also cool, neatly plotted and a throwback of sorts. Where Mad Men is an almost suffocating slow grind through the 1960s and establishment America’s self-immolation, Burn Notice is an update of the mostly self-contained, fun-packed thrillers of the 70s- 90s. Both shows contain neat suits and sexy skirts, and both have a lead who is resourceful, tight-lipped and seemingly self-confident.
But where Mad Men is a deep drama about real change in the 1960s, Burn Notice is a light action/comedy that still manages to deal with many of our current problems. At the core Burn Notice is about an unemployed guy who’s strapped for cash and forced to freelance as he tries to figure out a way back into his old job. On the way he deals with an aging parent, tries to sort things out with his on-again-off-again girlfriend and, uh, kicks ass with some c4, a cell phone, a handgun, and whatever else is on hand.
In fact, part of the fun is observing the new and inventive ways a guy with more know-how than all of instructibles.com combined manages to get himself out of near-impossible jams. Something anybody calling themselves a creative ought to be able to appreciate.
Not to say this show is better than Mad Men by any stretch. They are completely different genres. What can be said, though, is that Burn Notice is a welcome break for all those looking to take a break from the adworld, real or fictional.
And if that weren’t enough, it’s got Bruce Campbell, who can sell ‘it’ better than anybody.