Comic-Con 2010: Burn Notice

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The Panel: Matt Nix (creator) and Alfredo Barrios Jr (producer) chatted about the show with help from villain Tim Matheson, moderator/guest star Chris Vance, and, of course, Bruuuuuuuuce Campbell.

What They Talked About: Things kicked off with a special message from Michael Weston detailing, Burn Notice-style, how to sell your comic book idea to an executive attending the Con. Many covert tactics were condoned, including bugging his/her swag bag and "accidentally" bumping into them and "realizing just how much in common you have." Also: Don't pitch Twilight. They also screened a sneak peek of tonight's episode. Miss Cleo would be proud.

Most Valuable Panelist: Nix himself, for his willingness to answer questions honestly and for providing some behind-the-scenes tales about the show's hyperactive little boy-like track record. What I mean is, I learned the show uses a lot of cranes. And explosives. And helicopters. And the show legitimately makes bomb squad guys scared, since they demonstrate real-life tricks to the casual viewer. "We read warning labels as instructions," he said. Plus, he told this joke: "How do you tell if an English guy is gay? [Adopts British accent] Well, you can't really, darling, can you?"

Best Question from the Audience: Why did the show drop Fiona's Irish accent after one episode? The panel got uncomfortable and the audience snickered. But Nix attacked it head-on: If Fiona's going to play lots of different characters for missions, it would be easier to keep her at neutral. Fair enough.

Missing In Action: Jeffrey Donovan, who plays Michael. Bruce Campbell told stories about him, though, like about how he never sweats. And at one point, Donovan tweeted to have someone ask the panel where #1 is? The guy has an impact even from afar.

Most Exciting News: They announced the production of a Burn Notice prequel movie starring Bruce Campbell. Needless to say, the crowd went wild.

Quotables: All the best lines came from Campbell, who had a stack of $2 bills he gave out to people for doing... whatever. And they weren't so much quotables as they were "memorable actions." A woman wooed for how sexy Donovan is, and Campbell threw her some dough. Later another woman told him to cast her in the prequel since she's from Miami, so he shouted, "Well, come on up here. Let's get a look atcha." Then he literally made it rain. Also: "Larry's a butt face" and "Never kidnap Fiona," showing his gift for nuance.

But Wait, There's More!: I learned this tip from Nix about predicting future guest stars: See who's been on before, and try to figure out what shows the creators really like. Assume they'll try to get as many of those actors as they can. What does Burn Notice watch? Lost, Prison Break, and The Shield.

The Big Picture: This panel was loose and affable enough, but other than Nix's insight and Campbell's miscellaneous bits, it was pretty forgettable. I'd pass next time.


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