… is the fact that you rarely get to play it on launch day. The copy of Grand Theft Auto IV Collector’s Edition Anne bought me for our anniversary shipped on Monday. Which means it’ll probably arrive either about the time I leave for work today or sometime tomorrow at the earliest. You’d think Amazon would recognize how big a title this is and set up something along the lines of what they do for Harry Potter books to ensure that the title arrives on the day of release, but it’s only a video game so they don’t go through the extra trouble.
Anne had told me about the present ahead of time in part because she thought I might want her to cancel the order so I could pick up the game at one of the midnight launches, but I told her it wasn’t that big of a deal. Surprisingly I’m actually handling things pretty well without the usual can’t-wait-to-play-the-game cravings of times past. Perhaps it’s a sign that I’m older and more mature, but I suppose the fact that I’m immersed in a new job where I’m trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible also plays a role. Though there are the occasional moments, like this one, where I get a little bit antsy.
It also helps that Anne and I have been watching the first season of Burn Notice after hearing about how good it was from Nate, the coworker from my previous job. If you like spy shows that have a little humor in them then this may be right up your alley. It doesn’t hurt the appeal that Bruce Campbell has a recurring role in the series. The story centers on Michael Westen who works as a spy of some sort—we’re never really told what agency, if any, he’s a part of—who has had a burn notice put out on him. It’s the spy equivalent of being fired it seems and usually they just kill you, but in this case they dump him back in Miami and make it clear that should he try to leave the city the FBI would be all over him like white on rice. All his accounts and resources have been frozen so he has to take on odd jobs helping people to get the scratch together to find out who put the burn notice out and why.
Essentially it’s your typical reluctant-hero-helps-some-deserving-person every week show with an overarching background plot that deals with the problem that has disrupted his life. Like the Incredible Hulk but with spies instead of big green semi-deaf former body builders. Instead of just endless making the background story arch an endless procession of dead ends except for the occasional special episode, however, this show actually advances the background story arch with every episode. Things change over time and our hero gets a little closer to finding out the truth as the season progresses. This makes it very watchable and a refreshing change from the typical show of this sort. It has plenty of humor and action and is definitely worth catching in reruns if you’re not the sort to just bittorrent the shows like I did. When it comes out on DVD I’ll probably pick it up it’s that good. It looks like the second season starts on July 10th and I’m looking forward to it. Check it out if you haven’t already.