Ever since becoming a follower of USA shows where they beckon “Characters Welcome” as their trademark slogan, this show has popped up in promo spots. Further reading only tempted me more and the shows premise sounded like wicked good fun. Plus a commentator compared it to Burn Notice, and that’s enough said.
White Collar (2009) USA Network TV Review
If truth were to slap Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) in the face, he might not know what hit him. His girlfriend just dumped him and instead of coin collecting, he collects aliases. What’s worse, he can do nothing to win his beloved back; he’s in prison. The best con man in the business, Neal is a white collar criminal. As a result, he’s made an enemy or two in his line of work, just one of whom is the FBI. Or more specifically, Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) the only agent to ever entrap Neal. Now with four months in his sentence, Neal conceives an escape plan in order to find Kate. All he gets is an empty bottle of vintage wine, and Peter waiting to nab Neal again, plus another four years in jail.
Back in prison, Neal proves that he knows just as much about Peter. Right now, Peter is working on bringing down The Dutchman, an infamous forger, and Neal can help. Skeptical, Peter walks away from Neal’s offer. Figuring Neal is playing him, Peter doesn’t want to work with Neal, but his quest to put The Dutchman in custody outweighs his reservations. His wife, Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) is now well acclimated to being a federal agent’s wife after a decade of marriage. But when their anniversary is upcoming and Neal is the one to remind Peter of that, there’s work to be done! Not only must the twosome work together to nab notorious white collar criminals, but teaching Peter the art of romance.
Basically this is a show having a con man as the main “hero” where it builds on some interesting plots. And, many of those points aren’t necessarily immoral; it could even be argued that they explore dishonesty and loyalty in some personal ways and the ending result is often positive. As with many shows, the “hook” doesn’t fully come until two or three episodes in – it just doesn’t reach its full potential until then. The pilot is still awesome and it gives us a feel of who everyone is going to become but not everyone will be intrigued by it since a lot of shows are “cautious” in their first run when testing audiences, is vital. Then, if ordered to full season, they really bring their a-game. You need to give the show a minimum of three episodes before giving a final verdict.
RELATED TV SHOW REVIEW | ‘Burn Notice,’ Season One
All the characters are really interesting and I look forward to seeing where writers take them in future; Peter and Elizabeth in particular are adorable together. They are extremely mismatched individuals but they love each other more than anything. I love their witty banter and the fact that Peter bounces theories off his wife; similarly, the interplay between Neal and Peter is hilarious (as is that between Elizabeth and Neal!). Both are innately perceptive. Normal to any show, this ones freshman season has an ongoing plot line that winds up surprising me. One of the most entertaining episodes is “All In,” which coincidently also drops the biggest bombshell on us.
White Collar’s impact is more emotional than exciting. Having an FBI agent work in a branch where chasing the bad guys (the ones who accessorize with machine guns) isn’t a part of the job description does not lend itself to being overly thrilling in terms of an adrenaline rush. So if that is a requirement as a part of television viewing, this won’t be your thing. What the show does have is, like many of its neighbors, fabulous, witty humor. At first, my idea of this network (USA) wasn’t good, but with such a fondness for Burn Notice, I have read more about the “standards” the station has; and have come to appreciate their programs. Its entire appeal just works; from wardrobe to filmmaking angles or the “cutest criminal” yet in Neal. That he is!
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You can find White Collar, season one digitally on Amazon Video
Content: the premiere and finale allude to a lesbian character. Neal is a notorious flirt and is constantly making conquests; there is some sensual flirting between a married couple. Episode three has Neal romancing a suspect and as part of his cover, there is a seductive “pat-down” scene in which Neal moves his hands over her entire body as she does likewise. Not wanting Peter to know who one of his past associates is they pretend Alex was at his place for, more than just a chit-chat [she undresses to her slip, later, they swim nude]. During the course of investigations, at least four people die.