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Customer Review

118 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Convicted of forging bonds, slick Neal Caffrey forges a new one with the FBI guy that nabbed him, October 25, 2009
This review is from: White Collar: Season 1 (DVD)
Looks like the USA Network has got another banging hit in its lineup. WHITE COLLAR, an easy-breezy crime drama, swipes heavily from the buddy cop genre, and that this beaten-to-death premise (which owes a lot to 48 HOURS) works for this series is purely because of the appeal of the two leads, and specifically Matt Bomer. This is not to dis his semi-rumpled co-star Tim DeKay, but clearly this show rises or collapses on how effectively Bomer brings the sexy. Tim Dekay - while also charming in a more low-key sort of way - works best as Bomer's exasperated foil.

Sophisticated con artist Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) - convicted of bond forgery but suspected of many other crimes - is hailed as "quite the Renaissance criminal." He has only three to four months left to serve in his prison sentence when Kate, the love of his life, breaks up with him and then amscrays for parts unknown. Demonstrating that a maximum-security prison isn't a deterrent if you're crazy in love, Caffrey breaks out of stir to try to find his girl. Except that he gets caught, and gets caught by the same dogged FBI guy who nabbed him the first time, Peter Burke (Tim DeKay).

Agent Burke toils away in the white collar crime division in the Big Apple and, before he got pulled away into again running down Caffrey, he was steadily getting baffled by a cunning master forger called the Dutchman. But the long-awaited break surfaces when Caffrey proposes a deal: Caffrey will help Burke catch the Dutchman if Caffrey is remanded to Burke's custody and be out and about in the real world. It's plain to both that the real reason for Caffrey's offer is so that Caffrey can keep looking for his lost love. Burke reluctantly takes the deal. Caffrey gets fitted for a GPS tracking anklet. And off they go to make a serious dent on the Friday Nielsen ratings.

WHITE COLLAR debuted this past Friday, October 23rd, and it was so much fun watching it that I went and saw the repeat airing a few hours later. Matt Bomer - who also played Bryce Larkin in Chuck - The Complete First Season - is projected to be the show's breakout star, and it looks like he's got the goods. But it helps that the writers saddled his roguish character with a romantic streak. Meanwhile, Tim DeKay holds up his end, making lemonade with his more thankless role. DeKay is really good at doing that "exasperated and ill-at-ease" thing, and nothing ruffles his by-the-book FBI agent's feathers quite as much as the ridiculous ease with which Caffrey persistently finagles his way to the cushy things in life. Given that $700 is what it cost to house and feed Caffrey while behind bars, the same amount is allotted to finance his new digs on this shaky "work release program." Initially assigned to a very seedy flophouse, Caffrey moments later charms his way into becoming a house guest in an uber-luxurious penthouse. Along the way, he also lands some very sleek threads. He airily describes his new wardrobe as "classic Rat Pack." Burke grinds his teeth, yet can't resist sipping from Caffrey's excellent coffee, from sampling a taste of the good life. It's immediately apparent that Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay demonstrate a terrific give-and-go rapport. Their characters aren't exactly overtly adversarial, but they are trying to one-up each other in subtle ways. It's fun to watch.

As these two start to build a working relationship, their respective personal lives are touched on. For Caffrey, this involves touching base with his street contact (nicely placed by Willie Garson) and searching for his vanished girlfriend Kate. For the workaholic Burke, it's all about balancing career and marriage, except that the scales tend to tilt in favor of career. Tiffani Thiessen plays Burke's impossibly understanding, long-suffering wife Elizabeth, and since this is Tiffani Thiessen, I'm guessing there are fireworks scheduled ahead for Elizabeth Burke.

Like other shows on the USA Network (MONK, BURN NOTICE, PSYCH), WHITE COLLAR flaunts a playful side. In it's key conceit ("It takes a thief..."), it actually shares more in common with a series on TNT, the very good Leverage: The First Season, and with Spielberg's cool con flick Catch Me If You Can (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition). This isn't one of those cable shows that tries to be ambitious (MAD MEN, SONS OF ANARCHY). And, as great as MAD MEN is, there are times when I'm in the mood to just be entertained and not have to think or analyze things too much or get mired in serious angst. WHITE COLLAR is irresistible comfort food for the mind. I just saw the 90 minute pilot, and I thought: So what if maybe things fall in place a little too conveniently in this show? So what if the unlikely partners develop camaraderie maybe just a tad too effortlessly? So what if the "collar of the week" isn't all that compelling? The point is that the show knows its strength rests on showcasing its ridiculously likable two leads. And maybe there's someone on television currently more rakish and dashing than Neal Caffrey. But, for the life of me, I'm drawing a blank.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 22, 2010 4:53:57 AM PDT
Mickstruck9 says:
I don't think I could write it any better than what I am reading. I agree with the chemistry between Matt & Tim and let' snot forget Mozzie. Perfect group of people, excellent storyline that I did not see coming in Season 2 finale. I can hardly wait to buy that blue Ray. I did a Marathon thispast weekend watching Season 1 both on Saturday and Sunday morning I had to watch all over again. It's just an awesome show that I too perefer watching over Sons of Anarchy, etc.

Posted on Dec 27, 2012 5:45:18 AM PST
Busted in CR says:
Wow, did you get paid to write that?

Posted on Jan 5, 2013 11:26:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 5, 2013 11:28:06 AM PST
KittyKins says:
Thanks for the great review. Just a note to Canadians...make sure you order this from this .com site, as this product is marked up SIGNIFICANTLY on the .ca site. I have a problem with paying about $13 more. You have to pay shipping & import fees here, but even so it's cheaper than with "free" shipping.
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Review Details



H. Bala

Location: Recently moved back to Carson, California, or as I call it... the center of the universe

Top Reviewer Ranking: 175