White Collar: Season 1
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In this clever and thrilling new TV series; charming con man Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) escapes from a maximum security prison; only to be recaptured by his nemesis; FBI Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay).With few options; Caffrey agrees to help the bureau bring down other elusive criminals in exchange for his eventual freedom. But before long; Caffrey finds himself playing a game of cat and mouse with those who want him back in prison or dead. Co-starring Tiffani Thiessen (Beverly Hills; 90210); White Collar is sewn with surprising twists; engaging characters and riveting excitement.
The USA Network's White Collar adds charm and sex appeal to high-end crime prevention. In the pilot, con man Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer, easy on the eyes) escapes from prison four months before his release. FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay, having more fun than he did on HBO's Carnivále) tracks him down and works out a deal: to avoid more time, Caffrey will serve as his consultant. If he splits the scene, he'll get life. Though trust remains an issue, the men have a likable rapport, a big key to the show's success. Neal finds lodgings when he hits it off with wealthy widow June (the ever-classy Diahann Carroll), who sets him up with her loft and her husband's duds (including a fedora). While Caffrey's girlfriend, Kate, has gone missing, Burke has been married to Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen), an event planner, for a decade. Though Agent Fowler (Noah Emmerich) does his best to trip him up, Caffrey searches for Kate when he isn't working on cases involving theft, fraud, forgery, and insider trading with Burke, Hughes (James Rebhorn), and Jones (ER's Sharif Atkins). Off the books, he receives assistance from his impish pal, Mozzie (Sex and the City's Willie Garson, whose Bruce Willis impression is a highlight).
If White Collar is more upbeat than most procedurals, some details don't add up, like when a TV producer conducts an impromptu interview with a stranger who drops by the studio unannounced--Caffrey also reproduces a masterwork in a matter of hours--but the clever twists compensate for the occasional leaps of faith. As with Law & Order, the show also serves as a love letter to Manhattan. First-season extras include deleted scenes, featurettes, and commentary from the cast and creator Jeff Eastin, who's come a long way since Shasta McNasty. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Top customer reviews
Our Blu-Ray is finally getting a little use and the video and audio quality justifies the few extra bucks for the Blu-Ray set.
Amazon, as usual, did a great job with the order arriving a few days earlier than the default schedule shown when ordering.
White Collar is another of those charismatic cop shows that have started popping up since The Mentalist came out. I would imagine that White Collar was in development before that happened, but you can't say that Simon Baker and company didn't grease the skids. The premise is simple: Neil Caffrey (Matt Bomer), a forger, theif and all around 'white collar' crook offers to help his FBI catcher, Peter Burke (Tim DeKay). The deal is this: Caffrey helps Burke with his cases, Burke keeps him out of prison. But Caffrey has another agenda as well, his missing ex-girlfriend Kate (Alexandra Daddario), who may or may not be under the control of elements in the FBI. His search for her, abetted by his friend Mozz (Willie Garson), tends to complicate his professional relationship with Burke, though Burke's wife Eleanor (Tiffani Thiesson) is in Neil's corner, mostly.
Neil might just be the smartest TV cop there is, other than Simon Baker's Patrick Jane from The Mentalist (technically they're both consultants), and that's part compliment part problem, as both characters are geniuses whose personal obsessions are often their undoings. But they're right a bit too often and easily for realism's sake. Except that you like both of them so much that ultimately you don't really care. That's what Matt Bomer brings to the role, he's convincing as a crook with a heart of gold, and is so smooth that it makes me wonder why it took him so long to break out as an actor. He's got a ton of talent, this won't be his last star vehicle. Tim DeKay's Peter Burke tries to be the by the book FBI agent, but Neil is not the best influence on him, though they get the job done. As the season (14 episodes) goes on, he looks the other way more and more often, showing a nice gray area as the two of them become friends and learn to trust each other, a bit. What I didn't like about him was his constant threatening to Neil to put him back in prison if Case X didn't get solved. Memo to the writers: No FBI agent/team solves every single case in a couple of days, or else. DeKay seemed to overact at times, but I wonder if it was just the contrast to Bomer's smoothness, I'm conflicted there. Thiessen plays the loving wife, and her byplay with Neil and Mozz is hilarious when it happens. Mozz is the loyal best friend and wingman for Neil, and Garson plays him humorously, but not slapsticky. He gets most of the best lines, but that's his job.
The episodes are part single stories, combined with the overall 'find out what happened to Kate' subplot that runs through each of them. The crimes are highbrow, given the title and theme of the show, and while murder is involved sometimes, it's not that kind of show. The season ended on......not a cliffhanger per se, but a 'What the......!??!' kind of moment that was not what I was expecting. That's a good thing by the way. Yeah, I'll be getting Season Two.
Interesting plot(s), good, sometimes really good, acting, and a fast moving pace. White Collar is a winner, and while I had a couple of quibbles, it doesn't take away from a 5 star rating. Maybe more networks should put pilots of their newer shows on DVD's for their hits. Worked with me, my hard earned dollars are on their way to them.
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