Thursday, November 05, 2009

Bless the USA... network

White Collar. Yet another quirky crime procedural from USA. It follows in the footsteps of established favorites like Monk as well as the latest, MacGuyver-inspired generation (Burn Notice and Royal Pains). But White Collar is most like Psych - it's a bromance... I mean, buddy flick.

The protagonists are Neal Caffrey (played by Matt Bomer, who you may recognize as Bryce from Chuck), a silver-tongued con-man fresh out of prison, and Peter Burke (played by Tim DeKay, who you may not recognize... I didn't) as the staid yet brilliant FBI Agent who caught him. The premise is that Caffrey has been released on a probational basis to help the FBI catch white-collar criminals like himself. He and Burke have an extremely congenial relationship for two former adversaries - so much so that Burke asks Caffrey to help him pick an anniversary present for his wife. You get the impression that this friendship is one of the only things keeping Caffrey from ditching his FBI babysitters and taking off after his ex-girlfriend (his real motivation for wanting out of prison).

Wifey is played by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen

As expected from a USA series, the crimes are clever and the minor characters are adorable. It reminds me of that late-nineties NBC show Players, which may have overstretched itself by including three ex-cons and a sexy female FBI agent. And if I remember correctly, it didn't delve too deeply into what it meant to the characters to be imprisoned-but-not, kept on a short leash by the FBI. White Collar has already brushed against this, and I do hope they develop it further in future episodes.

Did I mention the clothes are spectacular?

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