USA Network has had an excellent track record in developing hit, quality television since branching out into original programming. Though not as barrier busting as FX or AMC, USA takes its “Characters Welcome” slogan and runs with it in various light, fun, and just plain enjoyable shows.
White Collar is just the latest in that long line of hits. Premiering last night, White Collar has all the qualities that made past USA series a success, not the least of which being probably the network’s biggest, Burn Notice.
Similar in tone, mixing action, drama, and bits of witty dialogue and pure fun, White Collar does well in providing an hour of thoroughly enjoyable television.
The series follows newly-escaped con-artist Neal Caffrey (played by Matt Bomer) as he ends up partnering up with the FBI agent who spent three years of his life trying to catch him. Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) and Neal have come to develop a sort of relationship over the years, each knowing a lot about each other lives while on the chase, but also during Neal’s stay in maximum penitentiary.
Now, Neal proves to be a big asset for Peter in his investigations of white collar crimes, the likes of art theft, counterfeit, fraud… basically crimes of the rich or crimes involving lots of money. The fact that Peter, the man responsible for putting Neal behind bars, now has to work with that same man presents an interesting, if not familiar, situation that will surely provide a lot of material as the series moves forward.
In addition to the procedural aspect of the series we also look at the personal lives of our heroes, which is always welcome in procedural dramas.
We meet Peter’s wife, Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) who is the loyal and supportive housewife (from what we’ve seen so far). And the curious thing about Neal escaping, he only had four weeks left of his four year sentence. Yet, he did it only to stop the love of his life from leaving. The con artist is a romantic too!
The series has a great cast. Matt Bomer has always been one of those actors you want to be successful, has the looks and talent but can’t seem to get the right project to jumpstart that ride to stardom. He was a favorite to play Clark Kent in Superman Returns before Bryan Singer took over the helm and starred in ABC’s excellent yet poorly treated Traveler as well as guest starring on Chuck. He is definitely perfect for the role and USA seems to think so as well, the preview at the end of the premiere episode practically screamed “You should keep watching White Collar! It’s got Matt Bomer!!”
Tim DeKay is great as well and he and Matt have a great buddy chemistry. I’m also looking forward to seeing more of him with Tiffani Thiessen because there is a lot they can do there.
Overall, a very solid choice and another winner from USA. Can’t wait to see more.