Thanks to the good people at the USA Network, I received an advance copy of the pilot for their new show White Collar. This is the latest in a series of shows about a colorful outsider who helps the officials solve crimes.

White Collar revolves around two opposites. Neal Caffrey (Matthew Borner) is a con artist, convicted forger, and non-violent criminal who scams his way out of prison four months before his sentence is up after his girlfriend dumps him. Caffrey is pursued and caught by FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), who caught Caffrey the first time. But Burke is having a hard time catching a mysterious criminal called the Dutchman, so he arranges for Caffrey be released into his custody in exchange for helping with cases.

There's nothing new in White Collar. Borner plays the lovable rogue, a fast-talking opportunist (but nice at heart) who in his first day of freedom goes from living in a crummy hotel room to staying at the guest room of a rich woman with a fashionable wardrobe for him to wear, a terrific view of Manhattan, and a beautiful young granddaughter. DeKay is the straight man, the working stiff who has to shake his head and smile at the antics his new partner gets into. The supporting cast is pretty routine, from Tiffani Thiessen as Burke's supportive wife to Alexandra Daddario as Burke's subordinate who's also gay (and not to be seduced by Burke.) The mystery keeps having elements only Burke can figure out -- something I expect will happen in each episode.

Monk has an obsessive-compulsive former police officer helping the police solve crimes. Psych has a fake psychic helping the police solve crimes. And now White Collar gives us a former (current?) criminal helping the FBI solve crimes. This show isn't terrible, but it's neither original nor memorable.

Overall grade: C
Reviewed by James Lynch

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Shut up! After just watching THE PILOT, you give it a cruddy review??? Do you know the characters? Do you the storyline? Do you know the plot? If you don't know anything, don't say anything! The public LOVES it, (it already has a second season)so get to know the show before you say no!!!!!