The first thing you should know is: it's not about the crimes.
is about the characters, and they are its biggest strength. The writing is very consistent, and the show prefers exploring the characters to creating artificial drama. For example, when Peter flirts with other women as part of going undercover, Elizabeth reacts in a way that is true to her loving, confident personality, in a situation where another show might have attempted to ramp up interpersonal tensions at the cost of faithfulness to character.
The relationship between Peter and Neal is at the core of the show, and it's refreshing to see TV about protagonists who like and respect each other. The cop-criminal set-up could have led to gimmickry, but the show explores their trust instead of turning them into stereotypes.
On the negative side: White Collar
's biggest flaw is the overarching plot with Neal's love interest, Kate and the intrigue that surrounds her-namely, that it doesn't make much sense. With luck, future episodes will illuminate some of the more confusing aspects, but we see so little of Kate that it's difficult to care about her. We are interested in her because of her obvious importance to Neal, but we don't get enough detail to really feel invested in Neal's passion for her.
Overall: In a line up of stale crime dramas, White Collar
stands out as lively and engaging. The show isn't epic or groundbreaking, but its laid-back ethos and enjoyable characters make it well worth watching.