Reviews: White Collar
As Bland As The Colour In The Name
Okay, so white isn't technically a coloour, but whatever. Nothing about this show is even slightly original. Neal is supposed to be charming and witty, but his jokes are about the level of 'Your face is putting me back in prison!', made less obnoxious but more boring by his bland delivery. His search for his girlfriend is just as boring - you never really feel his desperation as he looks for any little clue to her location. Burke is slightly more interesting. He and his wife have some good chemistry, and their scenes together are generally the best in the show (though this is only in comparison with the rest of the show). That said, his time at work is generally textbook Police Procedural, with none of the interesting characters or quirky feel of, say, NCIS, Monk, Life, Bones or Castle. Each Villain Of The Week is as uninteresting as the last, only made interesting by the occasional Hey Its That Guy moment. Each of the flaws this show has wouldn't be that bad if they were the only one, but combined they make for one powerfully boring show. So Okay Its Average at best. If you want a quirky police procedural, try any of the other shows mentioned in this review.
Entertaining and Classy
The first thing you should know is: it's not about the crimes. White Collar 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.
Funny and Impressive
I know some people don't like it; but hey, I did. I found Neal and Alex charming and funny, and together with crazy Mozzie they add a certain zest to the life of Straight Guy Peter Burke that's fun to watch. The dialogue is clever, the actors are great, and the show walks a fine line between the familiar and the original, balancing quite well. Elizabeth and Peter have great chemistry, but the friendship between Peter and Neal is what really gets you to watch the show, and it certainly delivers. I would definitely recommend this show.