Thursday, September 24, 2009

In the past couple of years USA has been pumping out new series that continue to combine great characters with wonderful concepts.  The last few years have brought us the hilarious duo of Shawn and Gus in Psych, the cunning (and humorous) mercenary team of Micheal, Sam, and Fiona on Burn Notice, and the goofy and brilliant brothers, Dr. Hank and Evan on Royal Pains.  And USA has done it again with their newest duo, White Collar's Neal Caffrey (Chuck's Matthew Bomer) and Peter Stokes (Tell Me You Love Me's Tim DeKay), a master criminal and the FBI agent who caught him.

Bomer's Caffrey is a master thief, a con artist, and one hell of a charmer, who breaks out of prison with just weeks left on his sentence, to find his lost love.  He's quickly recaptured by Agent Stokes, who's working on another case that he can't crack, and it quickly becomes apparent that Caffrey's talents could be used to help solve crimes, rather than commit them.  It's a simple concept that works well because of the characters. 

Caffrey's not just a criminal, but a man who loves the finer things in life, suits, penthouse's with a view of the city, and of course women.  But Caffrey's real love is the girl who broke his heart, and that leads to one of the bigger mysteries of the show.  Why would she wait for him for over 2 years visiting every week, only to leave him when he only has a few weeks left on his sentence?  And who is the mysterious man that she left with?  I don't know the answers, but it's one of the many reasons I will be returning to this series week after week.

And DeKay's Stokes is a work-aholic, who also dearly loves his wife (Tiffani Thiessen), and regrets that he continually lets her down, when work comes first.  But, luckily he's got Caffrey to assist him, not only in catching the bad guys, but also in his love life.  In the first episode we get to see exactly how far he'll go to make things us to her, and just how much Caffrey plays a role in that.

But at it's heart it's a show about catching crooks, and it handles that just as brilliantly as it handles the characters.  The pilot centers on an art counterfeiter who's smuggling in hundreds of copies of kids book from another country.  And just what does a counterfeiter do with hundreds of children's books?  Well that's the big question in the episode and one you'll have to wait until Friday October 23rd to find out.

I think it's clear that I'm a fan of USA's shows, specifically Psych, Monk, and Burn Notice and if the pilot is any indication I think it's safe to say they've added another great show to their repertoire.  And with Monk ending after the current season, I think this would be a great partner for Psych.  White Collar is the perfect blend of drama and intrigue with a dash of humor mixed in.  So if you're looking for a fun, mystery-comedy to kick off your weekend this is the perfect fit.   And keep coming back here for more coverage of this great show.

I should mention, for all you fans of the short-lived ABC Family series The Middle Man, Wendy Watson herself, Natalie Morales joins the cast a few episodes in! 

For more info on the show you can check out the links below:

- White Collar Twitter feed
- White Collar Facebook Fan Page
- Entertainment Weekly PopWatch says “White Collar” is their favorite new cast
- The Wrap lists “White Collar” as one of the Fall shows “everyone will be talking about”
- Televisionary says “White Collar” elevates run of the mill crime drama to new levels with charisma and chemistry

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