White Collar Review: Stealing The Show
WHITE COLLAR: Wednesday 22nd April, Bravo, 9pm ALERT ME
To make a successful cop show writers will often create two characters that are polar opposites and make them partners. It’s a simple, and as it happens, pretty effective tactic, which might explain why new US show White Collar has the potential to be such a hit.
Neal Caffrey is a con artist and forger who’s just a few months away from being released from prison when he escapes to find his ex-girlfriend. Hot on his heels is the cop who put him away, Peter Burke, who quickly catches up with Neal.
But Peter’s got another case on his mind; elusive art thief and international criminal ‘the Dutchman’ is constantly one step ahead of him but Neal can provide some answers in exchange for his freedom. The pair strike a deal: if Neal can help capture the Dutchman then he’s a free man.
It sounds a little far-fetched and Peter, played by Tim DeKay, is way too laid back about working with the guy he spent ages chasing years back. There’s little tension between the two and they become friends a little too quickly, but their banter is light and fun, making for some enjoyable scenes.
Peter’s wife Elizabeth is played as a one note character by Tiffany Thiessen (yes, from Saved By The Bell) this may not be her fault though because the script gives her nothing to do but smile and be sympathetic.
Neal, played by Matthew Bomer, is perfect as the smoothest of criminals who always lands on his feet. He’s got buckets of charm and class, not to mention he’s totally dreamy. He seems a little young to be such an expert on, well everything, but the show seems to be one that you might have to suspend disbelief for.
The plot in the pilot episode doesn’t really strech the characters very far and feels a little more like it should have come up later in the season, but hopefully the mystery surrounding Neal’s ex-girlfriend should provide some much needed drama.
The show has been given a second season in the US but I wonder how long this kooky cop combo will last – they’re not the best on the beat but they do have a lot of potential.