Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Television Review: White Collar, Season 1

White Collar seems to be inspired by real-life criminal-turned-federal-agent Frank Abagnale, Jr., whose story is chronicled in Stephen Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can. Neal Caffrey is a white-collar criminal [1] who cuts a deal with the FBI in order to avoid going back to jail. He'll help them solve white collar crimes in exchange for work-release. But there's a catch: Neal is trying to figure out why his girlfriend suddenly disappeared. But his handler, Agent Peter Burke, knows he's up to something and tries to curb Neal's 'extracurricular' activities.

My verdict: The series is quite enjoyable and provides a few laughs. They have a new crime to investigate each week, while maintaining a story arch with Neal's search for his missing girlfriend. The actor who plays Neal looks kind of goofy, so it's hard to accept him as a brilliant criminal mastermind.[2] But he's quite believable as a cultured epicurean. The actor who plays Special Agent Peter Burke sometimes hams it up, but he looks like an FBI agent. The actress who plays Peter's wife is good-looking without seeming unbelievably so. Far and away the best character is Mozzie, Neal's partner in crime. He alone could almost make this series worth it. But, fortunately, it does bring more to the table.


[1] He's a conman, forger, and thief.

[2] And that fact that his tracking anklet comes off nearly every episode is a little hard to swallow. Not to mention that many of the things he does really should land him back in jail.

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