White Collar Episode 1 Review
There are certain shows that make you want to drop everything and become something else. Footloose makes me want to pick up the professional dancing career I retired from in the summer of ’07. White Collar, another show that makes me look at the USA Network and say “hey, there”, makes me feel like I could pick up a life as a globe trotting international art theft and forger. And I’d be damn good at it, too.
Jeff Eastin’s long-enough-running crime/espionage/comedy/drama show about a convicted conman Neil Caffrey (Matt Bomer, Magic Mike, Chuck) who breaks out of prison 3 months before his sentence is due to finish only to get taken back in (willingly) by the only man who could ever catch him in the first place, Special Agent of the FBI Peter Burke (Tim Dekay, Tell Me You Love Me, Chuck).
So what is it that inspired Neil Caffrey to suddenly buy himself four more years in the big house? A girl. But not just any girl. The love of his life. And now she’s disappeared. And very effectively at that. So in a mad gamble to not go back behind bars, Neil makes Special Agent Burke an offer: Neil gets to serve out his remaining four years on a 2-mile “house arrest” on the island of Manhattan and in exchange he works for the FBI to help them put away–essentially–Neil’s peers in the White Collar Division.
It sure is lucky for Mr. Caffrey then that the FBI just blew up–literally–their last lead into who The Dutchman is.
So Peter signs out Neil in what is described as a tamper-proof ankle monitor. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t go down the road of a half baked Hollywood movie–Neil’s living arrangements are his own and well removed from the house of our do-gooder FBI Agent. Unfortunately for Neil, the place he’s staying in is also a shithole. Because–as Agent Burke puts it–“it costs $700 a month to house you on the inside so that’s what it costs here… You find somewhere better, take it.” He also turns him on to a great place for clothes: the thrift store.
Neil Caffrey must be the luckiest guy in the world, because he takes the less-than-white-collar suggestion and runs into June Ellington (Diahann Carroll) donating a stack of worth-more-than-your-car suits to donate. Apparently her late husband was quite the older Neil Caffrey (convicted felony and all) and she just happens to have a walk in closet of his old clothes and a spare bedroom–suite, more like it–to spare.
If you think things for Neil come to easily, you’re not the only one. Agent Burke has to eat his words when Neil leaves a note telling him he’s moved 1.6 miles. Commenting how even the coffee at June’s is perfect, Peter is almost tearful when he explains to Neil that this isn’t how the world works. After all, it is wildly unfair that Peter works so hard and gets what he sees himself as deserving and Neil by comparison does so little and gets so much more.
But then again, he does have stunning good looks and a stare that would make me feel lucky to be it’s recipient, and I’m a 100% straight male.
But do all this groundwork warrant continued viewing, all through it’s 3 (and soon to be 4) seasons on Netflix? No. Because it’s so much more than that. This is a smart, clever, and very witty show. You’ll enjoy it so much you’ll be audibly giggling. The ending of the first episode, in fact, is the cleverest ending in a television show I have the pleasure of remembering. I’ll be definitely going on to do a review of the first season–and every season–of White Collar. And just to illuminate how much of a compliment that is for the show, it means me re-watching every episode. Hell, if there was only the first season of this show on Netflix, I would still be singing it’s praises. And you’ll know exactly why when you watch the show or read my review for the first season.
If you have Netflix or are considering the 30-Day Free Trial, you should definitely look at the words “White Collar” as the X on a treasure map, because you’ll strike gold watching this. And this is definitely the place for people who were fan’s of Matt Bomer’s turn as Bryce Larkin on the cult favorite show Chuck. To those people I don’t need to say that I wish he’d gotten the role of Superman he was up for instead of Brandon Routh, but I’ll say it anyways. So hit the play button and enjoy all the seasons available on the blessing that is Netflix.
And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.
If you’re still on the fence, check out the trailer below.
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For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries, here are some helpful links to physical copies of all the box set seasons of White Collar as well as a link to the season 4 episodes you can get buy on Amazon Instant Video:
Season 4, Ep 1: Wanted [HD]
Season 4, Ep 2: Most Wanted [HD]
Season 4, Ep 3: Diminishing Returns [HD]
Season 4, Ep 4: Parting Shots [HD]
Season 4, Ep 5: Honor Among Thieves [HD]
Season 4, Ep 6: Identity Crisis [HD]
Season 4, Ep 7: Compromising Positions [HD]
Season 4, Ep 8: Ancient History [HD]
Season 4, Ep 9: Gloves Off [HD]