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  • Brian Alex Clark 8:28 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: art, , conman, , , forgery, matt bomer, network, orger, superman, , USA, usa network, white collar   

    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 MikeChuck) 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 MeChuck).

    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.

    Let us know what you thought about the show by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    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:

    White Collar: Season One

    White Collar: Season Two

    White Collar: Season Three

    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]

  • Brian Alex Clark 5:29 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: burton, , crime, crime show, detective, guster, pineapple, psych, psychic, psychic detective, shawn, spencer, USA   

    Psych Episode 1 Review 

    It’s always interesting going back to a pilot episode after a show has been on for 5 or more seasons. If you go back and watch the pilot episode of Seinfeld it looks absolutely ridiculous. The sets are cheap, the camera work raw, George is wearing these ridiculous plaid shirts, and Kramer has a dog that never shows up ever again. The fact that so much is NOT what you’ve loved for the last how many years almost adds another layer of funny to the whole proceeding.

    This was my experience when revisiting the pilot episode of Psych, a USA show about a man Shawn Spencer (James Roday, Beerfest) who pretends to be a Psychic to get out of being arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. It’s not his fault he could tell who robbed the electronics store just by watching the news. From a young age, his father groomed him to be a detective. But not just any detective, he taught him how to be the best detective ever. One of the most important lessons he taught him: how to always know the number of hats in a room.

    But like many sons of overbearing fathers, he didn’t quite take that path. Instead he’s had countless jobs and gets extra money by calling in tips to the police. But like we already know, if you call in enough (correct) tips just based on what you see on the news, the cops get suspicious. So he “guesses” things he couldn’t possibly know about the officers around him, even outing the lead detective Carlton Lassiter’s dirty little secret that he’s been sleeping with his partner after being separated from his wife for 5 months. The detective, played by Timothy Omundson (Judging AmyXena: Warrior Princess), doesn’t appreciate that too much. That, coupled with his bullshit detector going haywire, make him the perfect same-side-antagonist that any underdog needs.

    Luckily for our protagonist though, he’s not the one calling the shots. As he leaves the station, the pregnant Interim-Chief Karen Vick asks his help with a kidnapping case. So what is he to do? Say yes, of course. He immediately ropes his best friend from childhood Burton “Gus” Guster (Dule Hill) into a second job away from the glamorous life as a pharmaceutical rep.

    Okay, so I’m just going to cut to the chase and say this show is excellent, superb, above the pay grade of most cable television programming. After all, I’ve seen every episode for Christ’s sake. And not because I had to. Did I watch every week on USA, catching every episode? No. I mass watched on Netflix. But it’s a show that’s good enough I could have been inspired to do so.

    Knowing that it’s an ace in the hole, it was funny going back and seeing all the differences. Things ranging from the pilot-only partner (and sex partner) of Lassiter, Lucinda Barry (played by Anne Dudek) who I have to say would have been the weak link of the series, with her less than “breath of fresh air” performance that his next partner brings (you’ll meet her in episode 2 and she is a mainstay, thank the TV gods and goddesses) to the fact that the now iconic logo of Shawn Spencer’s Psychic Detective agency was purple in the first episode but was changed to an awesome green for the rest of the series. Also, it’s a tad surreal to see the “flashback Shawn” change for the first couple of episodes before they land on the Kid Shawn and Kid Gus that they use for the rest of the series. Even things that were funny but surely invented for the sake of solving the case (like Gus’s “super sniffer”–aka his incredible nose) evolve to play important parts later on. And it feels good to know that Buzz McNab (Sage Brocklebank–omg, that’s an amazing name), a police officer that is always a supporting (and often comical) cast member, was actually there in the first episode. I really get tired when I see the classic “hey, remember the sister/ex-fiancee/illegitimate offspring I’ve literally never mentioned before? Well they’re coming to town and it will conveniently tie in to this week’s story” bit.

    But I digress. This is an amazing, fun, and funny show. If you have Netflix or are considering a 30-Day Free Trial, it is a great bet that you should swing over to this show for many many hours of viewing pleasure. Just watch and see how funny/creepy/stalker-y Shawn and Gus can get when they’re interested in a girl. You won’t be sorry you did. And a little tip: play Spot The Pineapple while you’re watching. There’s one in every episode.

    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 about Psych, check out the very fun (possibly fan made?) trailer below:

    Let us know what you thought about the film by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries, here is a helpful link to the physical copies:

    Psych: The Complete First Season

    Psych: The Complete Second Season

    Psych: The Complete Third Season

    Psych: The Complete Fourth Season

    Psych: The Complete Fifth Season

    Psych: Season Six

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