Posted: 09/14/2009


White Collar Series Premiere On USA


by Laura Tucker

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Apparently you can take the man out of the con, but not the con out of the man. It’s been done before in movies such as Midnight Run and 48 Hours where an authority teams up with a criminal to catch even bigger criminals, with the criminal playing the funny guy and the authority the straight man. The question is, will White Collar put a new spin on this formula?

Matt Bomer stars are Neal Caffrey, who escapes from prison to find his girlfriend who has left him. To make him even more of a sympathetic character, he’s a white collar criminal and not a murderer or rapist. The FBI agent who originally locked him up, Peter Burke ( Tim DeKay), knows it doesn’t make sense for Caffrey to run just a few months before he’s due to be released, and realizes that this was part of a bigger con of his. Caffrey wanted to get caught to convince Burke to work a deal with him to be let out of prison and help Burke look for a criminal that has defied his capture so far, allowing Caffrey the time to look for his girlfriend.

Burke takes the bait and soon realizes Caffrey is probably on the up and up and not looking to escape, as he hasn’t lost a step while in prison and still has all his old contacts, yet he’s not making any attempts to leave. He does move into some better digs, though. Burke gets him set up in a really seedy hotel for $700 a month, the same price it would have cost to house him in prison for a month. Yet Caffrey goes to a secondhand store and meets a nice older woman (Diahann Carroll), and hits it off with her when he admires her deceased husband’s finer threads. He ends up moving into her mansion for that same $700 a month. She’s not the only woman he’s able to charm, as he also does quite well getting info out of Burke’s wife (Tiffani Thiessen).

Throughout, because of of the familiar theme, we know exactly how this series premiere is going to end up. For one, if it didn’t end a certain way, there wouldn’t be a series, and for another, it just has that feel to it. However, there are some surprises that are fun to discover along the way. And no matter how familiar it is, it’s just fun to watch this good cop/bad guy take on the buddy film.

White Collar premieres on USA on October 23.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack, and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, and is a freelance writer providing reviews of movies and television, among other things, at Viewpoints. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at

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