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Friday, October 23, 2009

Ol' Blue Eyes - White Collar - Pilot Review

I'm sure New Yorkers (and other cities that have been plastered with USA's ad campaign) have noticed the piercing blue eyes on the posters for the new show White Collar which premieres on USA this Friday, Oct. 23rd at 10pm (BravoCanada starts airing it a week later starting Fri. Oct. 30th).

Well, that's Matthew Bomer (Chuck, Traveller) and he stars as a white collared criminal con artist who escapes prison 3 months prior to release to chase after his girlfriend, only to be caught by Fed Tim DeKay. Some deal is cut and Bomer is out under DeKay's watch and working to help solve con crimes. It's a fun concept that lets Bomer play a smooth criminal who not only wins the trust of a rich lady (the regal Diahann Carroll in a re-occuring role), but manages to help DeKay catch some criminals.

USA seems to be doing well with these male oriented breezy-feel shows (Burn Notice, Royal Pains) and White Collar, while not as zippy or humourous as Burn Notice, follows in the same crime fighting vein with an overarching story and what looks like a case of the week to solve.

In addition to the excellent Tim DeKay, the ensemble is filled out with Tiffany Thiessen (forever Kelly Kapowsky to me, but does a nice subtle job here) as DeKay's wife, and Willie Garson (Stanford from Sex and the City) as one of Bomer's connections.

While I didn't love the pilot, I enjoyed it enough to keep with it for now, and it's fun to see Bomer smooth talk his way around his con games, with DeKay sadly keeping watch. It's a nice start for the show to build upon so it can still go either way, but so far the cast and the relaxed feel for the show seems like perfect USA fare. They sort of seem to be making well made shows that once would have been syndicated, only now are made with more intelligence and charm.

White Collar gets *** stars for now, though it has potential to easily go up or down. And if Royal Pains is any indication, it go easily go up. RP had a shaky pilot but got better very fast, and turned out to be an enjoyable summer show.

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com

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