"White Collar" Pilot (TV Episode 2009) Poster

(TV Series)

(2009)

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7/10
Give and take
ctomvelu124 October 2009
For a show with one of the dullest titles ever created, WC's pilot sparkled, at least in parts. A veteran FBI agent snags his man, a petty thief and con artist. Instead of having the poor guy rot in jail, the agent puts him to work on a case involving an elusive criminal nicknamed Snow White. The agent and con artist have some very lively dialog between them, which makes up for some of the slower scenes. The agent's wife is played by a familiar TV face fro the past, Tiffany Thiessen, and the con artists's new landlady is played by Dihann Carroll. In a few short weeks, MONK will be gone for good. I imagine USA is banking considerably on the success of this show. If the pilot is any indication, I suspect it will work out just fine.
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6/10
Irresistible con-man but jarring partner, twisted and entertaining story, dry ending and anticipated episodic format, disastrous production and sexism
igoatabase15 August 2010
The story of a con-man becoming a FBI consultant instantly sounded exciting. The pilot has it flaws but overall it was a charming, refreshing and quite funny episode. Its highlight was definitely Matthew Bomer's performance. He was just irresistible as Neal Caffrey. From the acting to his skilled profile everything about the character felt right. But the problem is that Tim DeKay jarred with him as special agent Peter Burke. First his performance wasn't so convincing and at times it was even over the top. Their chemistry was correct but it could have been better. Second the character itself was baked from an old recipe. Seriously how many times will they serve us with the obsessed cop that doesn't have time to take care of his wife ? Third you should question his intelligence because it was definitely not a match for Neal's one, brilliant and sharp. It's specially disappointing if you consider cult versus like Michael Scofield and Alexander Mahone in Prison Break. Both were so smart and unpredictable ! As for the story it was well written and had a few twists that should surprise you. Some of them were quite creative and Neal can only grow on the audience with so many qualities. However his motivation wasn't clear because his past wasn't covered and the reason of his escape unoriginal. But the major issue, like for so many other procedural shows, was the format. All the events could have been developed across multiple episodes. In fact like for Prison Break they could have filled a whole season with them. I wasn't asking Caffrey to pull a Scofield but chasing the antagonist for like thirteen episodes could have been captivating. With such an end it had so much potential ! I mean the writers didn't leave us anything to hope for. What will happen next ? We already know ! Cat and mouse weekly episodes with good and bad scripts. I'll pass ! Last but not least an other major con was the production quality. With all the budget cuts it seems the studios can't afford anymore to have immersive lighting and well post-processed episodes. Like for Covert Affairs and other recent shows 90% of the episode seemed like watching reality TV. From the disastrous outdoor scenes to the homemade look and feel it was really painful for the eyes. With no doubt, it won't age well. It's a pity if you consider how beautiful Bomer is and attention to details, like the outfits and set design. Even the gorgeous women revolving around him couldn't hide these seams. Their roles were so anecdotic that I question the morality of the show creator. Female characters shouldn't be limited to serving men passively or petting the dog. Anyone for an evil James Bond girl ? The antagonist could have been a woman for example. What about a dual story featuring his girlfriend ? The possibilities are endless when it comes to a heavy format.
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