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White Collar: Crime and Punishment Never Looked This Good

whitecollarn03Not since Michael Scofield in Prison Break has a convict made breaking out of jail look so darn sexy. But move over, Wentworth Miller, Matt Bomer is taking the spotlight in the USA Network’s new show White Collar this fall, and let me just say that his good looks should be illegal. The show centers around Neal Caffrey (played by Bomer of NBC’s Chuck, Tru Calling), a world class con man whose specialty happens to be white collar crime. Caffrey may be a criminal mastermind but he’s also a hopeless romantic, who breaks out of prison when the love of his life breaks things off and subsequently ends up forging an unlikely partnership with the FBI agent who has been pursuing him for years. Peter Burke (played by Tim DeKay, Tell Me You Love Me, Carnivàle) is the agent, and the two men strike up a deal that is mutually beneficial – Caffrey gets to stay out of the clink in exchange for using his expertise to help Burke nab Caffrey’s fellow elusive deviants.

Though Burke is initially not thrilled about his newfound partnership with a convicted felon, he soon realizes that Caffrey’s skills extend beyond forgery and fraud and can be useful to him in other areas – namely his romantically challenged relationship with his wife Elizabeth, played by Tiffani Thiessen (What About Brian, Fastlane). Rounding out the cast is Caffrey’s conspiracy-theory obsessed friend Mozzie (played by Willie Garson, Sex and the City, John From Cincinnati), whose ear is always to the street, which will no doubt prove helpful to Caffrey and Burke in the future.

Without giving away too much, the pilot episode not only sets up the framework for the season but also tests Caffrey’s ability to use his criminal charm on the right side of the law, and while the concept behind the show may not be entirely fresh, the action is certainly entertaining to watch. There are many things that I am personally pretty jazzed up about, namely Willie Garson’s inclusion in the cast and the fact that the main character is total eye candy, to put it mildly. The only discernible setback I found was that, while the rest of the cast seems to play off each other really well, Tiffani Thiessen is not believable in her role and has virtually no chemistry with her on screen husband (or the other characters, for that matter – yikes). I’m sure it won’t keep me from watching the show, though, and maybe I’m just prejudiced because I hated her as Valerie on the original Beverly Hills 90210 – hey, I’m trying to be diplomatic here.whitecollar

Directed by Bronwen Hughes and written by Jeff Eastin and the team at Fox Television Studios, it looks like the network that brought us Burn Notice might be onto something once more. You can all decide for yourselves when the season kicks off October 23rd on USA Network.

Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot (October 23, 2009)

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Fridays at 10/9c on USA Network

Photographs courtesy of USA

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