White Collar

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Oct 23, 2009 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
476 votes
  • White Collar

    My favorite TV Show EVER!
  • Pilot

    One of the best clean shows i have seen in years
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Irresistible con-man but jarring partner, twisted and entertaining story, dry ending and anticipated episodic format, disastrous production and sexism

    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.
  • Neil Caffrey seems to be a con man that wouldn't get caught unless he wants too. After many years FBI Agent Peter Burke tracked him down. When a really difficult case of fraud comes up Burke and Caffrey form a tenuous partnership to catch the thief.

    Very clever initial episode of what could be one of the better shows on television. It will be interesting to see how close to reality these stories will come. What a tremendous take off of the famous Hanks/DiCaprio Catch Me If You Can film and the real life of Frank Abagnale Jr..

    The main characters Neil Caffrey played by Matthew Bomer and Peter Burke played by Tim DeKay are very believable as the con man and his watcher. The nice part is like in the true story the FBI man was one of the few people alive who was truly smart or tenacious enough to catch this con man. Also the two had a real affinity for each other and later became true friends. It is the conman's devil may care attitude which gets him caught and you feel like if he really applied himself he never would ever be caught.

    The supporting cast made up of Elizabeth Burke played by Tiffani Thiessen, Mozzie played by Willie Garson, and FBI Agent Diana Lancing played by Marsha Thomason seems solid and without any major flaws. I also enjoyed the cameo by Diahann Carroll as the widower that takes Neil in.

    Overall the story was a little far fetched but reasonable enough to feel it is somewhat plausible. I enjoyed it immensely and it had me interested and laughing at different parts.

    Pretty enjoyable first shot at this. I really hope that it stays at this level of clever stories and interesting characters. It could be a lot of fun. Thanks for reading...
  • I liked this fist show. Looking forward to tonights. Lots of humor and realism.

    I'll be watching this show again. Kept me laughing. Kept me interested in what was going to happen. Not cheesy. Great cast; they seem to click with each other. Loved seeing Diane Carroll in this. I'll stay up to watch this show tonight and the next time it is on. There is unlimited story lines for this type of show. I hope the writers are up for it to keep it good. Great challenge for you to keep it interesting and funny without being repetative. Keep us coming back each week. Lot's of shows start out great and after a while you just know what is going to happen so keep it interesting for us and you will gain a huge fan list. Thanks for the great show.
  • Good episode

    I really enjoyed this episode. I thought it was well written, interesting and had a really cool concept.
    I think Matthew Bomer really plays the role well and Tim De Kay also did a good job.
    The writing was tight, the one thing I really did enjoy was how slickly it was directed, with certain scenes in the city being really cool to just soak in.
    The one problem i have with it though is that it could merge into a Catch Me If You Can rip-off. Which is not at all what I think anyone wants to see.
    Other than that, a promising start.
  • It takes a thief to catch a thief.

    It's not exactly an original idea, pairing a cop with a thief. We've seen it in both movies and tv shows before, but done right it's got potensial.

    This pilot gave us a little insight into both FBI agent Burke and white collar thief Caffrey's backstories, and their relationship as hunter and hunted. It also takes the time to give some insight into Burke's marriage and introduces the mystery of Caffrey's better half, and I guess we'll spend quite some time on that in episodes to come. Balances it out quite nicely with the forger catching in this episode.

    When it comes to the general feel of the show, I don't feel this have the potensial to become more than a guilty pleasure as a new timeconsuming copshow on my schedule. It seems to not be built too complicated, it's not especially funny or clever and overall has that good oldfashioned easy fix written all over it as I find it hard to believe these characters will develope much.

    My review might sound quite unimpressed, but as my 8.5 score should suggest it's not all that bad. I've always had a softspot for the grifters and thiefs in tv-shows, and Caffrey got potensial. I had no problem enjoying the pilot, and hope they'll manage to prove me wrong on my scepticism. On the other hand it's easier to make me enjoy a new set of characters, rather than keep me interested week in and week out. I'll however check out the next few episodes with interest.
  • Classic charm combined with smartest-guy-in-the-room humor.

    I'll admit I have a soft spot for guys who manage to amass maonetary and material wealth without actually harming anyone irreparably. Jack Foley of "Out of Sight" comes to mind. That said, his portayal of a character with no credibility seems highly... credible. Not to mention the too-rarely used Marsha Thomason and, the subject of many teenage daydreams, Tiffani Thiessen. I can't forecast a future demise for this program the way viewers of other shows I enjoyed seemed to have been able predict from the opening credits. It has echoes of Frank Abagnale Jr. but without that wide-eyed naivete. This is a series I can see myself getting attached to.