Friday, October 5, 2012

White Collar: Season Three

Get set for Season 3 of White Collar which premieres Monday Oct. 8 at 10 p.m. on Bravo.
Stop! I know what you're going to say!
And it's true --Season 4 of White Collar premiered on USA Network in July.
So what gives?
Well, remember USA is one of those American cable weblets not allowed on the Canadian cable TV spectrum.
Bravo was late in picking the  U.S. series up and is currently running a season behind.
But my Bravo sources say the Canadian network is determined to play catch up in the near future.
To to remind all WC is all about sophisticated ex-thief Neal Caffrey (the impossibly handsome Matt Bomer) and his strange, uneasy relationship with the dedicated FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay who is a fine actor).
Call it a bromance if you want. Or a strangely dysfunctional relationship.
But put the two together and you have a crack team dedicated to ferreting out the baddies.
White Collar almost plays as a comedy despite its chases, gun fights --heck in the season opener there's even a sword fight.
The other, more serious procedurals sport  huge body counts and are packed with grisly details of murders.
White Collar stretches its plots so thin that one is tempted to shout "Oh, come on now!"
I mean the plot for this one involves a Nazi sub that deposited rare European art masterpieces in the last days of World War II and naturally Neal was onto the cache and in a convoluted strategy wanted to take all that art for himself.
So he arranged for some of his own faux art to be destroyed in a blaze so he could abscond with the real stuff.
If you believe it, you'll believe anything. And added to the mix was an old adversary of his who turned out to be a fencing master. In other words the whole set up could have been the ultimate con.
Big news about WC involves the probability Anne Rice is going to write an episode --she's submitted an outline but it is still in the future.
WH always goes very broad in its plots which is one of the reasons for the popularity. I think the show is very much like those old standards The Rockford Files and Simon And Simon. Which means the however the intricate plotting at the end the stars are everything.
I met Bomer once in Toronto when he was peddling his first series, the Vancouver made Traveler  (2007) which NBC thought was going to be very big. But it only lasted eight episodes.
DeKay I first remember from Party Of Five --he's always been a favorite character actor of mine.
One big  plus of WH is the act it is actually shot in New York City. It just oozes authenticity in its location work unlike  another USA series Suits which is shot in T.O.
White Heat could have functioned in the old days of such classic shows as Magnum or the NBC Mystery Of The week.
All the plot strands are neatly resolved at the end of each episode. Thankfully there is less to nothing devoted to the scientific advancements of CSI procedures.
The conflict between Neal and Peter is never ending. They need each other. They never trust one another. Neal is always being tempted to cross over to the other side where he came from. At heart he is always a con man and sometimes he may even be conning himself.
Peter pulls Neal from one side while the great character of  swindler Mozzie (nicely played by  Willie Garson tugs him to return to a life of  high crime.
But the FBI shackle bracelet works both ways --it keeps him tied to the Agency but also away from Mozzie. Not that I've ever heard of any law agency hiring embezzlers to help them fight crime. That's one of the structural conditions you'll have to accept to enjoy the series.
And Season 4 may be coming sooner than we think.
MY RATING: ***1/2.

No comments: