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Friday, August 19, 2022

TV Rewind | White Collar: A lightweight crime drama

Created by Jeff Eastin, White Collar starred Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay in the lead roles.

white collarWhite Collar combines classy aesthetic with some easy-to-watch storylines.

An episodic procedural drama that’s clever with its techniques, crafty with its characters and is easy to watch doesn’t necessarily become the best TV show of its generation, but it certainly becomes the TV show that’s perfect to accompany your meals and occupy your screen when you have a hundred other things on your mind, and that’s never a bad thing. White Collar is one such TV show.

The lightweight crime drama first entered our lives during those Star World days when watching cable television still meant something and quickly became the show where the stakes were low, and the criminals were classy.

Starring Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay in lead roles, White Collar had a six season run that ended in 2014.

What is White Collar all about?

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White Collar follows FBI agent Peter Burke (DeKay) and his criminal-turned-partner Neal Caffrey (Bomer) as they investigate art theft that’s worth millions of dollars. Burke is an honest agent, and after arresting the notorious thief Neal, he made him an accomplice for the FBI. The show follows their different approaches to living a good and honest life. Even though Neal has gotten a chance to turn a new leaf, he often slips into his old ways and finds himself back in the world of crime, where he first started.

What works for White Collar?

The biggest factor that works for this FBI drama is the chemistry between its lead characters, Burke and Caffrey. They turn from friends to foes, to friends again so quickly that it’s hard to remember when they despised each other and when they cared for each others’ families. Huge credit goes to the actors who played those roles, but what also helped their chemistry was the balance that each season struck in terms of their individual as well as overall story arcs.

white collar Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay in White Collar. (Photo: USA Network)

White Collar is what one would call popcorn television. Not every frame needs to be deeply investigated, not every character is a chameleon, and you don’t really have to stick your eyes to the TV for the entire 40 minutes. Granted that this kind of television will not necessarily have a long shelf life, but it will regularly be dusted as long as it is on the shelf.


The drama also becomes more engaging because, despite its FBI setup, it deals with the crimes of the art world and the visual aesthetic that comes along with it, is pleasing to the eye.

Through its run, White Collar was also known for its fashion. Since this was the Mad Men era, dressing men in suits was the order of the day and White Collar added to its visual aesthetic by dressing its cast in sharp attire.

What does not work for White Collar?


Walking into the universe of White Collar demands that you enter their world of cinematic liberty. It also often compromised on its larger story arcs.

The show started as an episodic drama where we learnt a little about the two leads in every episode, but the larger story arc about Kate’s death was particularly dull since the beginning. The drama went on for too long and was so sporadically told that it was hard to remember what even happened previously.

white collar White Collar aired on USA Network.

Another weak story arc of the show was the one where Peter was jailed for murder. It tried too hard to turn the tables and focused on the relationship between the central characters, but it was obvious from the start that the drama would definitely get resolved. The storyline in Cape Verde was also quite basic.

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White Collar is streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar.

First published on: 30-01-2021 at 08:03:54 am
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