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Monday, October 18, 2021

The hunted becomes the hunter

Star World has been lining up crime dramas on their prime-time 10 pm slot with measured success over the past few months.

Written by Priyanko Sarkar |
July 16, 2010 4:56:25 pm

White Collar
Monday – Thursday,10 pm,Star World
Star World has been lining up crime dramas on their prime-time 10 pm slot with measured success over the past few months. In keeping with this endeavour,the channel has launched White Collar after Psych,Bones and Castle completed their runs on the same time.
Like its predecessors,White Collar is again a two-person drama involving a con man named Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) and Special Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay). Caffrey is a forger and thief who buys his way out of a prison term by agreeing to help Burke on criminal cases. His ulterior motive,however,is in finding where and why his girlfriend has left him with nothing except a coded message in an old wine bottle.

The season started with very high promises. Caffrey escapes from prison and finds the wine bottle at his old apartment,helps Burke to impress his wife Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen),charms his way to living in a mansion,teams up with his old pal Mozzie (Willie Garson) and generally sets the ball rolling for the story to move forward even as he helps Burke catch an art thief known as the ‘dutchman’. The second episode continues the trend with a new fugitive to capture who plans to sell sensitive data hidden in one of the runway dresses to be paraded at the New York Fashion Week.

The show focusses on art heists,forging bank notes and other technical crimes rather than the staid and palatable crimes of passion to which Indian audiences are generally accustomed. As such,the show will take its time to grow on people’s minds. Unfortunately,the parallel track of the show is too staid to keep up the viewer’s attention for long. How long can one be interested in Burke’s mid-life family crisis and his tough-as-nails cop act at the same time? How much can Caffrey’s affair with his girlfriend be so important if he has a roving eye all the time? And really,how long can crime dramas be the staple of a channel that has the best mix of programming than its competitors otherwise?

The only thing going for the show currently are the devilishly charming antics of Caffrey and his interactions with Mozzie apart from his flirtatious attitude to life and love. DeKay is slow and wasted on a show that promised him a parallel lead with Bomer. The script also lacks killer punch lines,is hampered by the pace and takes too much time to come to its inevitable conclusion. The show is also not ingenious in any way,either in its writing,acting or execution. A successful crime show needs layers of drama and emotion that the viewer can invest in to keep up his interest and that is the basic flaw which White Collar grapples with.
Just another charming crime series.

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