Although I’m done with the bulk of the pilot watching, I figured I might as well post the occasional review of the later airing pilots that will occasionally appear. Particularly for things like White Collar which manage to have a notable impact on the overall quality of the season as a whole.
White Collar is a fairly unoriginal concept, a con artist buys his way out of prison by becoming a consultant for the FBI and helping catch his peers. If the pilot is anything to go by, we’re going to be focussing on the rather more sedate side of the FBI, more accounting and paperwork than guns and car chases.
The tagline of the network this airs on is “Characters Welcome”, and they’ve certainly kept on message here. It’s a true buddy-cop show, from the very start there’s a wonderful chemistry between the conman and the FBI agent who caught him. It’s instantly clear that there’s a mutual professional respect that rapidly and easily falls into friendship. The characters feel smart, they don’t continually get surprised when the other does something completely in character (Dr Cuddy on House, I’m looking at you) they just learn to work with each other and have fun. The same is true for the relationship between the FBI agent and his wife (the only cast member I recognised I’m ashamed to say – Tiffani Thiessen from Saved by the Bell!), after 10 years of marriage, she is again unsurprised when he’s late for dinner yet again.
I really liked the pilot, I laughed and smiled a lot more than any of the comedies I watched and was engaged with the mystery story, completely satisfied with the pacing of the reveals and the twists and turns. The show would be pretty unremarkable if not for the fact that the writing, acting and directing all mesh together in a solid and competent manner that I’ve found sadly lacking from most of the pilots this year. It’s not going to win any Emmys and it’s not going to blast to the top of the ratings, but it’s a really enjoyable way to spend an hour.