White collar is a lighthearted sophisticated crime drama released in October 2009.At the time of its release, the world’s largest economy, the United Sates of America is in the troughs of a great economic recession. .This recession is as result of poor financial practices in Wall Street a direct result of the obsession with profits at the expense of ethics. The housing market has collapsed leading to loss of savings and a source of security for credit. The tough economic times have led to the emergence of unscrupulous businessmen out to exploit the desperations of the populace. Ponzi schemes, investments where different investors are paid profits from their own deposits or from deposits made by other investors rather then from earned profits, much like the famed Bernard Mudoff scheme; are their preferred tool of trade.
White-collar USA network’s new crime drama premiered on the night of Friday October 29 2009 in the United States of America. It promised to enthrall viewers with its lighthearted sophisticated con game based script punctuated with witty dialogues and television’s most recent perfect match up in its two lead characters Peter Stokes (Tim DeKay) and Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer).
Critics have made flattering comparisons of the lead pair to the legendary Butch and Sundance. The protagonist agent Peter Stokes is an image of composure and rationality while his new unorthodox partner Neal Caffey, played by the heartthrob Matt Bomer, is a child of sophisticated crime. Neal has been on the run from agent Peter Stokes for years. Their unlikely crime busting partnership is conceived when Neal is enlisted by the authorities to help in cracking down on sophisticated crime. Neal had been arrested following his escape from prison in search of an estranged lover. With the help of a GPRS enabled tracking device and a talented supporting cast the viewer is guaranteed of at least an hour of wit, humor, chemistry and a rollercoaster ride into the stylish world of sophisticated crime. It is a show that pits street wit of con artists against a clone of the same; street wit guided by a detective eye.
Jeff Eastin of the short-lived fame of 1999’s “Shasta McNasty” and 2004’s “Hawaii,” makes a louder statement with his latest television drama. Flattering earlier crime shows like 48Hrs, It takes a Thief and Shampoo by creating a show that has undertones of each, he adds his own touch making it lighter. This makes the show a perfect escapist avenue in light of all the gloom of the economic down turn raving the global economy. His choice of title “White collar” gives out more of the plot than is need. Conversely, it rides perfectly with the Madoff ponzi saga that rocked the United States soon after the shooting of the shows pilot episode. It would be foolhardy to think of white collar as a representation of the devious mega financial deals gone awry at the time as the bad boys in the show are not the typical shadowy powerful characters but are rather portrayed as unserious and cartoon like. It was during the Hollywood writers’ strike when Jeff and a friend while sitting out in the sun pondering their next move conceived the theme of the show.
To make it complete while giving the shows characters a human face, several sub plots are used to bring out other themes. Neal, against the advice of his long time friend Mozzie (the talented Willie Garson), is on a mission to track his girl friend who left him while in prison. Ironically, Mozzie who is connected to the underworld and at any time can be relied upon for any information concerning anyone and any deals cannot trace his friend’s girlfriend. Agent Peter’s life contrasts to that of Neal; Peter’s life has suffered under his work ethic. He has not happy with his life and his marriage to Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) is troubled.
Eastin is a journalism graduate of Colorado state university. The movies “Lock & Load” and “White Fury” were his first assignments where he worked with Roger Corman as the director of photography. He then drove to Hollywood his Volkswagen camper on a mission to be a director. His foray into script writing was an issue of chance as a screenplay “Shadow Dancer” written on the road was produced by Zalman King. In “white collar”, he works with Browen Hugh a Canadian born director .Hugh was nominated in 2005 in the 25th Genie award for Best Achievement in Direction for “Stander”. She has previously directed “The L Word” and “Breaking Bad”.
In similar fashion to its predecessor “The Monk” the show portrays an idealistic view of crime handling were reason and wit prevail and bureaucracies do not clog the wheels of justice. The handling of Neal’s escape from prison is too wishful to say the least as it presents correction of lawbreakers in its most idealistic form. It is quite rational to engage the services of a criminal in order to solve other crimes but this is usually done within the confines of the law. Nonetheless, its inadequacy in reality is compensated by its main strength- delivery. It promises to fit the shoes of “The Monk” .A good reason to clear your diary on Friday night.