The background of the USA Network show White Collar is that of an art thief caught by and FBI agent who, because of a girl, escaped with just 4 months left on his sentence, essentially doubling his initial sentence when the same agent caught up with him. I like that start. I like that the art thief will do something utterly absurd for love. Okay and,as an artist and an ardent art admirer, I like that he cleverly steals art (this, by the way, is not what he was convicted of).
The premise of the show is that to work off his now extended sentence, the thief ends up assigned to help the very agent that caught him in order to solve other high end white collar crimes – while wearing an ankle tracker with a two mile radius, of course. But then, two miles in Manhattan can take you pretty far!
I really like the interplay between the agent and the thief as they try to find a trust level and become friends. Actually, with all the tugging of loyalties and complications of life, they end up trusting each other more than anyone else (save the agent’s wife) as they form a deep friendship. The the testing of this friendship, and the solving the mystery of the disappearing girlfriend, really drives this series. I enjoy the humor and the jobs the thief does “in the line of duty.”
It’s a fun show, but the key is (again) the depth of the characters. Of course the premise of the show is far-fetched, and the scenarios therefore aren’t exactly every day occurrences (which is why they are so fun), but with great characters stretching themselves a little at a time for the sake of friendship, growing along the way, and grappling to find trust through it all, we the audience find our connection - and have an adventure along the way.