Thursday, June 14, 2012

White Collar: Season Three DVD Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
"White Collar" focuses on the unlikely partnership between charming con artist Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) and straightman FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay).  Caffrey provides his expertise to help Burke catch other elusive criminals in exchange for his freedom, and together they prove that in order to solve the hardest crimes, you must hire the smartest criminal.  With this review I am doing something I do not recommend.  I did not watch all the seasons of "White Collar" in order.  I had already watched and loved season one but somehow completely missed season two, but didn't realize it until I started season three and saw the recap of the previous season.  Not that it mattered much, since I was still able to enjoy this great show.

Film (4 out of 5 stars)

"White Collar" is the story of con man, thief, forger and extremely likeable “bad guy” Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer).  FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) spent a significant amount of time tracking down Caffrey and had to catch him again after escaping from federal prison a few months shy of his release date.  Caffrey is now working with Burke and the FBI as a kind of a work release program which allows him some freedom while being mostly tethered by an ankle tracking device.

It appears as though a lot of valuable artifacts were supposedly destroyed.  Neal's close friend and fellow thief Mozzie (Willie Garson) switched out the treasure without Neal's knowledge.  Soon after, Neal realizes that not all the evidence burned as it should have and the FBI might be on to them.  Much of season three deals with the treasure.  Peter is not sure if Neal stole it and begins to distrust him and their friendship.  Mozzie makes plans to run with the treasure and Neal is conflicted about wanting to leave.  Hilarie Burton (Sara Ellis) is Neal's love interest, and she desperately wants to recover a Raphael she believes was stolen by Neal.

In Season Three we learn a lot about our main character's pasts.  “The Dentist of Detroit” tells us about Mozzie's childhood and the origins of his name.  In “Pulling Strings” we meet Peter Burke's in laws.  Even Neal takes a trip down memory lane where we learn about his parents and the woman who raised him.  Neal and Peter have such a successful partnership that their case clearance rate is amazing.  The District Attorney takes notice and sets up a commutation hearing.  The outcome of the hearing could set Neal free and Peter and the others he works with spend a great deal of time deciding whether they are for or against it.  At the same time, Agent Kramer schemes to bring Neal to work with him in DC at any cost.  As the season ends, the commutation hearing takes place and Neal makes a bad decision that could jeopardize everything.

Season Three guest stars include Tom Skerritt, Joe Manganiello, Eliza Dushku, and Beau Bridges.  While it was a little hard to follow the origins of the stolen treasure at first, I thoroughly enjoyed Season Three.  Although there is a running story line with many tangents throughout, I like that each episode also has a crime for the partners to solve.  I realize that star Matt Bomer just came out of the closet, but that doesn't stop me from having a crush on him.  He is just soo cute!  He does a spectacular job of making you feel for and root for Neal Caffrey, despite all he has done.  Detective Burke is even growing on me, and I didn't particularly care for the actor in Season One.  It’s touching how he has grown to care for and take huge risks for Neal Caffrey.

Video (3 out of 5 stars)

"White Collar" Season Three is presented on a dual layer transfer in widescreen 1.78:1 ratio.  Had it been on Blu-ray ray, everything would certainly be cleaner and crisper, but for DVD it's not bad. The show looks good in daylight and interiors and flesh tones are fairly consistent.

Audio (3 out of 5 stars)

"White Collar" Season Three is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.  English SDH is available along with subtitles in Spanish, French and Portuguese.  Again, for DVD the audio quality is sufficient.  I would have preferred Blu-ray ray quality sound.  Dialogue is clear and consistent throughout and volume doesn't need to be adjusted for explosions or gun fire.

Special Features (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

It isn't a long list of special features, but what is there is quite amusing.  The following special features are spread between the season's four discs:
  • Interrogation Room:  A Trivia Challenge with the Cast.  The cast pairs up and asks each other trivia questions about the show and their characters.
  • Jeff Eastin @ddicted - The cast discusses and pokes fun at creator Jeff Eastin and his twitter addiction.  It's repeated many times that he tweets as often as a teenage girl and he has tweeted jokes at the cast's expense many times.
  • Gag Reel – Filming outtakes and silly moments.
  • Audio Commentary on Season Finale – Stars Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay provide commentary with Creator Jeff Eastin.  They are clearly having a lot of fun talking about the episode, one they have created but never actually watched.  Willie Garson shows up late to the commentary recording session but offers additional humor.

Final Thoughts (3 1/2 out of 5 stars) 

I've liked every episode of "White Collar" I've seen – which is all of Seasons One and Three.  I can't wait to backtrack and watch Season Two to find out what I missed.  Matt Bomer is the perfect actor to play Neal Caffrey.  He is handsome and incredibly charming.  Many other actors attempting the role of Neal Caffrey would have made the character come off as arrogant instead of likeable.  Even the Burke's, affectionately known to Mozzie as Suit and Mrs. Suit has grown on me significantly.  When Mrs. Burke is in danger, it's a profound moment for Neal and Peter when Neal proves there is nothing he won't do or reveal for her, without hesitation.  The USA network isn't necessarily one I think of when I think of stellar television shows, but they have increased my appreciation of their work with White Collar.

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