Blu-Ray Review: Stylish Release For USA’s ‘White Collar’

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CHICAGO – It makes sense that a show as stylish and well-dressed as USA’s “White Collar” would have a beautiful HD transfer for its first-season release but sense and Blu-ray production don’t always go hand in hand. Luckily, fans of this excellent show will be happy to know that this is one of the most expertly-remastered sets of the year to date. Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0

We’ve written a lot about the creative streak of the USA network that includes “Burn Notice,” “Psych,” “In Plain Sight,” and the cream of the crop, the incredibly entertaining “Royal Pains.” “White Collar” fits squarely in the middle, not breaking any molds or trying anything too daring with its caper-of-the-week format but it is definitely an entertaining program that has developed a loyal following and looks likely to be a consistent performer for the network for years to come. Neal Caffrey and Peter Burke aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

White Collar: Season One was released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 13th, 2010
White Collar: Season One was released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 13th, 2010
Photo credit: Fox

If you’re unfamiliar, Neal (the very-good Matt Bomer) is the con man and Peter (Tim DeKay) is the G-man. The former is a handsome, suave, blue-eyed player who can basically talk anyone into anything and has made millions in the world of art fraud and other white collar crimes. The latter is the man who caught him. He’s awkward, anxious, and the A-side to Caffrey’s B-side. He clearly wants justice but wouldn’t mind a few dating tips while he’s taking Neal back to jail.

White Collar: Season One was released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 13th, 2010
White Collar: Season One was released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 13th, 2010
Photo credit: Fox

Mere months before his scheduled release, Neal inexplicably attempts a prison escape. Burke catches him and the two form an unusual arrangement in which the expert will help the government to bring down the bad guys. Meanwhile, the show plays out the mystery of Neal’s escape. It turns out that Neal broke out because the love of his life took off, changed her identity, and disappeared. Why did she leave? Did she do so on her own or is something more dangerous going on? Neal helps the government merely so he can stay on the outside and solve the greater mystery.

The writers of “White Collar” were wise to avoid the modern recession-era fears of white collar crime like the sage of Bernie Madoff and focus more on an old-fashioned aesthetic that feels more like “The Thomas Crown Affair” than something ripped-from-the-headlines like the “Law & Order” series. And that’s a smart decision. It makes for a breezy, charming show.

And a perfect show for Blu-ray. With the best-tailored suits this side of “Mad Men,” a stream of beautiful co-stars, and theatrical-caliber production values, “White Collar” looks spectacular in 1080p. It’s the rare case where the video quality is actually even better than the show’s original airing. Of course, that’s the way it should be all the time but it’s not often the case.

With a wave of TV-on-Blu-ray sets about to be released in anticipation of the upcoming fall season, you’re about to be inundated with options for your HD dollar. Don’t forget “White Collar.”

Special Features:
o “Pro and Con”
o “A Cool Cat in the Hat”
o “Nothing But the Truth”
o Gag Reel
o Deleted Scenes
o Audio Commentary on Selected Episodes

‘White Collar: Season One’ stars Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay, Tiffani Thiessen, and Willie Garson. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 13th, 2010 and is not rated. It runs 617 minutes. content director Brian Tallerico

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