Friday, October 30, 2009

White Collar, "Threads": Who's wearing the hat now?

I want to write a bit about tonight's second episode of "White Collar," but this cold/flu bug is barely letting me string sentences together. So I'll just say a couple of quick things: 1)I'm confused as to why they ditched Matthew Bomer's Rat Pack wardrobe so quickly, as that was one of the more distinctive things in the pilot; 2)Natalie Morales replaces Marsha Thomason as the junior FBI agent, presumably so there can be some sexual tension with Cafferty; 3)Nice to see Tiffani Thiessen worked into the story a little, though they can't do that every week in that way.

What did everybody who's a little more coherent think?

33 comments:

neal said...

Show still feels a little "infant". Week to week your not quite sure its going to mold together into a decent story line. With its more serious nature, I can't understand why they would place it after Monk and in place of Psych (while on a 3 month hiatus). Seems to be an oddball of a show that might back up better to Burn Notice.

Sarah M said...

I like it a lot. USA knows its audience. It's better than Royal Pains.

Michael G. said...

Good, but not as enjoyable as the pilot. Pretty disappointed they dropped Thomason, that seemed like the more interesting character.

jcjones1969 said...

I agree to being disappointed they dropped the initial female asst; guess she wasn't "sexy" enough, though I thought she was more attractive (sorry, shallow, I know). At least Bomer still had the hat. And I'm wondering, too, how they're going to keep Tiffani's character involved in every episode. Still, it was entertaining--the best part remains the casual, bromantic chemistry between Bomer and Dekay.

toonsterwu said...

There is a lot to like about the show, but this episode, following the pilot, seemed a tad weak for a number 2 episode. Too much, for lack of a better way to say it, talking. They had a Burn Notice repeat afterwards, and there was a distinctive difference between the two shows. There's a rhythm to BN, and the talking is always focused.

I also couldn't help but repeatedly saying to myself what a moronic FBI they are portraying. I didn't think walking your only witness into the party was exactly the most brilliant idea. Um ... accident anyone? Also didn't think it was the greatest idea that they paraded the witness ... and not oh ... the new assistant agent ... in the red dress. The storyline wasn't the best either.

That said, this show is in it's infant stages. Bomer has a youthful charisma to him. Heck ... Bomer could probably make me buy Royal Pains a bit more than Feuerstein. There's a good relationship with DeKay, but they have to make DeKay smart, for lack of a better word. He did catch Neal Cafferty after all. They have DeKay bouncing too much off Cafferty right now, and this can't be a show where Cafferty ends up randomly finding a way to solve something each time (such as the jamming the phone line thing ... um ... it's the FBI ... you'd also think that they would be able to jam a phone line without having to resort to all hands on deck and calling the bad guy every few minutes.

I also miss Marsha Thomason. Nothing against the new girl, but Thomason's a good looking gal who I could buy as an agent as well.

John Tegan said...

Alan,

I've only watched 10 min of the show but I don't see why you think that they dropped Matt Bomer's Rat Pack look. The hat and the vest seem to be a stylish 21st century take on the RP look, not an abandonment. Or maybe I've watched too many eps of Project Runway.

And while I'm just keeping an eye on the visuals, the new title sequence is nice, although if you blinked, you missed it.

Karen said...

I agree with @toonsterwu: I was shocked when it was Tara in the dress instead of Agent Cruz. What an odd choice to put a civilian in so much danger.

Other than that, I liked it, mostly because of the great chemistry between Bromer and DeKay (whom I'll watch in anything). The chemistry between DeKay and Thiessen was quite good this week as well.

As I've said before, I'll put up with a lot from a show if I really like the characters. I really like these characters.

Anonymous said...

The show is a disappointment after a promising pilot--not worth the time

Brandy said...

I think episode two is pretty early to give up on a show. I like it a lot more than I like Royal Pains... but that's not saying much.

I really liked the other agent though and I liked the angle where there wouldn't be UST. I mean seriously... every single flipping show... it was a new angle her character. But now it's same old same old.

Oh well. I think the show has promise. It's not a great second episodes but that's not wildly unusual nor is a show going through first season growing pains as it trys to find it's way... so... eh... I'm in for at least these episodes.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I've only watched 10 min of the show but I don't see why you think that they dropped Matt Bomer's Rat Pack look.

Because even the hat and vest (which, in the way he chose to wear them, are more Justin Timberlake than they are Rat Pack) disappear after those 10 minutes, and Cafferty is seen for the rest of the episode wearing fairly contemporary clothes.

Christee said...

I think the New FBI agent (played by Natalie Morales) was beautiful, funny and has the potential to make the show a little more interesting.

Ben said...

I soooooo want to like this show, but this episode makes me skeptical. The overall plot seemed incredibly thin; I agree with those that wondered why they would put the witness in harms way and I can't believe that a criminal that has been underground for so long would simply hang out in Central Park the way he did at the end.

Also, I think Miles Straume would disagree that Marsha Thomson, saucy British accent and all, is not sexy enough to generate sparks with Bryce Larkin.

It stays on my Tivo for now, but next week better be an upgrade.

There is enough here to like

Yet another anonymous said...

Count me in as thinking the second episode was nowhere near as interesting as the first, but I'm not giving up on the basis of that. Hoping that next week will be more on a par with the pilot.

I am finding Tiffani surprisingly ok. Didn't think I'd be saying that. I'm sorry that they traded out the FBI agent, but I AM enjoying the bit of Willie Garson we get per episode.

Hope you feel better, Alan.

Jon Delfin said...

Sophomore slump. Or is it? Was that really the second episode? Neal seems entirely too well adjusted to his situation already. I'd have liked some more of the pilot's tension to have carried over.

Karen said...

Agree with the other Karen that Tim DeKay is a draw - not sure I'd watch him in absolutely anything (the only time I sat through any of that Old Christine thing was because of him... and I didn't last long), but I sure do like him. Otherwise, I'm finding nothing particularly exciting about this show. We may end up sticking with it for DeKay the way we stick with Castle for The Fillion. (By the way, we're two disks into Netflixxing season 1 of Burn Notice, and my question is: does Jeffrey Donovan ever learn how to act?) But I can't imagine actually discussing it much.

Bobman said...

Seeing Natalie Morales (Dubby!) just made me miss The MIddleman all the more... sigh.

This show isn't exactly cerebral watching but it's a lot of fun; I'll definitely be giving it a chance to find its groove based on strength of cast.

Jon Delfin said...

@Bobman: Seeing Natalie Morales, and thus realizing that she was within a gnat's crotchet of my home leaves me disappointed that I never tripped over any of the locations.

Gail said...

Karen, re: Jeffrey Donovan, the answer is: NO.

I can't believe people like that show.

Audrey said...

This episode was a step down from the superb pilot. Nothing really happened. The resolution to the case is "meh" compared to the clever one in the pilot.

And what happened to FBI agent Diana Lancing from the pilot? I thought she has more character than this new agent.

MitchellD said...

The pilot wasn't that great, but this one was even worse--low budget (an agent rushes in to say that the girl has been taken! And they blew up a car! rather than showing it) basic cable by the numbers. The plot could have been used in any basic cable cop show from 1982 to the present. Models! Glowering baddy with vague motivations and phlegmy foreign accent! Agent realizes he just HAS TO BE HIMSELF! This was an episode of "Silk Stalkings" + cell phones - hair gel.

ghoti said...

1. They established in the pilot that Thomason's character was a lesbian. The debate whether she's as attractive as Morales is irrelevant.

2. The plot of this episode was completely brain-dead. No more international super criminals with the IQ of a toddler. They should be chasing plausible, WHITE COLLAR criminals who are not violent murderers but intelligent foils to our dynamic duo. This episode was just stupid. C'mon.

Audrey said...

1. They established in the pilot that Thomason's character was a lesbian. The debate whether she's as attractive as Morales is irrelevant.

I thought Peter only implied to Neal that Diana is a lesbian only to stop Neal from thinking that he has a chance with her. Something like: don't even think about it, buddy.

Nicole said...

I'm hijacking this thread to say that I love the new blog logo! Seeing Paul Gross reminds me of how much Eastwick isn't worthy of his talents.

Anonymous said...

Unless IMDB.com is wrong (and they have been before) Marsha Thomason, is in 7 episodes of White Collar. So if that is correct, we will see her character again.

Anonymous said...

Love the logo. "Don't be a hero Sherbatsky."

Anonymous said...

I see you've changed your pics (I've got this one: Canadians!). I never figured out what the last ones were. How can we find out if we can't deduce?

Thanks, Alan!

Maxwell said...

Alan, I think the flu threw off your fashion sensibilities. When Bomer gets in the surveillance van, he's wearing a very 60's suit, complete with the skinny tie with a single grpahic (or a tie tack) on it. Either the flu or you are just so up on current fashion trends that you thought that was his adoption of GQ's recent fascination with the skinny suit and tie.

jenmoon said...

Eh, I enjoyed Natalie Morales's character showing more personality. I don't give a crap about the "sexual tension" or whatever, but she was more fun to watch.

Plot wonky aside (um, yeah, poor witness), I enjoy how Caffrey has this interesting paternal/supportive vibe going on for DeKay. I don't know where it comes from, but it's totally cute and random.

Angela said...

I give it a big thumbs down after I said I really liked the first episode. I thought I was wasting my time 15 minutes in. The beginning of this episode was weak.
The concept of having a party with models to attract the bad guys was shallow. The bad guy characters were lame.

I can put up with a lousy story-line if there is really good character development and I didn't see that at all here except maybe the part where DeKay got the new watch. That was good.
I want to agree with what others said about why the witness at the party? And the need to make DeKay smarter. This is the FBI...

Angela

toonsterwu said...

Quick thoughts a couple days later:

a) Can the Cafferty chasing after his girlfriend angle really pay off? That seems to be one of the key serialized elements, something necessary to somewhat drive the show. Problem is, it doesn't seem well-connected with the show, and the flimsy linking they've tried to do has been ... bleh.

b) The one possible thing where the girlfriend thing could pay off is if the guy that's stalking her or whatever is some sort of top criminal. A worthy foil that can't be arrested in one episode (the problem with these shows is often that, the idea that this dangerous criminal can be dealt with each week wears thin after awhile). A worthy foil makes things that much more interesting, allowing Bomer and DeKay to perhaps fail and assess their relationship.

That said, they need to let us know if there is a worthy foil serial line sooner than later, otherwise I think people will lose interest in the girlfriend angle.

Anonymous said...

Does every show filmed in Canada eventually have Carlo Rota do a guest appearance?

HMM2 said...

The pilot was great, but the subsequent episodes have been pedestrian at best.

Yemaya said...

Loved the first ep, thought the second was disappointing, and was sorry to the original female agent had been replaced. Now we get "sexual tension". Yawn. Why is that a prerequisite? So overdone and so unnecessary. Having said that, I thought the third ep was a big improvement on 2. It was great to see Callie Thorne. I'll be watching for a bit longer.