Episode Review: White Collar, S3E12, Upper West Side Story

If there’s one pattern that I’ve noticed in television, it’s that shows tend to follow up big, plot-line-resolving episodes with silly, disappointing ones. It’s practically a law of television, and “Upper West Side Story” was no exception to it. More details after the jump. Continue reading “Episode Review: White Collar, S3E12, Upper West Side Story”

Episode Review: White Collar, S3E11, Checkmate

When we last saw White Collar, I wasn’t happy. I was frustrated with the show’s inability to tell a coherent long-term story and its tendency to rely on emotional manipulation. In fact, I was on the verge of giving up on the show. But “Checkmate” brought me back on board, at least temporarily. I’ll offer a brief explanation as to why after the jump. Continue reading “Episode Review: White Collar, S3E11, Checkmate”

Pop Cultural New Year’s Resolutions for 2012

At the start of every year, I make the same new year’s resolutions: get in shape (not going to happen); keep in touch with friends and family (not going to happen); and work/study harder (definitely not going to happen). This year, I’m keeping those same resolutions, but I’m also resolving to make some resolutions that I can actually fulfill. Saying “I’m going to start the day with sit-ups, push-ups, and jumping jacks” is a far more concrete goal than “getting in shape,” for example.

I’m applying the same principle to my pop cultural resolutions this year. Usually, I simply say that I want to watch “more” movies and “less” TV, or something of the sort. But this year, I’ve decided to lay out some clear, attainable goals. I doubt that I’ll achieve them all, but at least I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment at having achieved some of them by year’s end. Continue reading “Pop Cultural New Year’s Resolutions for 2012”

Midseason Report Card: White Collar, Season 3

This season of White Collar has inspired some strong opinions on the Web. There are people who think the show had gotten too cuddly last season with Peter and Neal becoming chummy and are loving this season’s Nazi loot storyline. On the other hand, there are people who think that the storyline has ruined Neal and Peter’s relationship and has been no fun to watch. It’s not my intention to disparage anyone’s opinion on that or any other White-Collar-related matter. At this point, either you like the Nazi loot storyline or you don’t. Either you hate Sara or you don’t. Either you think the wit and banter are enough to compensate for the sloppy writing or you don’t. I don’t, on all three of those counts, so you can probably guess where I stand on this half-season of White Collar. If that’s enough of an assessment for you, then I’m not forcing you to read on.

Oh, you’re still here. Damn it. I guess I have to write an actual report card in that case. Some thoughts about White Collar’s third season follow after the jump. Continue reading “Midseason Report Card: White Collar, Season 3”

Episode Review: White Collar, S3E10, Countdown

It has been a few hours since the White Collar midseason finale aired, and my only coherent thought is, “Um, okay…”

Let’s get one thing straight: that’s not a compliment. That my feelings about this episode can be summed up as a sarcastic “Good for you, White Collar,” like patting a kindergartener on the head for an anatomically incorrect drawing of a dog, is not a good sign. That the final minute of “Countdown” made me scoff with laughter is an even worse one. Continue reading “Episode Review: White Collar, S3E10, Countdown”

Episode Review: White Collar, S3E08, As You Were

When we left off last week, Neal was having serious doubts about following through with the heist that he and Mozzie were trying to pull. Sara had just told him that he couldn’t go off and live a fantasy, and when he left his apartment briefly, she took a look at his laptop and saw pictures of the vault where Mozzie had stashed the Nazi treasure. So naturally, this week, we got an episode all about…Jones? Continue reading “Episode Review: White Collar, S3E08, As You Were”

Episode Review: White Collar, S3E07, Taking Account

After last week’s badly plotted disaster, my love-hate relationship with White Collar was on the verge of turning into a hate-hate relationship. I was about two episodes away from giving up on the show.1 But this week’s episode pushed that relationship back into love-hate territory. That is to say, I loved some parts of “Taking Account,” and I hated others. Continue reading “Episode Review: White Collar, S3E07, Taking Account”

Episode Review: White Collar, S3E06, Scott Free

This season of White Collar seems to be operating on two separate levels. The first comes from a show with appealing characters who banter charmingly and wittily with each other, and it’s a joy to watch. The second comes from a detective show with so much stupidity and so little believability that it makes The Killing look like a masterpiece of mystery storytelling. Continue reading “Episode Review: White Collar, S3E06, Scott Free”

Episode Review: White Collar, S3E05, Veiled Threat

In my head, the ideal version of White Collar would involve some sort of balance between the mythology and the cases, with both receiving large amounts of screen time and attention to detail. But that would involve a compelling mythology, which is something that this season has lacked. I haven’t been enamoured with this season’s overarching storyline about the stolen Nazi loot, so this week’s standalone installment was in fact very refreshing. Continue reading “Episode Review: White Collar, S3E05, Veiled Threat”