White Collars has at its core a two-buddy dynamic. A con-man and the FBI agent who caught him get together to solve cases. This is the kind of solid entertainment that I manage to enjoy, despite the fact that it lacks any original thought or even a tad of realism. It works for me, because I find the character dynamic appealing, the extroverted, daring con-man against and/or together with the more introvert, cautious FBI agent. That’s not new, but can be highly entertaining when done well. Both men are smart, but smart in different ways which makes them such a perfect team. But occasionally, when they work towards different goals, it’s interesting to see their minds clash.
Caffrey the con-man seems more capable than Burke, but the FBI agents conceals hidden depths of insight behind his pedantic exterior. He rarely shows them, but when he does it’s always for something important. And despite his self-assured nature, Caffrey needs Burke, both as a moral grounding and as a grounding for the more mundane lives other people lead. While Caffrey knows how to get everything he wants, Burke knows what he needs (subjectively speaking here).
All that said, it’s not a must see for me, but I like it. It’s easy to relax while watching the series, as it is as far removed from reality as soap operas or other series that don’t tickle my serious bone. I do wonder where the series is going, whether the producers will allow the characters to grow or whether they will remain who they were at the begin of the series. After all, growth is change and might destroy the character dynamic. But without any change at all this could get boring very fast after another season (highly episodic structure with only a few thin and not overly interesting ongoing plot threads, very formulaic approach to storytelling, characterization is the main draw here).