has an average rating of 8.6 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on THREE discs
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
decent & mostly HD with commentaries
– 2009 – 2010
– 617 minutes
Overall Verdict – Recommended
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Show Itself airs now in its second season on the USA Network. “White Collar” stars Matt Bomer as “Neal Caffrey“, a white collar criminal — hence the title. When the show starts out Neal is in prison as he was a former Con-Man and did pretty damn good at it; that is until he was caught. As a result of going to prison, Neal ended up losing his girlfriend “Kate” (played by Alexandra Daddario) which he is determined to someday find again. It’s this determination to do so that gives him the balls to try to make a prison break. He gets out but is soon found and he gets lucky, as he ends up getting caught by the very same FBI agent who put him behind bars. This FBI agent apprehends Caffrey and then later realizes he just-so-happens to need Neal’s expertise in counterfeiting, forgery, fraud and other illegal activities that file under “white collar crime” essentially. The FBI agent, a guy by the name of “Peter Burke” (played by Tim DeKay) takes on Neal as a consultant of sorts at first in exchange for him getting some freedom — 2 miles of it to be exact, thanks to an ankle bracelet that tracks him and permits him from tracking down his ex-girlfriend Kate who left him with nothing but an empty apartment with an empty wine bottle. More on that later. Neal has a best friend by the name of “Mozzie” played by Willie Garson who helps him with his cases along the way and helps him get clues to tracking down his ex.
Let’s use this bit of the synopsis area to just dish out some names of some co-stars and well be honest about them being sexy (to a degree) and NO sorry, I’m straight, I’m talking about the females. FBI agent Burke has a pretty attractive wife, played by Tiffani Thiessen who most of you will remember from the old 80′s TV series “Saved By The Bell” as well as the “Beverly Hills 90210” TV series. Regardless of the FBI agent having a pretty attractive wife, there’s a lot more to this show as you’ve likely guessed. Although, speaking of attractive female counter-parts, we have the assistant FBI agent “Lauren Cruz” (played by Natalie Morales) who comes on in the second episode to replace (essentially) Marsha Thomason‘s short-lived character. I’ve linked to these two actresses IMDb profiles because they don’t seem to get enough work and are honestly just as easy on the eyes as Tiffani Thiessen was in the 80′s, 90′s or is now, no disrespect to her there, as I said she’s still attractive.
I know I’ve totally strayed off-topic here and it’ll all be made up for below after I list the episodes, I assure you but I want to go on one short other rant while I’m at it. The FBI agent here, the co-star Tim DeKay, he’s a great actor, don’t get me wrong; but I swear he sounds exactly like another FOX owned person, that being Bill O’Reilly himself. DeKay as this FBI agent even kind of reminds me of him physically and in his mannerisms. Maybe it’s the fact he’s an ACTOR playing an authority figure, incidentally much like O’Reilly is on his TV show. If they ever make a made-for-TV movie about O’Reilly someday, which is isn’t very likely, I hope DeKay gets the gig to play him — he’d be great. “WE’LL DO IT LIVE!!!” OK, now that I’ve offended or possibly delighted the FOX News fans, let’s move on.
The full 14 (total) episodes for The Complete First Season are included:
- Episode 1 : “Pilot“
- Original Air Date: 10/23/09
- Original Air Date: 10/30/09
- Original Air Date: 11/06/09
- Original Air Date: 11/13/09
- Original Air Date: 11/20/09
- Original Air Date: 11/27/09
- Original Air Date: 12/04/09
- Original Air Date: 01/19/10
- Original Air Date: 01/26/10
- Original Air Date: 02/02/10
- Original Air Date: 02/09/10
- Original Air Date: 02/23/10
- Original Air Date: 03/02/10
- Original Air Date: 03/09/10
In closing, “White Collar” is a really entertaining show that uses the basic formula of most crime shows but the crazy idea of throwing in a convicted Con-Man is a pretty unique touch, a little “Prison Break“-ish but oh well, it’s a lot different as it takes place OUT of prison. The first episode (“Pilot“) really struck my attention and had me ready to watch more. When I got around to the second episode (“Threads“) involving a fashion designer I found it to be not quite as thrilling but it didn’t totally lose me. The quest to find “Kate” is what really saved things for me at the end of that second episode and continued to keep me intrigued as well as entertained throughout the first season’s fourteen episodes. The third episode “Book of Hours” has John Ventimiglia guest starring who most of you might remember from his role (as “Artie Bucco“) on “The Sopranos“, another hit TV series. Speaking of that third episode, it really did a good job of pulling me back into the real story, the characters, their relationship and most importantly trust that is developing. The two characters I’m speaking of obviously are Neal and Agent Burke (Peter). Plus, again, that whole quest to find “Kate” and the wine bottle really intrigued me from the start.
The fourth episode includes a short guest starring role from Garret Dillahunt who some of you may remember from his previous (small) co-starring parts in films like “No Country For Old Men“, “The Assassination of Jesse James…“, “The Last House of the Left” as well as TV shows like “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and “Deadwood” to just name a few. This episode (“Flip of the Coin“) held probably the most comedic relief of all the episodes so far and really had a good story that grabbed me again just as the very first episode had. From really here on out this show had me and I bet will you as well if you give it a chance, which I suggest you do. I won’t go on and discuss any further episode to avoid any spoilers or such. I will end the synopsis bit here by stating that fans of most the other shows that air (or aired) on USA Network like “Monk“, “Burn Notice” and “Psych” or even the NBC show “Chuck” will find this show entertaining.
Video Quality on this release is 1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on THREE Blu-ray Discs total. The show itself is presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio.
Disc 1 uses 42.0GB total. Disc 2 uses 43.0GB total. Disc 3 uses 37.8GB total.
WOW! Let me first say that this is undoubtedly the BEST looking Hi-Def show to be released to Blu-ray Disc to-date. Second best looking goes to the entire series of “LOST” which also looks spectacular and got the same rating (yeah, spoiler). IMDb doesn’t list what camera this show was shot on but a little Google searching led me to this image (HERE) on TwitPic that Creator/Writer/Producer Jeff Eastin posted. A closer look (zoom to fullsize on that image) confirms that the show is shot digitally in Hi-Def on the Sony F35 camera.
The amount of detail present here is unbelievable at times, especially in close-up shots like these you’ll get to see via screenshot examples. First you have THIS, then THIS, THIS, THIS, and last but by no means least THIS. Tell me that’s not impressive, I dare you! The black level here is very solid throughout except for a few shots in the first episode (“Pilot“) which you can see some examples of via screenshots as well HERE, HERE, and lastly HERE. That is something that I’ve seen happen in that one episode early in the season and also it’s worth mentioning that scene only lasts for a few minutes or so. I didn’t find it to be totally bothersome or worth deducting from the video quality score but it did grab my attention, so I felt it was worth noting. The color palette is extremely vibrant and fleshtones are very accurate as you should be able to tell via those previous screenshots. There’s a tiny bit of digital noise present in some of the darker (not as well lit) scenes but it’s very minimal and not that bothersome in all honesty.
This show just looks simply fantastic and I can’t find anything really to gripe about here in the Hi-Def visual presentation, just things to rave about. This is by far THE BEST looking show to come to Blu-ray Disc yet and very, very worthy of a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall video quality. Kudos to the folks that do the camera work, cinematography and editing on this show as they’ve done a great job that the folks at FOX have translated beautifully to Hi-Def. It’s a shame that more TV shows don’t look this good when they come to Blu-ray. This kind of holds visual production value like a major motion picture at times, almost as much so as “LOST” did — even though it had a much, much higher budget. Just as that show had a wonderful location that added to some beautiful backdrops and scenery, this show does as well with it’s New York City location, where the show is actually shot according to IMDb.
Audio Quality on this release is in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. Dialogue here is delivered perfectly through primarily the front center channel but has a bit of presence (or back-up of sorts) in the front left and right channels as well or at times pans left to right, right to left to give environment style effects. Speaking of which the rear channels get some pretty good action here throughout with Foley, sound effects and such as well as obviously the show’s original music by Jon Ehrlich which also gets some good (LFE) bass presence as well. Speaking of Jon Ehrlich‘s original music, it holds some real “oomph” at the beginning of episodes, in the transitions or where commercial breaks went, etc. The audio presentation is pretty impressive and fits the the show’s high production value feel quite well; but then again it’s never too “over-the-top” so-to-speak aside from the music oomph. For instance, there’s not a lot of action in some episodes but there occasionally is some gunfire or action and such to keep things kind of interesting in terms of a 5.1 mix. Overall this earns a somewhat impressive (for a TV show) and solid “4 Star Rating” for audio quality.
Bonus Materials are presented in both Hi-Def (HD) and Standard Definition (SD) video quality with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound.
- Disc 1 includes:
- Disc 2 includes:
- Disc 3 includes:
Overall, the bonus materials aren’t the most elaborate or lengthy but they are very worthwhile, three of the featurettes are in Hi-Def, plus you have the audio commentaries on select episodes. Fans will find some stuff to keep them busy after they finish watching or re-watching the first season of the show. Let’s be honest, most TV shows don’t contain too much more bonus content than this but I want them to try harder on season two’s release in the future so I’ll only give this a “2.5 Star Rating” for bonus materials.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.