Thursday 25th May 2017,
Televisual

"White Collar" White Hot, USA Wins My Love

UDPATE (11/4): Mike White confirms to Queerty he and Bomer were lovers. UPDATE (10/31): There’s been some speculation — okay, really, revelation — that White Collar star Matt (Matthew) Bomer is openly gay. Queerty seems certain he is and has been out within the industry (like Anderson Cooper) for years, but now that White Collar is such a hit, his reps (PMK) aren’t confirming. He appears to be dating PMK head Simon Falls: nice snag, Bomer! Queerty has published photos basically confirming their conclusion, because they’re more activist than AfterElton, who won’t publish them. I say: I don’t particularly care about your privacy if you’ve decided to headline a popular show for which you’ll be paid handsomely, but I won’t publish the photos, because I don’t want to be sued. Color me hypocritical. You know my position on this issue — celebrity privacy about sexuality — already.

White-Collar-USA

Matt Bomer plays gaddabout Neal Caffrey

ORIGINAL: Okay, well maybe not white hot. But the 5.4 million viewer premiere of White Collar was more than commendable, besting several network programs in total viewers, including Ugly Betty and Dollhouse. Robert Seidman doesn’t see any point in comparing the premiere to last year’s ratings, and I agree, but it did improve upon The Starter Wife by 50%. The program was sixth overall in last week’s cable ratings, bested by Monk.

I was pretty confident White Collar would do well, despite USA’s reputation as a primarily summer series network and WC‘s scary Friday night debut. For me, it hit all the right notes: escapist, luxe New York locations; good dialogue; attractive people; engaging narratives (however formulaic); and enough pretension — just a hint — to make me feel I wasn’t gorging on rubbish. USA has mastered the art of breezy, mediocre (and cheap!) television. It seems they’re almost playing in the big leagues, the big four, and certainly with the CW. (Though I should acknowledge the different audiences each network is targeting).

It is important to remember USA invested a lot in promoting the series. Promos started airing months before the show aired last week. I remember anticipating it for quite some time.

Whether White Collar has staying power is anybody’s guess, but I know I’ll be watching. As my life becomes more stressful — this semester is particularly rough — I find myself desperately in need of frothy entertainment, particularly on nights when work isn’t pressing.

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About The Author

Aymar Jean Christian is assistant professor of communication at Northwestern University. He writes about media and society for a number of publications. For more information, click the "About" tab at the top of the page.

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