Tuesday, June 21, 2011

White Collar - Season Two on DVD

The Second Season of White Collar continues the adventures of con artist Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) working with FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) to bring down white collar criminals while attempting to solve the riddle of the music box and discover the identity of the man behind Kate's (Alexandra Daddario) death.

This season builds on the relationships created in the First Season and gives us the return of a few familiar faces, most notably Alex Hunter (Gloria Votsis) and Diana (Marsha Thomason), and the introduction of insurance investigator Sara Ellis (Hilarie Burton). Mozzie (Willie Garson) will survive an attempt on his life while try to solve the code hidden in the music box. There are also a couple of episodes where Peter and Neal switch roles.

Throw in Nazi treasure, Neal's face-to-face confrontation with Fowler (Noah Emmerich), Mozzie falls in love with a damsel in distress (Diane Farr), a college professor (Aidan Quinn) uses Neal's methods to plan his own heists with his students, Neal's far more violent rival Keller returns, and Lando Calrissian himself (Billy Dee Williams) making a guest-appearance on the show, and you've got the makings for a good season.

We finally get the identity of the man behind Kate's death (Andrew McCarthy), and a flashback episode gives us a peek at Neal's first encounters with Kate, Alex, Mozzie, and Peter. And, as the show has become known for, it ends in another big cliffhanger which we've already begun to see the ramifications of in Season Three.

The four-disc set includes deleted scenes, a gag reel, a short but humorous pair of extras where the writers of White Collar and Burn Notice roast each other, featurettes on the character of Mozzie and the creation of an episode, and commentary for three episodes including the finale by series creator Jeff Eastin, Bomer, DeKay, Garson and Tiffani Amber Thiessen. Of all the extras, the look behind the scenes from the writing to shooting of an episode is by far the best and includes a few interesting tidbits including the show's insistence to stay away from hand-held and steady cam shots and the unique challenges of shooting the show in Manhattan.

I'm disappointed this set was only released hours (instead of weeks) before the new season started, I would have liked a little more commentary, and I was surprised this season isn't available on Blu-ray (the First Season was), but what we're given here is solid all-around. Fans of the art of the con should feel pretty good with adding this to their collection next to the First Season on DVD.

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