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The hubby and I spent all day yesterday mainlining one and a half seasons of White Collar. There was a marathon over Labor Day and I DVR'd it. We watched one episode on Saturday, and one sometime earlier in the week, but Sunday morning felt like a great time to sit and watch a few in a row together. But we both loved it, so it snowballed into watching the whole damn thing, right on through to the Season 2 finale. It was fantastic, and I totally have a new show now. :D The only problem is that I had already missed the first four episodes of Season 1 when I started DVR'ing the show, so we haven't seen those. But, I have the first 2 Season 1 DVD's on our Netflix list, so that will soon be remedied.

So, things I love about White Collar. *Note, there are spoilers for Season 1 & 2 at the very end of the entry!*

I'm so in love with Peter/Elizabeth/Neal. For serious, I can't even articulate how cute they are together. I adore how Elizabeth just wriggled her way into a relationship with Neal. Or is it the other way around? Neal's so damn slippery I think he probably saw the advantage of cozying up to Elizabeth. Either way, I love how Neal comes to her when he needs help, and how Elizabeth intervenes and advocates for him. I love how she believes in him, and he trusts her when he trusts so few people.

Peter/Neal. I adore the relationship between them. I love how it's snarky, and trusting, and full of fun. All the easy smiles and touching is fantastic. I love how Peter brings out the best in Neal, almost remakes him into a new man. Also, one of the things that speaks strongly to me is the symbolism of the collar Peter has on Neal, and the way he doesn't abuse his power over Neal. Instead he works to gain his trust, to do what he feels is best for Neal, to help Neal be a better person. Peter is so deliciously dominant in the show! With his "I caught you twice, I'll do it again" and "I'll do whatever I want with you" and "you'll do it and you'll like it" comments. Insisting that Neal is his responsibility, and he'll be the one to cuff him, damn-it! And Neal listens to him! He shuts up and does as he's told. Most of the time. At least, for enough of the time for it to be significant. He could slip that anklet any time he wants, but he doesn't. He stays.* I really enjoy the relationship they have onscreen, and feel that the show practically slashes them all by itself.

Neal Caffrey. I'm a sucker for a pretty face, and Matt Bomer has one. He's just so damn charming!

The writing is excellent. I really enjoy the plots the writers come up with. They are interesting, complicated enough to have surprises here and there, and often unique. I love all the literary and cultural quotes sprinkled throughout. They used a Princess Bride reference at the end, and it tickled me pink, but there are far too many clever turns of phrase and quotes to mention.

The characters are interesting. I love Mozzie, he's so fun and quirky. He brings a lot of life to the show.** I enjoy Clinton Jones and Diana Barrington, and their easy relationship. I like that Diana's character can take care of herself, and has a girlfriend, and how that is treated in the show. Diana has a girlfriend, and that's that. She's not portrayed as a butch lesbian, and the gay aspect isn't built up into something that overshadows the plot. It's just there, taken for granted just like Peter and Elizabeth. She has more to her character than being in a relationship with another woman, and I like that.

This is defiantly a show that’ll stay on my radar for next year! Any other White Collar fans on my flist? Anyone got any fic or communities to rec?

ETA 9/23: Ok, I've gone back and watched the first five episodes that I missed. I've revised my view on Neal and Peter's relationship slightly. See, this is why I hate watching things out of order! I see a lot more desperation in Neal with the first episode than I originally saw. It was really interesting to see him working Peter to get out, and interesting to see Peter realize that he's being worked, but do it anyway because he also needs Neal.

I also see a lot more of the trust issues between Neal and Peter. Peter can’t trust Neal because he’s a thief by trade, and Neal can’t trust Peter to grant permission to search for Kate. For example, Peter pulls up a map of Neal’s tracking device every day, and he checks his credit cards. And then it’s interesting that Neal brought his desire to search for Kate to Peter early on, and Peter said absolutely not right off. Neal has no choice but to search on his own, but that only proves that Neal is untrustworthy to Peter. Such a tangled web! I like the story of the two sides that can’t trust each other on principal working towards that trust anyway. Or, gaining that trust through their interactions, even if they had no intention of doing so originally. Even if every step towards trust is followed by some equally devastating step backwards. Makes for very interesting stories to me.

However, I’m an optimist at heart, so I see them getting over their issues and Neal moving in with Peter and Elizabeth, and everyone lives interestingly and happily ever after, with only the occasional questionable criminal act from Neal.

I'm saving fics at my delicious and my AO3 recs page - currently you can't sort the rec pages by tags, but I'm sure that the OTW volunteers will have that coded eventually.

Spoilers for Season 1 & 2! )

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