Another Two Belated Television Recommendations: White Collar and Psych

Once again, I’m probably late coming to this party, but I wanted to throw this out there–Denisa and I have been watching and enjoying White Collar and Psych. They’re both light mysteries, with plenty of comedy to keep them flowing along. Are they the best shows I’ve ever watched? No, not really. The plots are a bit flimsy at times, and you can see the USA formula churning a little too easily now and then. (At this point USA seems determined to just have as many of these light mysteries as they can. Pick a quirky character (Monk, Psych, Burn Notice, White Collar), give him a few unique traits, add in some best friends with opposite, complementing traits, and have them go around solving crime.

Then again, there are worse shows out there to watch. At least the characters are mostly original. I don’t know if I’d watch these for weeks and weeks on end, but they’re fun enough for 40 minutes at the end of a long day, and you don’t have to suffer through commercials. 🙂

In Psych, the main character is a schlub who’s lazy and fun loving, but also is fantastic at noticing small details. He can analyze a scene in an instant and recall it all later. He’s managed to get a job moonlighting as a psychic for the police–who don’t think he’s psychic, but strangely don’t seem to care. They keep having him come back to help them solve crimes. (Although as a quibble, it never makes sense to me why the police in shows like this are always so reluctant to turn to the hero of the show. He always solves the crime. Are they that stubborn or that stupid that they consistently turn down the best option for finding out whodunnit? Also, why doesn’t the local town just fire most of the police force and have the main character solve crime solo?)

In White Collar, the main character is a con man who’s made a deal with the FBI to solve cases with them instead of rotting in a jail cell. He’s fun loving and fancy free, though there’s of course the requisite Bigger Plot–a missing girlfriend who he’s trying to find. The show’s fun enough, though again, one marvels that there are so many expert con artists the FBI hasn’t been able to catch . . . until the main character comes along, at which point they start getting nabbed at the rate of one a week.

But those sorts of problems aren’t new. Every themed show has to deal with that in one way or another. All part of the willing suspension of disbelief. I just imagine it’s made worse by watching shows back to back instead of week to week.

Still, Netflix Instant Watch really is perfect for television, and I hope they start adding a wider range of shows eventually. I’d love to see some of the newer ones, but then again, I’ve watched so many of them now that a lot of the awesome backlog I had accumulated is gone. Such is life.

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