Where have White Collar’s opening titles gone?
Where is the energetic music and cheeky grins of Neil and Peter?
I am in mourning.
White Collar (USA Network) is one of my favourite shows on television. The chemistry between Matt Bomer (ex-con Neil) and FBI agent Peter (Tim DeKay) makes them one of the best double acts in the history of crime drama. With the exception of some of the external shots (allegedly New York, but which High Definition turns into something resembling your old kitchen), it looks, sounds and feels fantastic.
But I am in mourning for the old titles.
What they did was set up the very spirit of the show and the relationship between, and characters of, Neil and Peter. The new music is dull and creates no sense of tension of the drama to come. The boxes featuring the characters are a throwback to Sixties titles but have been given a modern twist that is out of kilter with the almost quaint elements that follow. They don’t work because they convey a sense of disconnectedness between the various elements of the show.
If I had never seen White Collar, I would have no idea as to what I might be about to see and, in the time it took me to work it out, I would be reaching for the remote.
So many fans have complained about the new sequence that USA executives have decided to let viewers decide on whether the show should revert to the old sequence and music. Voting opens tomorrow afternoon (Friday 8th July); the choice will take effect in two weeks and continue all season.
It is a brilliant piece of marketing and one that would be inconceivable in the UK, where viewers’ opinions are less respected than they are here. I recall when Dallas replaced Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie, such was the outcry against her successor, Donna Reed, that Ms Geddes was reinstated. Likewise, the outcry when the show killed off Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) and resurrected him as having been part of wife Pamela’s dream. Unfortunately, over on the sister show, Knot’s Landing, they continued to mourn him long after Pamela (Victoria Principal) had woken up.
I am very admiring of a network that listens to viewers who, are, essentially, paying the wages of everyone in the organisation. Executive producer Jeff Eastin is a keen Twitterer, and his updates about the show, its characters and plots, also help to engage the audience. If I have to record White Collar, I can’t go on Twitter until I have watched it, such is the enthusiasm of followers who cannot help but give away the plot.
I’m as involved as anyone in this latest off screen drama and will be casting my vote tomorrow – in favour of the old sequence, old music (versus new sequence, new music – you can’t mix and match). I’ll also be trying to catch another criminal on the White Collar website and drooling over the wonderful Mr DeKay and pretty Mr Bomer.
And here’s my prediction for the vote: overwhelmingly in favour of the old titles and music.
Watch this space.