Beyond Matt Bomer’s captivating charm, the premise of ‘White Collar,’ which featured an FBI agent seeking the assistance of a convicted felon, became well-known. When it comes to the concept itself, we’ve seen similar arrangements in films; however, the humor and sarcasm brought to the screen by the actors were novel. Such that it paved the way for numerous other similar storylines depicting various government agencies seeking assistance from convicted criminals or criminal masterminds. (either by force or by choice).
White Collar is mostly concerned with its central characters and their day-to-day activities in the six seasons it aired (almost 3500 hours in total). With Neal Caffrey, a con artist serving time for alleged theft of art and antiquities, FBI agent Peter Burke as his partner, Mozzie as Neal’s close aide and also a con artist, and Tiffany as Peter’s loving wife, the cast includes all of them. Neal helps the FBI track down other White Collar criminals like him, which introduces a slew of new characters, including Neal’s nemeses and past love interests, into each episode’s plot. To summarize, it’s worth watching for the wit, puns, and incredible chemistry between the characters. It’s also worth watching because of Matt Bomer.
The following is a list of shows that we think you’ll enjoy if you liked White Collar. Some of these shows, such as White Collar, are available to watch on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Despite the fact that the similarities aren’t uncanny, these stories will make you think of “White Collar” because of the similar government agencies involved (FBI, CIA, NSA, DEA, US Marshals etc.). Similar arrangements amongst main characters (such as following an ex-convict around in exchange for his/her brief freedom) or similar twists and turns and extremely clever criminal masterminds could explain the similarity in plotlines.
12. Breakout Kings (2011-2012)
As far as the plot goes, this now-cancelled show is the only close relative of ‘White Collar.’ Several former and current U.S. Marshals, a few convicted felons, and psychoanalysts and behavior analysts make up the cast of the TV show. It’s a team effort like in all of these shows with Dr. Lloyd’s wit and ingenuity. Not to mention T-Bag from ‘Prison Break,’ whose appearance in ‘Breakout Kings’ elevated it to new heights.
11. The Beast (2009)
‘The Beast,’ a series that was on the verge of matching the success of ‘White Collar,’ had it not been for the death of its star actor Patrick Swayze, is a quirky take on the FBI’s use of criminals, criminal mindsets, and borderline illegal activities. While FBI agent Charles is involved, his aide Ellis is often torn between supporting him or siding with the other side. Agent Charles is under investigation for misconduct as the story progresses. We’d have no idea what would happen next if we didn’t ask.
10. Bones (2005-2017)
‘Bones,’ at least on this list, may be the longest-running TV show (12 seasons and counting). This is where anthropology and behavioral sciences meet. Dr. Brennan, an anthropologist with the FBI who is socially awkward and is infatuated with her colleague and FBI agent Seeley Booth, is the central character of this show, which differs from other shows about the bureau. Brennan’s interest in anthropology earns her the nickname “Bones” as the series progresses. ‘Bones’ is more interested in investigative tricks and tactics, with specialists on spores, slime and other biological sciences frequently appearing in ‘Bones’. A show like ‘White Collar’ that differs slightly from the others.
9. Covert Affairs (2010-2014)
Her previous romantic relationship with her ex-boyfriend led to the hiring of Annie Walker as a new CIA recruit. She begins her career by working at the Smithsonian Institution for her cover, but as she progresses in her career, she travels and learns new skills. Blind man Auggie Anderson, her handler, aids her in the process. ‘Covert Affairs’ tells the story of Annie’s transformation into a skilled spy from a new recruit.
8. Lie to Me (2009-2011)
Again, this is another TV show that relies on behavioral analytics, body language and microexpressions to investigate the other side of crime. Despite his troubled past, Professor Dr. Paul Ekman runs a private organization and helps federal agencies with psychological investigations as Dr. Cal Lightman. Dr. Lightman is aided by Dr. Gillian Foster, one of his most reliable colleagues, in a case that reads more like a Sherlock Holmes mystery than a thriller. ‘Lie to Me’ is one of the genre’s best thanks to a well-crafted premise, some clever intricacies in criminal psychology, and the chemistry between the employees of The Lightman Group and Dr. Lightman himself.
7. Criminal Minds (2005-2017)
With 13 seasons under its belt, another long-running show, ‘Criminal Minds,’ explores the world of FBI profilers and their work in the Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU). Many leading characters have died or been replaced throughout the course of the story and the series. A few characters and complicated multiple storylines in the show make it difficult to keep track of everything, and the FBIprofilers are sometimes portrayed near-perfectly, which is not always the case. Whatever the case may be, ‘Criminal Minds’ is a good show to watch every now and then, but it’s not something you should watch all at once.
6. The Mentalist (2008-2017)
‘The Mentalist,’ starring Simon Baker, is a show in which the protagonist seeks vengeance by lying to the California Bureau of Investigation about his psychic abilities (CBI). Because of his personal vendetta against the Red John killer who murdered his wife and daughter, con artist Patrick Jane offers his services to the CBI in cases that mostly point to Red John’s involvement in the crimes. Eventually, Red John is caught and his abilities are revealed to be limited to being a keen observer. He helps the CBI solve other crimes by following the psychoanalytical route. Only Simon Baker should see this.
5. The Blacklist (2013-2017)
After years of evading capture, fugitive Reddington finally turns himself in to the FBI, where he offers his help in catching the most feared criminals. This is a novel improvement over the previously mentioned ‘White Collar’ and ‘Blindspot’ combined series (for he has prepared a Blacklist).
However, he must be granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for cooperating closely with his daughter, Elizabeth Keen (who has no idea where Reddington is hiding). On the other hand, “The Blacklist” has a similar approach to tackling criminal cases, concluding each episode with the death or arrest of a suspect. ‘The Blacklist,’ with a star-studded cast led by James Spader and Megan Boone, is one of the best thriller shows on television.
4. Psych (2006-2014)
‘Psych,’ the only comedy on this list, is a breath of fresh air in what would otherwise be a dull and boring world of criminal investigation. A comedy centered on two central characters – Shawn and Gus – “Psych” finds humor in everyday deceptions and, occasionally, a comedic saga of mishaps.
Shawn declares himself to be a psychic, despite the fact that no one believes him and he is not one, and offers his services to the Santa Barbara Police Department as a detective by being extraordinarily attentive to detail. As opposed to Gus, who is Shawn’s business partner, Gus is a medical sales representative. Shawn falls in love as the series progresses, and viewers soon realize he isn’t a psychic after all. ‘Psych’ is different in terms of its screenplay, the flashbacks at the beginning of each episode, and of course, the humor. It’s both rib-tickling and intriguing.
3. Blindspot (2015-2017)
‘Blindspot,’ my personal favorite on this list, shares many of the same characteristics as ‘White Collar,’ but I’ll give it a slight edge over that film because of the plot twists and the overall storyline. After being found in a bag on Times Square with tattoos all over her body and no memory of her past, Jane Doe, the show’s first character, is introduced. Another of Jane’s tattoos features the name – Kurt Weller – an FBI agent who was initially thought to be a childhood friend of the missing girl.
When Jane joins an FBI team, she follows all of their investigations, and each of her tattoos turns out to be important to a sinister plot and/or a terrorist or terrorism-related activity. ‘Blindspot’ is at the top of its game because it is complex, intriguing, and full of layers and brilliant mysteries that are revealed with each new episode. It’s also Sullivan Stapleton’s best work as Agent Kurt Weller (and later Assistant Director).
2. Person of Interest (2011-2016)
All eyes were on ‘Person of Interest,’ especially with big-name collaborators like Jonathan Nolan, J.J. Abrams, and others involved. And I must say, it lives up to the hype. On Harold Finch, the billionaire software engineer who collaborated with the United States government to build an advanced supercomputer to track terrorist activities, and John Reese the former Green Beret/CIA who has lost his love and is now living as a hobo in New York City, the story is centered. Based on an exploit that Finch built into the machine, this plot assumes that an individual who is (about to be) involved in criminal activity will (either be a perpetrator or a victim) have their Social Security Numbers returned to them.
Reese and Finch decode and solve cases based on these Social Security Numbers as the show progresses. For me, the series had a very Batman-like approach to dealing with criminals, as well as sharp dialogue, mind-boggling action scenes, and a script that was impenetrable. A short-lived television series that we would have liked to see continue.
1. Suits (2011-2017)
‘Suits’ is more of a phenomenon than a TV show because of Harvey Specter and his creative problem-solving skills. Mike, a law student on the verge of graduation who becomes involved in drug dealing by accident, begins an internship with Harvey Specter, a top-notch New York City closing attorney. A slew of other characters, including Harvey and Mike, become embroiled in lawsuits and accusations as the series progresses.
To sum it up, the show is worth watching for the mind-boggling dialogue, the chemistry between the characters (especially Mike and Harvey), and the rapid-fire pacing of the script. At once, it has the charisma of shows like “Breaking Bad,” and the wit and conceptualization of others, like “White Collar,” while also being completely different from these two.