Comic-Con: 'White Collar' comes to San Diego
"White Collar" had a tough act to follow at Comic-Con. There are few actors on any TV show as beloved by this crowd as Bruce Campbell, who headlined an exuberant "Burn Notice" panel immediately before "White Collar" made its Con debut.
Though "White Collar" isn't inherently a Comic-Con-type show, it does - as we were reminded by an amusing filmed sketch about the cast planning a Comic-Con heist of the trailer for "Tron: Legacy" - feature a number of actors with some sci-fi cred. Matthew Bomer was Bryce Larkin on "Chuck," Marsha Thomason was Naomi on "Lost," Sharif Atkins was on "The 4400," etc. So the crowd had some reserves of goodwill for these people.
Ultimately, though, "White Collar" the panel felt very much like "White Collar" the show: lots of likable, funny people who play well off of each other, but not much of a sense of direction. (Particularly since the panel was moderated by "White Collar" co-star Willie Garson, which gave the hour the feel of a very long in-joke we were only sometimes privvy to.)
A few notable moments after the jump...
What about Kate?: Garson went straight at creator Jeff Eastin on the cliffhanger that ended the show's first season, involving Kate, the mysterious (and not-too-popular with the fans) love interest for Bomer's Neal Caffrey.
"Jeff Eastin," Garson said tersely, "Kate's plane blew up. Is she dead?"
The crowd cheered enthusiastically at the idea. Eastin, a bit taken aback by the reaction, was non-committal, but he polled the crowd on whehther Kate should stay dead (many hands), be alive (far fewer hands) or be "in some sort of a coma" (more hands than the not-dead group).
Later, when it came time for audience questions, someone asked whether there was a story reason for casting Alexandra Daddario as Kate, since the actress bears such a strong resemblance to Tiffani Thiessen, who plays the wife to Tim DeKay's Agent Peter Burke.
"It was a complete accident," admitted Eastin, who said he didn't realize the resemblance until he was following Twitter reaction to the first episode to prominently feature Kate.
Baby mama drama: Thiessen recently gave birth (there was a joke at one point that the baby would grow up to be an FBI agent), and that's kept her in Los Angeles for the season's first six episodes while everyone else was filming in New York. Finally, we have an answer as to why Thiessen's scenes with her co-stars so far have featured bizarre green-screen work.
The power of Garson: Garson pressed Eastin for some background on his character of Mozzie, and Eastin described Neal's best pal as "a burnt-out Beat philosopher." Eastin then told the story of the auditions for the role, with Garson sitting in the casting office's waiting room while another actor came in to read. The other man came in, did a good job, "And halfway through he stopped and said, 'You've got Willie Garson out there. This is bullshit. He's gonna get it anyway,' and he walked out."
They have beef: Eastin and "Burn Notice" creator Matt Nix have had a Twitter/prank war going on for a while now, and it's never entirely clear how much Nix is joking. Nix got in line for audience questions and asked Eastin where he got the idea to hire so many behind-the-scenes personnel from "Burn Notice" for his show.
"Matt from Los Angeles. Big fan, Jeff!" he insisted.
"You've got a cute show, too, Matt," said Eastin, and then "White Collar" producer Jeff King added, "It's 'Royal Pains,' isn't it?"
Nix's question came in two-parts, the second being, "The writers of 'Burn Notice' are challenging the writers of 'White Collar' to paintball. Will you guys be attending?"
Eastin agreed, and at least one show now has an idea for a DVD extra, I'm assuming.