Thursday, February 4, 2010

Westlake on "White Collar" and "Leverage"

One of my favorite shows is the USA Network's "White Collar", about an FBI agent and his con man partner who's working with the Feds to avoid jail time. I could not help but notice that in the most recent episode, the characters made references to Donald Westlake and his series character, Parker. The con man, posing as a doctor, calls himself Parker at one point, while the Westlake name was used for another character, also a doctor. The names certainly brought a smile to my face. It's nice to know the writers are using the proper material for inspiration.

Has anybody also noticed, on another USA Network show called "Leverage", that a thief uses the name Parker? In this case it's a she with the infamous surname, but, again, it's neat to see. I like her attitude: if you're not stealing something, why wake up in the morning?

Both shows are worth a watch for crime fiction fans. They're not necessarily hard-boiled, but the characters and situations are terrific and keep you tuning in. I really like the relationship between the FBI agent, Burke, and his wife, Elizabeth, on "White Collar". For once we get a couple that isn't on the verge of divorce, or somehow otherwise estranged. They actually like each other, believe it or not. It's a refreshing change. And the wife, played by Tiffany Amber Theissen, is still nice to look at. Yes, I remember her from the "Saved By the Bell" days and, yes, she doesn't use the Amber part of her name anymore, but do you know what's really scary? She and I are the same age!

Of course, I just realized another literary connection with "White Collar". The G-Man's name is Burke. Hmmmmmm.... maybe we'll see a Mr. Vachss on the show at some point.

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