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Excited for this week (but meanwhile, JE is still a poopyhead)
Matt TNH 1
So the parenthetical refers to a post from a few months ago (and one of the comments), but I'll start with the first part:

We are currently just under 19 hours out from the White Collar Season 3 premiere and I can't wait.  I've heard from a couple of people who saw it at the USA event at Hudson River Park, and they agreed that it was a terrific, tightly plotted episode.  On a purely superficial note, I've seen a bunch of promo shots, and, "Oh, the pretty." :-)  Also, despite FoxConnect's attempts to a) not do what they promised on their website, and b) annoy me thoroughly, my Season 2 DVDs arrived today.  Well, actually yesterday, since it's Tuesday now.  And in non-WC coolness, I am heading down to Maryland on Thursday to see friends and go to the Mumford & Sons show at Merriweather Post Pavilion.  I'm totally psyched!

As to the Jeff Eastin thing...
a.k.a. Jeff Eastin being a poopyhead (thanks, elrhiarhodan  for the moniker, as per the previous post mentioned above).  I really wish he would stop trotting out the "Neal was born bad" thing.  He said it at PaleyFest a while back, and I just saw it again in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that was posted to whitecollar_tv .  I discussed my thoughts on this in a previous post, which can be found HERE. As I said before, I get the need for dramatic tension.  I also get that it is hard for Neal to change.  But the statement that, "he wants to be good, but he was born bad" suggests that he actually can't change, which I don't buy at all.  Plus, if that's true, it doesn't really make sense to say the whole upcoming season is about choices.  Grr.

Alas, anything else I have to say about it (or about anything else), will have to wait.  I'm only typing this post at 3am because I fell asleep on my sofa, then woke up in the wee hours of the morning and was sort of awake, and so I ended up on the computer.  But I really need to go to bed for real now.

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I'll tall ya, the thing that made me most concerned in JE's interview was that he doesn't have a vision for where the show is going past the S2 finale. Yikes!

And I agree - if Neal can't change or won't, what's the point. I personally want him both ways - still a smartass conman and still with Peter. Also: seksitiems. So, him scamming other crooks helps me out there.

I see where you're coming from w/ the concern about the vision for the show past the S2 finale, though I suppose I can kind of understand it. I think it's probably hard for someone creating a show to invest in thinking too far ahead when so many shows don't even make it through their rookie season. This isn't a show like Babylon 5 where the creator had a 5-season storyline mapped out from the get go. That can be really helpful, and it can make the show better, but it can also be really dangerous - if you don't keep getting renewed through 5 seasons, you end up with the show's storyline amputated part-way through. Also, I've heard JE and the writers saying that they've had discussions about what they will do if they get enough seasons that Neal's parole will be up, and this was as early as Season 1 or 2, so I think that's a good sign, at least. Hopefully they're continuing to work on more long-term planning now that they're more confident the show will last.

Interestingly, I've recently seen quotes from Matt about "nature vs. nurture" and Neal going the direction of what he "thinks he was born to be" vs. being changed by his relationship with Peter, and I'm fine with that. I can accept that Neal thinks he is in some way destined to become a criminal (presumably because of his father,) and I could see him in some way using it to justify what he's done - there's some potentially interesting psychology in there. But Jeff's quote bugs me every single time. I think it makes a lot of what happens in the show kind of pointless, and it's far less complex an interpretation of the character than what the actual episodes give us.

On another hand, though, might it just be JE pimping his series? This will be what snags the vast amount of viewers, who are prolly not as invested as we are, let's face it, but would find it compelling and hooky enough to tune in.

Sometimes I am too pragmatic. It suspect this is more the case...the desire to hook viewers, and it's a fair one.

I think JE definitely does things to pimp his series. There was a whole big thing on Twitter where he tweeted things about the Season 1 mid-season finale (the whole "OMG, Peter has the ring" cliffhanger), and about the network wanting him to change what was going to happen after that based on fan reaction, and then some of the tweets "disappeared," and people were all intrigued, and he later more or less admitted that it was all a ploy for media attention.

That said, I'm not sure what you mean in this case. Are you saying that Jeff doesn't really buy his "born bad" spiel, but he thinks it will bring viewers in? Cause I'm not sure I get that.

Yes - that's exactly what I mean. Because if he really buys into that, then what's been the point all along? If Neal can't be redeemed, why have a series?

Yeah, that's what I thought you were saying. I guess what I was not getting was why JE would think that that concept would attract more viewers. Is confused. :-)

Yes, Jeff Eastin is a Poopyhead.

He mind fucks his fans on a regular basis. After the S1 finale, he tweets that S2 will be all about how Neal sorts out working for OPR and his role with the WC division.

My entire Paladin series took off from that tweet - and it was a big stinking lie.

I wouldn't trust JE if he told me it was raining during a hurricane.

And he's a poopyhead.

And what's this about a Mumford Concert? I didn't know about this? How?

(Not that I could have gone).

Oh yeah. I do remember now that there was something about how they were going to have to figure out who Neal was working for now ("now" being after the S1 finale). I'd forgotten about that! And then there was the Twitter thing that I was talking about, where it was like he was initially trying to reassure the fans that Peter wasn't the bad guy, but then he was trying to make us think that the network had something to do with how that plot line was going to, in response to viewer comments, and so on. Alas, I forget most of the details.

In this case, however, what he's saying about the direction the storyline will take - the whole which side will Neal choose thing - seems legit. Matt is also saying it, and it's even the basis for the S3 posters. So I think that's for real. And I'm fine with that, as that is a realistic choice for Neal to have to make. What bugs me is the oversimplification of the character and the resulting implications.

Oh, and Mumford? I saw a tweet about how their concert in Raleigh, NC had been moved to a different venue, which made me go, "Wait, there going to be in the States this summer?" I went to their website, and it turns out they are playing a handful of dates in June (and maybe July?), mostly down South (and too far for me to go). However, there was one Maryland show, and I have a good college friend in DC (well, now in northern VA) and a friend from grad school who lives outside of Baltimore, and I got them to sign on. It was actually pretty crazy - I found out about the show the same day tickets went on sale, but in the afternoon, and by then there were only single seats (no pairs, even) in the pavilion part. We all have lawn tickets.

I can accept that Neal thinks he is in some way destined to become a criminal (presumably because of his father,) and I could see him in some way using it to justify what he's done - there's some potentially interesting psychology in there.

I totally agree with you. If it was simply Neal arguing "I was born bad" and using it as an excuse for his past, then I'd be more than fine with it. And I've been through my fair share of misinformation and outright lies by showrunners, but this isn't Jeff trying to put us offtrack. This is him (he thinks) explaining Neal's behavior and IT MAKES NO SENSE. As I've said before, unless Jeff wants to declare Neal a sociopath, he was NOT born bad. It kills me that he's undermining his own characters and seems oblivious to it.

What mystifies me is how someone who sees a character so one-dimensionally can create a character in Neal that is so beautifully nuanced.

Which is a very good point. As I mentioned in my original post on this topic (and again briefly in one of my comments here), the character JE has actually written, the character we are shown in the actual episodes, is complex and human and *not* one-dimensional. Which makes me very happy, but also very confused - I'm as mystified as you are.

I want to comment on this in relation to tonight's episode, but I don't want to potentially spoil anything for. I'll wait for an all clear. ;)

You're good to go on my end.

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