Huffpost TV
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jackie K. Cooper Headshot

Two of Cable's Best Return This Week

Posted: Updated:

Two of the best shows on cable return this week. They are White Collar and Royal Pains. Both shows have built a loyal fan base over the years, and each show has shown improvement year after year. Matt Bomer is the star of White Collar and Mark Feuerstein has the lead in Royal Pains but it is the supporting casts that make these shows truly special.

White Collar is finishing its third season with these new episodes and has already been renewed for a fourth. When the show ended in August, FBI Agent Peter (Tim DeKay) was distraught over the kidnapping of his wife Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen). He blamed Neal (Bomer), his criminal associate, fully responsible. Now Peter and Neal have to join forces and find Elizabeth before it is too late.

The investigative partnership between Peter and Neal is great. They play well off each other and the fact that one is an FBI Agent and one is a convicted thief adds even more spice to the mix. Just when Peter thinks he can begin to trust Neal something always happens to keep them wary of each other.

As good as the interplay is between Peter and Neal, the show would be only average without the participation of Thiessen as Elizabeth and Willie Garson as Mozzie, Neal's friend and co-criminal. And when you pair Elizabeth and Mozzie as is done in these new episodes of White Collar, the results are amazing. I am not much on spinoffs but if there was ever to be a "Mozzie and Mrs. Suit Show" I would be first in line to watch it. Mozzie calls Elizabeth "Mrs. Suit" because her husband is an FBI Agent or what he calls a "suit."

But let's not dwell on spin-off possibilities. For now let's just enjoy the magic that is White Collar and the joy it brings us week in and week out.

Not quite as good but close is Royal Pains, a show that has settled into its storyline with comfort and ease. Now finishing its third season, Royal Pains has become a complete ensemble production featuring Feuerstein, Paulo Costanza, Reshma Shetty and Jill Flint. Each actor fits into his/her role comfortably and the stories that are told are interesting and enjoyable.

Occasionally a guest star will turn up in a key role such as Henry Winkler as Hank (Feuerstein) and Evan's (Costanza) dad. Ed Asner also made an appearance as their grandfather. Hopefully they will make return appearances in the upcoming shows. Brooke D'Orsay is a semi-regular as Evan's fiancé' Paige.

The setting for the show is the Hamptons and the premise is the activities of a concierge doctor in this world of the rich and famous. Hank Med is the name of Hank's medical service and Evan is the chief financial officer. Diviya (Shetty) is Hank's medical associate, sort of a nurse practitioner. Jill (Flynt) is the head administrator of the local hospital.

The stories are full of romance and sometimes a little bit of drama, and are always satisfying. The cast is picture perfect and make you leave each episode looking forward to the next one. Royal Pains is not a pain in any way but is always pure enjoyment.

White Collar is seen Tuesday nights at 10 while Royal Pains airs each Wednesday at 10. Both are on the USA Network.

www.jackiekcooper.com