The show White Collar first premiered in 2006 on USA Network. This show was filled with all kinds of action, intelligence and double crossing, making it easily enjoyable to many of the first time viewers. This shows popularity comes hand and hand with one's interest in crime fighting shows. The show stars an FBI Agent and a former con artist that team up to solve crime and have a little fun in the process. These two powers working together against crime seem to be unstoppable. And can you guess what gender they are? Yep, you got it, they're both males. Both Peter Burke and Neal Caffrey join forces to produce results when it comes to finding and arresting criminal masterminds. Now, you might think that while Peter and Neal are out saving the world the women in the show are just waiting for them to get home so they can "do what they're supposed to do". Wrong. This show is unique because while it may not pass the bechdel test, the women in this show are not only important to the show, but are in positions of power as well.
The first episode of the new series launches with the background of the characters and the build up of how Neal becomes an advocate for the FBI. In this first episode, we are introduced to the two main females characters as well. No more than half way through the first episode we encounter a character by the name of Diana. Diana is an FBI agent right along side of Peter. Although she may not be the main character of the show, she still plays a huge role in the flow of the agency and how they get crimes solved in such a quick manner. Not only is Diana in a position of power at work, but she possesses power over her relationships as well. Right off the bat she denies Neal trying to hit on her because she knows she has her priorities and having a committed relationship is not one of them. Diana is a woman focused on her career and her life rather than giving into the common female stereotype of caring for a man and or children.
Peter Burke is a intelligent, insightful, collected man, but he would be none of that without his wife Elizabeth. While we may only see Elizabeth in the Burke household, it is not to say that she is a stay at home mom. Well for one, they don't have any kids to care for. Two, Peter's long hours get him home late in the evening when she would already be home from work. Yes, work. Elizabeth has a job as a realtor, and a quite successful one at that. And three, she is just as intelligent as her husband. What that means is that a majority of the time when Peter is struggling on a case, Elizabeth will bounce ideas off of him until they come to the solution. Overall, Elizabeth is not just a great partner to Peter, but a great human due to her compassion and commitment to living a good life.
All in all, the two main females in this show may not have conversations or pass the bechdel test, but what they do have is importance to the tv series as a whole. Both Elizabeth and Diana make contributions to the show that break the stereotypes of a common woman in modern day society. And with that, it is arguable that White Collar is a show that surpasses societies views on woman.