Monday, June 20, 2011

To Catch a Thief

How many of you use Hulu? I'm a big fan of it. Between that and Netflix I'm pretty much set for TV for a long time to come.

One of my favorite things about both is that I can watch shows that I never knew existed back when they were actually airing. I've found a lot of great shows this way, most recently The Invisible Man (2000-2002 series).

Now I don't know if any of you have even heard of this show, much less seen it. I didn't know anything about it until it came up on my Hulu recommendations. So I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying it, particularly the chemistry between the cast members. The show is about a thief who has been caught and is given the chance at a free get-out-of-jail card if he is willing to be the subject of a government test.

Watching it got me thinking about just how many movies and TV shows have a thief as the main character. Makes sense—characters need flaws, and of all the acts that'll get a person on the wrong side of the law, thievery is perhaps the least offensive. So here's a list of some of my favorite TV thieves.

Darien Fawkes (The Invisible Man)

As thieves go, he's not the best. He got caught because he let compassion get in the way. He's not really such a bad guy, which is often the point of main-character thieves. But he does have a lot of tricks up his sleeve, and the invisibility adds a whole new layer of potential to the mix.

"By the way, I want my tombstone to say, 'Too late, he's already dead.' You know, just in case more people show up wanting to screw my life over." - Darien Fawkes

Why he works:

Darien is funny, and humor always gets points. He likes to pretend he's tough, but he's a major softy. And he's got a knack for getting out of trouble. I think what really makes him work, though, is how well he plays off the people around him. He's just the kind of guy that you'd want to work with.

Flynn Rider (Tangled)

The number one comment when this movie came out was how much everyone loved Flynn Rider. I was no exception—I thought he was fantastic. (The whole movie was great.) He's one of the few animated characters that transcends the animation and becomes almost real.

Flynn: "You can't tell anyone about this, okay? It could ruin my whole reputation."
Rapunzel: "Ah, we wouldn't want that."
Flynn: "Well, a fake reputation is all a man has."

Why he works:

It's the smolder. Or maybe the writing. Or the fabulous animation. Or Zachary Levi's inherent awesomeness coming through. Actually... it's probably a combination of all of them. And if the final scenes of the movie don't make you melt, then you have no heart.

Neal Caffrey (White Collar)

If I had to be the victim of a theft, this is the guy I'd want robbing me. He's just so charismatic that the whole sting of the crime would disappear. Plus, he has really good taste; if he was stealing something from me, I'd take it as a compliment.

Peter Burke: "This could work."
Neal: "All we need is a bad cop."
Peter: "I can do bad cop."
Neal: "I've seen you do mildly irritated cop."

Why he works:

Again, it's all about the charm. But in Neal Caffrey's case, there's a whole lot of skill involved as well. I love watching people who are really good at what they do, and Neal is an expert. This show works for me because all the characters are brilliant in their fields, and I enjoy seeing them work together to pull off complex cons.

Who are your favorite thieves?


  1. I liked Invisible Man a lot when it was on. I liked the thought and tricks they put into how his Invisibility worked. I also liked the idea of covert government operations being hidden under the auspices of major agencies.

  2. Yeah, that part amuses me. I love all the jokes as they bounce around from one agency to another.

  3. Hmm, I've never watched the Invisible Man or White Collar. Will definitely have to check them out.

    Currently my favorite band of thieves is the Sly Cooper gang. :P I'm replaying the old ps2 games via the ps3 collection and having an absolute blast. Can't wait for the 4th installment to come out next year. :D

  4. Ah yes. Thieves are indeed a staple of video games :)

  5. I watched I-Man when it was on. Awesome show. The Sci-Fi channel can make some good programs when it wants to. If you haven't seen "The Chronicle" that's a fun one too (didn't last as long though).

    Someday I'm going to work for the Department of Fish and Game, or maybe Weights and Measures.

  6. Weights and Measures has been my favorite so far.

    I haven't seen "The Chronicle." I'll have to check it out.