White Collar - Oh, the Love. the LOVE! casting spoiler for last night's episode )

White Collar is going to be THE new slash fandom. You should all watch it. It is entertaining, fast, pretty, funny and incredibly slashy without hitting you over the head with it (hello, NCIS:LA). Yes, I'm pretty sure the writers are aware of the double-entendre of many of the dialogues, but they write it (and the actor's play it), with enough humour that it just feels natural. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Matt Bomer is so pretty and flirty that he'd have chemistry with a bag of potatoes.

But let's focus on Peter's and Neals relationship and why it is so perfect.

1) Chemistry.
But I already mentioned that. Both are imminently likeable, and they genuinely seem to like each other. And while Peter is probably the type who likes a lot of people, Neal is exactly the kind of guy you'd expect him not to like. Neal, on the other hand, probably doesn't like all that many people, at least not truly. He just pretends to like a lot of people. It's part of his job. So for him to really, truly, like Peter, is something special.

2) More chemistry.
See, Peter is the good guy. And I mean good guy as in really a good guy. You'd trust him more than you'd trust Horatio's sunglasses. But you also know that he is willing to bend the rules if it serves a good cause. He's willing to bend the rules for Neal. But never without a good cause, and I mean a truly good cause. See, Don (you know, the Eppes brother nobody wants to talk about with me), bend the rules to serve HIS cause a lot. Hell, he broke the rules if it served a cause that he thought was good (save Meghan, for example).


I don't think he'd ever do that.

By all means, Peter should drive me insane, because I tend to prefer the morally ambigous not-quite-so-good-guys over the "by-the-book" straight agents. But actually, I absolutely love Peter. Because you believe him. He's not just playing by the rules, he actually IS like that.

Which, of course, will make it so much more fun to see him angst about breaking the rules eventually, and I think we'll get there. I mean, quotes like the one about the running above (in the spoilery part under the cut) already hint at Peter's moral dilemma. He's a good guy, but he's also Neal's friend. And one day, he'll have to make a decision. (can you smell the angst? Can you tell how I'm getting excited, angst-junkie that I am?)

So now that we've established that Peter is the good guy, I think weshould be clear that Neal is the bad guy. No, seriously. He's a criminal. He may not like guns, and he may not kill or hurt people on his scams, but he's still a criminal. And he's no Robin Hood either, he steals and cons people very much for his own profit. And he likes it. In fact, it's been made rather clear that he likes it so much that he will continue to do it, even after he has served his sentence. Yes, he is charming and sexy when he does it, but that doesn't mean he is not a criminal. (of course, there's no rule against liking criminals.)

Good guy/bad guy, of course, is always a slash favourite.

3) Playing house.
Considering that Neal is "only" a criminal who is supposed to help the FBI on cases, they hang out in each other's space a lot. Breakfast, date nights, dinner with the wife... Neal seems to feel right at home at Peter's house, and Peter's wife, Elle, loves him. Yes, there's tons of threesome fiction. Yes, it actually does work.

4) Power dynamics.
Neal is practically Peter's prisoner. No, really. He has a tracking anklet and everything. When Peter says "Jump", Neal will ask "how high" not only because he wants to, but because he has to. It's a slasher's dream come true. You won't have to create elaborate slave or prisoner's AUs anymore, because it's already right there.

Of course, that dynamic makes any relationship between the two automatically inappropriate. Even more so than a relationship with a CI like in last night's ep, because Neal, unlike a CI, does not have a choice. He is completely in Peter's power.

Of course, it doesn't really play that way, because Peter can be trusted, and because Peter trusts Neal (it stands to debate if Neal can be trusted, but that's a different subject). Peter gives Neal choices. He lets Neal decide how he wants to live his life, like when he would let him run with Kate. It was Neal he turned back. Peter is the good guy, and he doesn't abuse the power he has over Neal, but it's still there. And they play it so beautifully in the way they are with each other, never obvious, but in every small gesture. Like the way Neal follows (or should I say obeys?) when Peter calls. And the way Peter calls (or should I say orders?) Neal to follow. It's nothing obvious, but it's still there. I love it.

And I love even more that they are bound to reach their limit one day. That one day, Peter will be forced to abuse his power, be it for Neal's own good or for someone else's. The fact that this is completely against Peter's own moral rules, and that Neal trusts him to never abuse their relationship, will make it even better (angst-junkie, remember?). Oh, I'm so looking forward to that day.

5) Hotness.
Yes, they are both hot. If you don't think that Neal is hot, you are obviously deaf, blind and dead. If you don't think Peter is hot, you haven't seen him without his suit yet (neither have I. But I have thought about it.)

Hotness is always a good argument for slash.

So, two hot guys, practically living with each other, one good, one bad, with a very clear power-dynamic that makes every relationship between them automatically inappropriate, with more chemistry than all of Eureka's lab combined?

How pretty is that?

Trust me, this show is a slasher's dream come true, and in a few years, it'll be a slash classic. You should all watch it. Now.
Spiegel Online, one of the online news sites that check several times a day, talked about Cult of Less today (http://cultofless.com/).

I didn't bother to read the website, just gave it a quick look, but I read the article. It's about a guy who sold almost all his possessions and lives mainly with his computer and a few sets of clothes to change. And I thought, while this is far from being new or worthy to become a "cult" (that's why I didn't read the website), that I could easily imagine doing that.

Except, I really can't.

I'm a collector. One of these days I will post a picture of my DVD collection and you'll understand what I mean. I collect selectively, but I collect. I like things to be complete. Just like I enjoy making lists about things that I need to do, or that are still missing in my collections, or things that I already have in my collection. I like the collecting because of its completeness, not necessarily because of the things I collect. I mean, intellectually I know that I can never in my whole life watch all the movies I own (again), but I am still unable/unwilling to sell any of them. There's just no need to sell any of them. Why sell this one, if you have way too many anyway? How to decide which ones to sell and which ones to keep?

I'm also a material girl. I own more than 80 shirts (that's button downs or blouses, whatever you call them in english, not t-shirts), and that was the last time I counted. There are probably more now. I have about 20 pairs of jeans. That I wear. Needless to say, I have more that I don't wear. I would totally own 300 pairs of shoes if I had way too much money and the space to store them.

I'm not completely unreasonable about collecting. I sell DVDs that I don't like (duh!), (except if they happen to star an actor that I really like and I know that I'll just end up buying the same bad movie again because of an urgent desire to watch that actor (yes, that has happened. I cannot be the only one)). I go through my closet
regularly, taking out things that I don't wear anymore, and - after letting them sit in a box for a year - give them to goodwill without even looking at them again. Reason tells me that this is what responsible people do. Reason also tells me that I do not need all these things. (but I like them, and nobody forces me not to have them. So there.)

And yet, when I said I could easily imagine selling off all my things, that's completely true. I mean, I could certainly never do it, but I can still imagine it. It's the lure of asceticism, of freeing one's self from worldly possession to find what really matters.

Example 1:
Two years ago, I went on a little road trip in the US. It was part of a two week horse-riding trail, so I had some horse riding stoff, clothes for two weeks, a maglite, an ipod and a diary. I arrived in US, picked up my rental car, started driving and realized: this, everything that was in my trunk right that moment, was everything I
owned on this whole continent. And not only that, it was everything I would need for the next two weeks (although, given my proclivity to travel with too much luggage, it would have lasted a lot longer). Plus, and that was the real beauty of it, I had no schedule, no place to be, no one to tell me where to drive or when to be somewhere for
the next week.

I completely loved it. I wanted to go on forever. I really did not want to start the horse-riding trail, because being at a certain place at a certain time for the pick-up, even though it was still a week away, felt way too constricting. (needless to say, I went on the trail, and it was completely awesome)

Example 2:
This summer's horseriding trail: we went through the mountains for a week and for two days at a time, we carried everything on our horses. Tents, kitchen stuff, sleeping bags, clothes... do you have any idea how absolutely fantastic it feels to be able to pack up all your belongings on your horse in the morning and just go where you want to
go? (or in our case, go where our guide took us, or we would have been forever lost in the french mountains)

So no, I couldn't sell all my belongings. But I do find the feeling of being able to pack up one's things in one suitcase, or preferably in an even smaller bag that fits on a horse, incredibly freeing.

And sometimes, standing in front of my 80 shirts in the morning, finding nothing to wear, I find that owning things actually drives me crazy.

(so next time I'm weird, blame it on my DVD collection)

(just a thought, for a boring Wednesday afternoon)

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