Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Copper (TV)


I've been in a bit of a TV slump lately which on the plus side has made time for more reading.  I've felt like I had definitely seen every show ever made that would interest me in any way.  So I was excited to see this pop up on my Netflix Top 10 Shows for Stephanie.  It definitely looked intriguing.

I did a little investigating.  It's BBC America's first original series and it's had one season of 10 episodes broadcast starting in August 2012. The first season did well and a second season is in the hopper and starts airing June 23, 2013 which I was relieved to see since I seem to fall in love with shows with very limited runs.

It's about cops, or actually one in particular named Kevin Corcoran, in New York City in the 1860's.  The first episode sets the scene very well - sort of a Deadwood meets Dickens ambiance - I like it! In fact the further you get in the more Deadwood appears - it's definitely not lacking in violence and debauchery. I thought the New York of today was a remarkably dirty city but apparently it doesn't hold a candle to the squalor of the late 1800s.  The basic setup is that Corcoran has returned from the the Civil War a decorated soldier to find his wife gone from their home, no sign of where she's gone or why. Also his daughter has been murdered. This is the season long mystery to puzzle our hero. His first case is investigating the murder and post-mortem rape of a young girl.  This mystery while solved is not brought to justice which is a problem for the second episode.

Corcoran is the sort of character who other characters under estimate -they view him as a dirty Irishman who doesn't deserve his place as detective.  However he's a clever and dogged pursuer of justice with integrity about the right sort of things - i.e. he's not above helping himself and his friends to a little stolen bank money and he likes to punch people but he'll freely admit when he's wrong and treats everyone with respect.   He thinks the guilty should be brought to justice regardless of who they are. He is also apparently panty-disintegratingly irresistible to all females. He isn't hard on the eyes for sure but the obsession he inspires is a little much.  He is a tad on the slutty side.

One of the most interesting characters is an African-American surgeon who functions as a forensic pathologist but on the sly. Corcoran also has a couple of sidekicks who are somewhat interesting as well as a morally suspect patrician friend/patron he made during the war.

And then there are the women. If I have one complaint or concern about the show it's the women. They are pretty universally manipulative and horrible including one very disturbing 12 year old.  And as I mentioned they are all, without exception, obsessed with Corcoran. Corcoran in turn seems completely blind to their true natures as they all suck up to him with varying levels of disingenuousness. The universality of their horribleness is almost misogynistic.  Mrs. Haverford is probably the most loathsome even though I think she is supposed to be considered a good one?  She's clever but sly and smug and comes across as completely artificial. So I'm not sure how I feel about this.  It's a little on the squicky side.

Otherwise the first season was pretty intriguing for a Deadwood fan though not really up to the level of that show.  I'm interested enough to watch season 2 but I do hope they introduce some female characters that aren't 100% despicable.

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