May 8, 2013
Oh, Francis - I Need To Talk About Copper
Yesterday I tried to explain to a friend what Copper is about and found myself with too many ways to describe it.
It's a period piece. Cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, President Abraham Lincoln, hoop skirts, crazy facial hair (mutton chops for everyone!), and hats, hats, HATS.
It's a political drama. Set in New York in 1864, it's about the post-Civil War social and political climate in America. White people who are pissed about Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Black people trying to make lives for themselves after slavery. Rich people looking to increase their power by owning all of Manhattan. Angry, bitter Confederate sympathizers who want to burn it all to the ground.
It's a police procedural. CSI: Five Points. A crime is committed and Detective Kevin Corcoran works with his partners Francis and Andrew to gather clues and evidence. Corcoran's friend Dr. Matthew Freeman, a black man who fought alongside Corcoran in the war, acts as medical examiner and forensic scientist. Cases get solved.
It's a psychological thriller. It isn't what the people on this show have done (though what they have done is straight-up traumatizing), it's what they might do. You don't see the horrible shit coming until it is happening right in front of you and you're powerless to look away. And when I tell you that one of the characters on this show is the scariest person on television by a country mile, that is not hyperbole. There is a scene where someone sits up in bed - that's it, just sits up in bed - that will make your blood run cold.
It's a love story. What drives Corcoran is love. The love he has for his daughter drives him to find her killer. The love he has for his wife drives him to track her down. The love he has for Annie drives him to keep her safe. The love Corcoran, Freeman and Morehouse have for each other is the purest, sweetest, most bromantic love in the land. Ok, that's all pretty accurate but really the love story is between me and all of the characters who are my TV boyfriends/girlfriends. Which character I love most depends entirely on which character is on the screen at that moment.
The quick and easy synopsis of the show is this: Detective Kevin Corcoran comes home from 4 years in the Civil War to New York's Five Points neighborhood to find that his daughter has been killed and his wife has disappeared. That's the set-up of the show. That's where it starts and before the first season ends at least a thousand awful, unbelievable, unnerving, and engrossing things have happened and watching it all unfold is one hell of a ride.
You should all watch Copper because it's interesting, well-acted, and well-written. Because it will keep you guessing and disturb you in big ways, small ways, good ways, and bad ways. Because I want to talk to everyone about how damaged Corcoran is; how incredibly engaging I find Morehouse's particular brand of not-evil evil genius; what a great, strong character Eva is; the nightmares I'll be having about Annie for the rest of my life; everything about Dr. Freeman. Because I need more people to understand why I've been shaking my head and muttering "oh, Francis" for two days. Because I have so many feelings about the show that I was inspired to write a blog post for the first time in six months. Because it's really very good and I think you'll like it.