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Showing 1-10 of 299 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,207 reviews
on September 3, 2012
Set in the gritty Five Points area of New York during the Civil War, Copper follows Det.Kevin Corcoran, an Irish American 'copper', as he solves crimes with nothing more than guts, brains and the clumsy tools of the day. Set against the backdrop of his own missing wife and murdered daughter, it's a dark and foreboding angst-fest for all. Corcoran's urge to champion every underdog continually undermines his career, and he has as many enemies on the police force as he does friends in the filthy underground he polices. Some people may be surprised or offended at some things depicted in this show - including a child prostitute 'married' at the age of ten against her will, and later imprisoned in a brothel to serve a 'certain kind of gentleman'. Child actress Kiara Glasco plays Annie Reilly, the child prostitute, and her performance is simultaneously electrifying and disturbing. Even seeing a child her age uttering the lines she's given in the show is enough to sometimes turn the stomach - which is likely the point. If Kiara Glasco is electrifying, then Tom Weston-Jones' performance can only be described as one that captures the screen and the imagination entirely. His face is one of those that can be angelic or brutish, depending on angle, and its chameleon quality is used to full effect here. One never knows from one scene to the next or even one line to the next which side of Kevin Corcoran we're about to see. The writing so far is top notch, though the third episode wasn't quite as startling as the first two. The production quality is top notch - so much so that this show must cost an enormous amount to produce. That in mind, if you are interested in dark drama, late Victorian New York City or just good television - watch this and keep them in business. It's one of the best of it's kind to come along in a very long time.
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on October 29, 2012
I am not sure how much research went into this project or how realistic it is. I am sure the result is hugely entertaining.

Great sets, costumes and,overall, persuasive acting. I agree with the comment that the writing could be sharper and Corky's Irish accent is a little off, but Copper's head on confrontation with the harsh, often desperate, poverty endured by the immigrants, and characters who are flawed, complex people who feel real, pulled me in. I didn't feel the plot was unfocused--I particularly like the abrupt transitions from violence to tenderness and vice versa. And the mystery of Corky's lost family helped tie in several subplots, including an abortionist's murder and a child prostitute's precocious love for Corky.

Overall, I give this a big recommend. Every episode unveiled (sometimes unnerving) surprises, and I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.
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on June 7, 2013
Since K Harris has provided such an excellent introduction to this series, I can skip that and simply say that my husband and I both loved this series. Nor is it a foregone conclusion that the two of us will share such high esteem for something. Perhaps it's not all that surprising in this case, however, since Tom Fontana is the creator of the show for BBC America, and I don't believe either of us has ever ranked anything Fontana has done at less than five stars - ten if they were available. Although many of the reviews I read here praised the historical grounding of this series, I notice that some fault at least some of the stories in individual episodes. Since I was not aware of the show until I bought it on DVD, whereupon we watched two or three episodes a night on sequential nights, trying to go slowly to make it last, I was probably less aware of individual episodes and experienced it more as one continuous story. That said, however, it was a story that never disappointed. Indeed, we soon turned around and watched it again for the history (which is flawless), the atmosphere, and the fine performances. And for me, it has passed a different sort of test, which is that out of nowhere, with no apparent stimulus, it recurs to my mind on at least a weekly basis. Other shows for which I have very high regard - Mad Men or Breaking Bad, to take two at random - do not do that, much though I've enjoyed them. In contrast, Copper comes back to mind more as an important personal experience might. It got under my skin somehow, as though I'd lived it instead of simply watched it. For me this is quite rare but it certainly inspires me to recommend the show as highly as I can for anyone who likes the offbeat and the brilliant.
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on February 25, 2015
I can't imagine why this show was canceled. I know bills have to be paid and I'm sure selling advertisements is at the top of the list; however, the caliber of acting, the subject matter, and the period reproduction (set production?) are all outstanding! I find the parallels of the issues that were in the social forefront in 1865 compared to 2015 fascinating: racial unrest, gang violence, problems with the police, neighborhood territories, political aggravation, war, disabled veterans, homelessness, at-risk children, etc. I kept looking for Season 3 to start and found out accidentally that the series had been canceled. It is difficult for me as a consumer to see the differences between "successful" series that depict historical events - Spartacus, Rome, Roots, Deadwood, etc. - and series like Copper, which to me is every bit as entertaining, educational, and captivating.
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on January 5, 2013
This series is set in the `Five Points' area of New York City, the slums, in 1864; shortly before the end of the Civil War. The principle characters are a Five Points' police detective recently returned from the war whose wife mysteriously disappeared while he was away; his wealthy friend and former commanding officer who lives in a mansion in upscale Manhattan; and a black doctor who is a dear friend of the detective and who once saved the detective's wealthy friend's life during the war by amputating his shattered leg.

The story revolves around the detective's relentless search for information regarding his wife's disappearance; the interplay between those residing in Five Points and the wealthy who resided in luxury in upscale New York; and the impact of the Civil War on happenings in New York and in Five Points --- with some truly fascinating characters thrown in for good measure.

What makes the series so remarkable, besides its fascinating plot with its unexpected twists and turns and the marvelous acting, are the incredibly realistic street scenes; the settings, both inside and out, which are so authentic that one can only wonder where the series was filmed and how much it must have cost; and the way in which so many historical events stemming from the Civil War are worked into the storyline. The conclusion of the series also deserves mention, for it is not only surprising, but also a bit humorous and very satisfying.

I stumbled across this mini-series on BBC America while searching for something worth watching on TV. (As most of us do all too frequently) It turned out to be a stroke of luck, since I had never before watched BBC America and this turned out to be the best mini-series of any kind that I've ever seen. I think you'll like it too, but keep in mind that there is much adult material in this series and it is therefore not for children.
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on October 17, 2012
This third episode deals with endemic prejudice and racism. It is multilayered, and frank. Definitely worth watching, yet very upsetting. The fear is palpable but not overplayed. Everyone is afraid to trust anyone else. The realism is truly disturbing as is the language.

The episode opens with two men threatening to burn down the negro orphanage asylum, failing to do so only when Dr Freeman joins the Reverend facing the men down with a rifle or a shotgun. They flee still spewing threats.

An Irishman is found hanged/lynched.

Reverend Garland is accused of murdering the Irishman, and doesn't say a word protesting his innocence when the police come to take him into custody, Kevin wants proof before he condemns the man, others are not so picky as we have seen in past episodes. Emotions run high as the reverend has many friends who believe in his goodness, as well as detractors who hate him for being black/colored and want him to face execution, accepting his guilt without question.

Molly stumbles across the locket that Corky has been looking for at a pawnshop. She buys it and wears it openly. Eva sees it and confiscates it, swearing Molly to silence, there is a tension which doesn't bode well. Annie has a larger role in this episode, making it pretty clear that she has staked her claim on Detective Corcoran, who willfully ignores the signs. Others are equally blind.

There are more real estate shenanigans connected with the Morehouses. This time Francis is drawn into the scheme.

More than any other series I am watching each exchange or conversation has a purpose and imparts information that will be connected to other strands of the web. This really is a show that lends itself to being viewed more than once.

Slowly the identity of the true murderer is revealed. And it is a sad thing to discover. A woman who was driven to rage and without recourse, committed the murder. It is not forgivable, but it is easy to see why she killed. The knowledge of the guilty party doesn't solve the problem of the accusation leveled at the reverend. A bitter truth.

In order to save the reverend another obfuscation has to be arranged. Sadly a black man's word won't be good enough, only the word of a white man is adequate. The Reverend Garland shows his faith in Corky, telling him he knows that he will not let an innocent man hang. Morehouse the younger takes up the clue Kevin drops and provides the alibi, proving that despite his liberal use of alcohol he is quick on the uptake. The police department is also in on making sure the case stays closed.

Eva, Kevin's romantic/sexual interest, investigates the locket and who pawned it, ending up discovering a murdered abortionist as she follows the trail. There is a moment where Kevin fears Eva might be pregnant, but she quickly disabuses him of that notion. I can't help but wonder if the moment will prove important at some later time.

There is an air of seduction and sex throughout, as is true of every other episode. Some of it very troubling. Annie tries to seduce Kevin in one of the more disturbing, albeit brief scenes in the episode. Which considering the subject of the episode is saying a lot.

I like the series more each time I watch it. It is intense, intellectual and earthy. The writing and acting is exemplary. The actors are attractive without being ridiculously so.

I highly recommend this series.
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on October 20, 2012
Barbaric dentistry is the opening scene. Substance abuse. Realistic, cringe-worthy filth all around.

A merry chase the coppers are led. Who murdered the two dead men? Who baked the poison cake?

In the background of the episode's main case other clues are being dropped. Great chemistry between the actors. Sgt Burns is as despicable as ever, until he gets his just desserts.

Mrs Haverford remains determined to be Annie's savior, Annie's making that amusingly hard, equally determined not to be saved. Annie assaults Elizabeth and flees to Eva. Eva consults with Corky, who asks her to return the child to Elizabeth's home. By the time Annie is brought to the house Elizabeth has found where to send the troublesome child. Mr Reilly has managed to find his child bride again. This time he takes her away with him as she shrieks.

Robert Morehouse goes ahead with the fight arranged between Jasper and the Irishman/future alderman. Dr Freeman begs Jasper not to fight, Uncle proves he is a rat through and through. The plan is for Jasper to throw the fight. If he doesn't he risks a lynching. If he does Uncle gets well paid. Jasper doesn't understand.

The fight is bloody and brutal. The outcome fixed, inevitable. Jasper must flee the city for his own safety.

The conclusion of the case is worth waiting for. And worth a laugh and a glass.

Elizabeth and Corky share a drink to end a difficult day. Elizabeth lies to Corky about where she sent Annie. Hmmm. Then unable to help herself and maybe to appease his anger, kisses him. He doesn't decline her invitation.
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on December 26, 2012
As a civil war historian I am well aware of the sanguinary conditions through out the country, especially in the south, during the Civil War. As well, the large cities in the north were sancturaries for poverty stricken areas divided by nationalities, ruled by gangs, corrupt police, and unethical politicians. New York City was the paramount of large northern cities. We can contemplate the draft riots, the murdering of large numbers of freedmen, the burning of an orphanage for black children, gangs fighting the military for control of the city.
In the midst of this historical soup of humanity a Canadian company decides to produce a detective drama. The main character is an Irish detective working for the New York Police Department. It's all here; crime, poverty, corrupt police, dirty politicians, wealthy civilians, all from the pit of hell. Even the main character, who has heart, isn't someone you would like living next store to you. There is even a black man who has medical training, apparently obtained while in France, who the main character uses as a medical examiner( think murdoch or inspector lewis). This is pretty far fetched considering the historical time element but it is intriguing and adds dimension to the story line.
Everything is well done, the story line, photography, acting, however there is one element that I find disturbing, Violence. The violence is over the top, excessive. This is not something you would want sensitive people to watch. There are times I cringe and I am not a prude. There are also adult situations from time to time. Except for the violence this is an outstanding production. It will be interesting to see if a series two will be made.
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on October 18, 2012
A tragic episode about betrayal and unforgivable trespass. The clues have been strung masterfully along in perfectly timed doses to guide the viewer to the realization at the right moment.

No one wins here. Corky loses the most, and asks for the most from those close to him. He is a juggernaut pointed at disaster without a way to turn aside.

Corky is not the only one with trouble. Robert Morehouse is still tied into the rebel plot to destroy New York and Kennedy the confederate spy is pushing for a greater commitment and speed from him. Robert thinks he has the upper hand, but perhaps not. He proves to be unusually astute, hopefully he will be afforded time to save his father from ruin. During war time no one is allowed to be neutral. And certainly not to profit from both sides. To do so is called treason.

Ellen is a waif-like addition who wrenches the heart. No, this can't end well. The actress is perhaps the least convincing of all so far. Even so, Corky carries the scenes with her as the story comes out.

Mrs Haverford falls gently into the usual female need to be the center of attention at all times. She remains naive and sheltered, even as she feels herself a more liberated woman of the upper class. Robert tries to share his feelings for Corcoran, and Elizabeth doesn't hear it, she needs Robert to accept that she too deserves to be trusted, her self absorption remains intact.

Eva shows uncharacteristic sensitivity and loyalty.

Corky refuses to listen to his Captain, he lays down the law as he sees it. Sullivan is humiliated, and Corky continues down his chosen path, undeterred.

A momentary peace as we see the Freemans' holiday meal being set. Sarah has opened up enough to express concern for Ellen Corcoran. The tranquility of the scene only emphasizes the true disaster of all rest.

Annie is either recovering or she is plotting. There is no way to tell. Corky is coming to rely on her, it remains to be seen if that path will lead to a redemption or to further tragedy.

Blackmail again raises its head. Plenty of pain to go around. There are, after all, lines Corky won't cross though he comes close, he is not a peaceful man, nor a man of peace. Over and over he resorts to violence. There is no gentleness left in him.

It is all such a muddled mess. I can hardly wait for the next(last) episode of season 1. I need to know how it ends. Not for the faint of heart, this entire season.
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on September 22, 2012
I looked forward to the airing of this series. And I find I've mixed feelings on it. I am awarding 4 stars for the reasons that I like the episode.
I like the actors, two in particular develop a quick onscreen chemistry in the roles of long time friends. Kevin Corcoran and Francis MacGuire. The opening sequence is well set up, but almost immediately disturbing. With the introduction of Annie who is a child prostitute. I suspect it is meant to be so. Luckily things move on to the bank heist in progress, which is put down by the three officers with brutal and bloody expedience. All of the robbers are killed and the youthful "lookout" turns out to be in police pay. The officers help themselves to some of the loot, until the arrival of the chief, who gives the clear impression he will do the same, likely to a greater degree. So it is clear corruption in the force is accepted and expected. So far things look interesting, aside from the dimness of the set, which strains the eyes.

Next we move on to the brothel/bar. There is singing which is rather good. And the whores, who look a lot less like they've had a hard life. There is a easy nudity which is refreshing. We witness a protection payoff going to the police. OK, more evidence of corruption, quite historically feasible.

And then we travel via coach to the Morehouse mansion and meet Mr Morehouse the younger (Kyle Schmid). There isn't much of a connection between Morehouse and Corcoran despite the history revealed. Perhaps a illustration of the class awareness of the time. We meet the protagonist/bad guy Winifred Haverford. Also discover Kevin is boxing enthusiast, and that he also referees. Morehouse seems rather amused by everything, and more than a little suspicious. A guy you want to keep an eye out for.

The murder of the child, ostensibly Annie (who later turns out to be her twin Kate), is distressing for Corky, who has recently lost both his wife and his daughter. Again no mention of the girls' actual age. but she looks to be maybe 9 or 10, though historically a child prostitute living on the streets would look older than her age. The child's body is taken to a doctor who is tasked with discovering how she died. There is a previous relationship between the doctor and the detective. It is implied that the doctor has trained in a larger Parisian morgue with more forensic knowhow than is available in America. I am not sure the resulting forensics is believable, (but it may simply be a case of my personal background interfering here). There is more of a chemistry between the two actors here. Yes you can believe that they know and respect each other.

Wrapping the case up, Corcoran follows the forensic leads and abducts a suspect, tortures him for information, then discovers he isn't the guilty party. Corky reports his findings to his Chief when it comes to pass that the guilty party is in fact the wealthy Mr Haverford, who buys his way out of the charge. Apparently with the full knowledge of the Chief.

What makes this hard to watch is the tamped down emotion. I get very little read from any of the actors. Missing is the connection between the actors except in the case between Corcoran and MacGuire. And a little between the doctor and Corcoran. None of the prostitutes are in anyway intriguing, but perhaps they are there to contrast with the saintly Mrs H and provide a bit of titillation? Mrs Haverford seems bland, though it is clear she is to be a significant part of the series. It is also hard to watch child abuse/murder.

What appeals is the period setting, a few moments of delightful singing. The friendship between MacGuire and Corcoran shows promise. I'll continue to watch in order to see if that relationship is further developed. Usually what makes or breaks a show for me is the chemistry between actors.There is also a certain slyness in the character of Morehouse the younger that bears watching. I do hope more historical happenings, such as the women's suffrage movement is detailed in upcoming episodes.
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