I saw the trailer for Copper at the Sunshine Theater here, last weekend, when I went to see Beasts of the Southern Wild -- this despite it being a BBC America television series. Interesting that the trailer for a television series was shown in a movie theater, though perhaps that is part of the Sunshine's mission, which shows indies, quirky films, and lots and lots of festival winners and entrants. The audience at the Sunshine leans heavily to film pros, film students, historians, critics and wannabes. This is a city in which film and television is an industry and a favorite story location.
Which is where Copper is located -- here in New York City, after the Civil War. What a place NYC was then! Ask Teddy Roosevelt. Well, NYC was what a place before the Waw and during the Waw too. Ask Martin Scorsese.
So, here we go: how would you read this description of the series?
[ " It’s hard to walk a straight line in a crooked townFrom Academy Award®-winner Barry Levinson and Emmy® Award-winner Tom Fontana, “Copper” is a gripping crime drama series set in 1860s New York City. Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones, “MI-5″), an Irish-American former boxer turned cop, returns from the Civil War to find his wife missing and his daughter dead. As he patrols the streets of New York’s notorious Five Points neighborhood, he seeks the truth about what happened to his family with the help of two wartime friends: the wayward son of a wealthy industrialist, and a talented African-American doctor. The three men share a secret from their experience in battle that links their lives forever. " ]
Notice that the McGuffin, the plot chasis, the driving force, depending on your vocabulary for such things is the favorite cliche, " ... returns from the Civil War to find his wife missing and his daughter dead. "
This could be a turning on the head of movies and series like Hell on Wheels, in which it is always a confederate who returns home from war and finds his wife raped-murdered and his children merely murdered, and thus vengeance sends him out to search the West, where, it being so small he always does run into the responsible parties, or at least some of them or some of them who are partially responsible, while chasing forever the numero uno Big Bad Guy. Or it's merely the fridging of the girlfriend, the favorite lazy way to get backstory and motivation.
Being who these guys are and their track record, I'm hoping / expecting it's the latter. Copper: period historical of my city, in an era of one of my deep periods and places of study, and, yes, that it's Fontana and Levinson.