Barring absolute stupidity or just horrible dialogue, I’ll usually give a new show at least one episode; three if it seems to have promise. I gave Copper four episodes to change my near-immediate opinion. I only gave it that long because that is how many were on the first disc.
These first four episodes were a string of cliches and plot points that are never earned by their characters. There isn’t a redeeming individual in the bunch and the mysteries and resolutions feel empty. There were one or two plot surprises, but they felt more forced for shock than believable. The show is surviving on its penchant for violence and nudity. And while they may get a lot of the historical pieces right, they also seem full on anachronisms in their dialogue.
I had much higher hopes for this first BBC America series. It came from good pedigree, but somehow the process of show creation that brought us classics like the ultra-violent, flawed, and dark Luther, lost the point when they created Copper. It isn’t the shock that works in shows like Luther, it is the aftermath and depth of character. It is the complexity of the emotions and motivations. It is the drama of all these aspects in conflict.
Copper is only about corruption and base, animal wants and needs; it is simply a bad soap opera painted in blood to hide its superficiality.