Cleaning Up Characters on Copper

Posted Jul 30 2013, 4:29 pm in , , , , ,

A few months ago, I wrote a post comparing Copper to Ripper Street. Of the two, I prefer Copper because I found the characters more engaging (read that as more fucked up). I’m a couple of episodes behind on the new season, but one thing that I’ve noticed is that the characters have cleaned up some. One of the things that I noted about both Copper and Ripper Street was the gritty and real feel to them. People were dirty and had bad teeth. While I enjoyed that because it lent itself to reality, I tend to avoid that kind of reality in books (again, which is why I don’t read historicals). 

But this new season of Copper feels like the producers (or whoever calls the shots) realized that they had real star potential on the show. That the characters would be more attractive if they cleaned them up. I won’t argue that there is a certain appeal of seeing Corky all clean shaven with his hair combed, but it’s like they want us to believe that if the outside is clean and pretty, the inside is no longer fucked up. Corky was a hot mess last season. He was searching for his daughter’s murderer and his missing wife. He was always a bit scruffy because he had a lot going on and it was all more important than looking pretty.

At the end of the season, Corky got all of his answers. Things were not resolved nicely, but he had answers. He’s tried to put his life back together with his wife in this season (which hasn’t really worked out – there’s only so much love and forgiveness). But having those answers should not have cured all of his issues. And that is my biggest problem. It feels like all of a sudden Corky is really supposed to be HERO material, whereas last season maybe he was a little too screwed up for that. 

And it’s not just Corky. Francis Maguire, who was a former cop and Corky’s friend, was arrested for murder at the end of the first season. Some things happen at the beginning of season 2, and he’s released. In my opinion, he was nothing special to look at last season. He had much of his own baggage to get over, too. This season, after being released from jail, he’s all clean up and prettified. He’s still sleazy, but he’s trying not to look the part.

My question is, why? Why do the TV people want to change the characters like that? I’m going to keep watching because part of me is hoping for a reversal and the characters will once again show how screwed up they are, but I don’t know.

Here are photos from season 1 — Corky and Francis:

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And here they are in season 2 —

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Do you think a character’s outward appearance has a direct link to their personality?

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