Comparing New Cop Shows – Copper and Ripper Street

Posted Apr 18 2013, 12:18 pm in , , ,

MV5BMjAxODUzMTgyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTQwMjcyOA@@._V1_SY317_CR16,0,214,317_It’s been a long time since I’ve done a TV post, but don’t let that fool you. I’ve been watching a ton, maybe even more than I ever have. Man, I love my DVR. I’ve been meaning to write a post about a couple of new cop shows I was drawn into, but my blogging schedule isn’t quite what it used to be.

The more I thought about a couple of these shows, it made sense to do one post covering both because I was sucked into these shows because of their similarities. Last fall, I started watching Copper, then over the winter, I watched Ripper Street. Let me start by saying that although I enjoyed both of these shows and I watched their entire (short) seasons, they were not I-have-to-watch-it-tonight shows. For both of them, I easily had 4 episodes piled up to watch. I eventually did watch all of them and really enjoyed them.

Copper takes place in New York in 1860s and Ripper Street takes place in London in 1889 (just after Jack the Ripper). Both of these shows are authentic and gritty. For me, they are a visual representation of why I don’t read historical romances (the lack of bathing and oral hygiene – eww). Anyway, as far as the TV shows go, I enjoy the grittiness.

Both shows follow the main character, a cop, as he solves crimes. Of the two, I prefer Kevin Corcoran (AKA Corky) from Copper. But that might be because he’s more fun to look at than Edmund Reid from Ripper Street. Every week, they solve crimes in their respective cities. Both men are grieving the loss of a child. In both instances, that grief is the overarching plot throughout the season.

For Corky, he searches for answers to what happened to his wife and daughter. For Reid, he has to come to terms with his own guilt and the effect the loss has had on his marriage.

Both shows feature the local whorehouse, which I find interesting. The part that I don’t quite get is that in both shows, one of the cops, a sidekick, so to speak, falls in love with a whore. Don’t get me wrong, the hookers are some great characters in both shows, especially the madams—they are savvy businesswomen. But for a cop to really fall in love and want to marry a hooker? I’m not buying it. Are there no other women to fall for?

All of the previously mentioned things are enough to keep a viewer watching, but the one element that brought me back episode after episode, was MV5BMTU5MjEwMDM0N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTkxNzQ4OA@@._V1_SY317_CR17,0,214,317_the beginning of modern forensics. Both of these cops employ the beginning of CSI. I’ve always been fascinated with forensics (I grew up watching Quincy – the father of TV forensics).

What makes it so interesting in both of these shows is that they learn and deduce without the technology we have. And the best part? In both shows, these cops rely on men that are not trusted by everyone else. In Copper, Corky goes to an educated black man, Dr. Matthew Freeman. In Ripper Street, Reid uses an American (who lies about his identity), Capt. Homer Jackson. These men are brilliant and always dismissed by everyone because of superficial things.

It says a lot about our heroes because not only do they value the information they get from Freeman and Jackson, but they defend and stand by these men.

Do you like historically-set shows? 

5 Comments

Comments

5 responses to “Comparing New Cop Shows – Copper and Ripper Street”

  1. Elaine says:

    I loved Ripper Street. Despite the similarities between the two shows, I am definitely interested to see Copper. I’m having trouble watching what being Americanised has done to Being Human.

    • I liked Copper more than Ripper Street. Corky was a lot of fun to follow. I’ve never watched the British version of Being Human, but I really like the American version. Now I want to check it out to see what they’ve done differently.

  2. […] 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 […]

  3. Vicki says:

    I loved Copper!! I was sad to learn it was cancelled! I just discovered Ripper Street, I had no idea it was so similar to Copper. I googled to see if anyone else had noticed and found this blog. I will continue to watch therest of the Ripper Street episodes, but like you, I really loved Corky!!

  4. ian says:

    I’m halfway through copper and really enjoying it. I’m a brit and even I can see why Reid in his ‘stiff upper lip’ English nature is not much fun (having watched ripper street first). That being said I dont think the two characters should be compared on the same field. It’s clear that Reid doesn’t want to be a rogue and he doesn’t really belong on Whitechapel despite his police skills and ‘below the surface’ hardness, whereas corky is a five points copper and in his element in the backalleys and gutter roughness, his discomfort seems to be polar with reid – he can’t get along with the more genteel, upper class so well.

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