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Old August 23 2012, 11:09 PM   #16
marillion
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Re: Copper

^^ That was exactly my thought too.. To produce something on the grand scale like "Gods and General" and "Gettysburg" would require an amazing amount of money, even if you were able to get reenactors to fill in the gaps. I'm not sure if those groups received Extra Pay for their work or not, but on a weekly basis, that would be crazy expensive.

A series that followed the expliots of a regiment or even a platoon might, might be pheasible if they limited the action to occassional battles, but then what would be the point?
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Old August 23 2012, 11:39 PM   #17
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Re: Copper

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
There are so many successful, compelling shows with flawed antihero leads (Deadwood, Dexter, Justified, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc) that I'm sure the temptation is for every new cable show to think they must ape that style.

But the successful examples always have some savng grace that keeps the audience's sympathy or at least entertains us. Al Swearengen = hilariously cynical, Dexter = kills only those who deserve it (mostly), Walter White = fun power fantasy wish fulfillment. Trouble is, the "solution" is tailored to each show, so there's really no template to follow.
It also helps that those are all played by some very compelling and dynamic actors.

Even when they're doing bad things, you can't help but want to watch them.
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Old August 23 2012, 11:53 PM   #18
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Re: Copper

But I could do with more flawed heroes, not just flawed antiheroes. Characters don't have to be scumbags or murderers to be interestingly nuanced. Personally I don't accept the conventional wisdom that villains are more interesting than heroes. Villains -- or "antiheroes" -- just give in to their dark or selfish urges, which I think is too simple. Heroes have those same urges -- selfishness, fear, anger, etc. -- but they wrestle with those parts of themselves and strive to overcome them. I think that's a lot more complex and interesting.
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Old August 24 2012, 03:11 PM   #19
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Re: Copper

I'd say that the heros displayed some flaws in the series opener... After "apprehending" the bank robbers, the cops helped themselves to some of the bank loot before their supervisors showed up. They frequent a house of ill-repute, etc...
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Old August 24 2012, 04:45 PM   #20
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^My point is, there was nothing heroic about them at all. They weren't good people wrestling with their imperfections and weaknesses; to all indications, they were complete scumbags who just happened to have legal authority as an excuse for their gangsterlike behavior. My point is that I don't agree with the current assumption that a drama has to be about completely horrible characters in order to be "adult" or "sophisticated."
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Old August 24 2012, 10:05 PM   #21
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Re: Copper

I don't think that was the point of the scene. I took it as more of a Robin Hood type thing. They took the money to support their community.
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Old August 24 2012, 10:15 PM   #22
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Re: Copper

^I think they took the money because they weren't paid very much and most of the loot would end up in the Captain's pocket, anyway. Notice that they talked about spending time collecting "payments" for the Captain; The high-ranking officers pulled up and loaded up all the money into the Captain's cart, announcing that he would "personally" return the money to the bank while Corcoran and his men rolled their eyes. The entire system back then was corrupt. It was chaos. But Corcoran, in one episode, has shown that he actually cares about the street kids and doesn't think the rich should be exempt from justice. He didn't want to see the poor henchman hang for a crime he didn't commit; yes, he does some bad things but I think he's clearly a good, brave man in a very bad situation.
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Old August 25 2012, 12:27 AM   #23
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Re: Copper

Christopher wrote: View Post
I was interested in the concept so I took a look, but I tuned out after the first act. It wasn't very pleasant. "A bit of an antihero" is an understatement; it looked to me like the cop "heroes" were little more than a street gang, gunning down the bank robbers unnecessarily and pocketing much of the recovered loot. That doesn't appeal to me at all. I'm so tired of this assumption in our media culture that the only way to make an adult, sophisticated show is to make the protagonists contemptible, immoral people. That's not adulthood. Adulthood is supposed to be about responsibility and self-discipline. Giving into your worst impulses all the time is entirely immature.

The show had other problems for me too. For one thing, the gunplay was not only way overdone, it was completely inaccurate. Firearms at the time were far less accurate than modern ones, so something like the bit where the one cop shot the wounded bank robber behind his back without even looking is even more absurd in a period piece than it would be in a modern one. Heck, even with modern weapons it's not as easy to inflict kill shots on moving targets as was shown here. Given the period, given the likelihood that most of the shots would've missed badly, the sequence was just a ridiculous overindulgence in violence.
We dvr'd it, but haven't had time to watch.

We did see a PBS show about the old western tv shows. The ones who had great input from the stars...there were a lot more morality storylines.

"Top Shot" is an interesting reality/competition show about shooting various weapons. Very interesting. But it shows how difficult accurate shooting is, even with some modern weapons. I suppose that's why gunslingers were so rare back then...being able to shoot consistently accurate must have been unusual.
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Old August 25 2012, 12:58 AM   #24
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Re: Copper

marillion wrote: View Post
A series that followed the expliots of a regiment or even a platoon might, might be pheasible if they limited the action to occassional battles, but then what would be the point?
The Sharpe series of TV movies (based on the books by Bernard Cornwell and set during the Napoleonic Wars) adopt this approach. They work on their own level, but do face the problem of lacking the scale of the battles described in the books and which occurred in the wars. Of course, British TV budgets are lower than US ones, and there wasn't effective CGI around then either to help with scale either.

I wouldn't rule out the possibility that you could do an effective Civil War series with TV budgets. I mean, Band of Brothers worked as a WWII series, albeit an expensive one.
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Old August 25 2012, 12:59 AM   #25
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Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
I don't think that was the point of the scene. I took it as more of a Robin Hood type thing. They took the money to support their community.
The "coppers" didn't just take the money. They pre-emptively shot to kill, before the robbers began firing back, before they even gave the robbers a chance to surrender. That means they murdered the robbers in cold blood, as if they were no more than just another gang of thugs.
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Old August 25 2012, 06:45 AM   #26
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Holdfast wrote: View Post
I wouldn't rule out the possibility that you could do an effective Civil War series with TV budgets. I mean, Band of Brothers worked as a WWII series, albeit an expensive one.
Band of Brothers wasn't just expensive; it was very expensive. At $125 million ($12.5 million per episode) it was the most expensive miniseries ever made at the time it was released (The Pacific has since topped that). That's not even close to a sustainable budget for weekly television.
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Old August 25 2012, 07:20 PM   #27
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Re: Copper

And it's worth pointing out that WWII is more popular and marketable than the Civil War. A Civil War tv series runs the huge risk of alienating half the United States and would be uninteresting to the rest of the world (and to those who generally think WWII is "cooler").
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Old August 26 2012, 02:52 PM   #28
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Re: Copper

Christopher wrote: View Post

The show had other problems for me too. For one thing, the gunplay was not only way overdone, it was completely inaccurate. Firearms at the time were far less accurate than modern ones, so something like the bit where the one cop shot the wounded bank robber behind his back without even looking is even more absurd in a period piece than it would be in a modern one. Heck, even with modern weapons it's not as easy to inflict kill shots on moving targets as was shown here. Given the period, given the likelihood that most of the shots would've missed badly, the sequence was just a ridiculous overindulgence in violence.
.
Curiously in the Behind the scenes special they were congratulating themselves on being more realistic and not having the characters spray bullets because of misfires and once that revolver emptied it took a lot of time to reload. It reminded me of Hell On Wheels background special when they went on about their accurate weapons and then everybody from private soldiers to the poorest railroad worker showed up with a Henry rifle

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Somebody should do a series about the Civil War. Dont dance around the edges and have characters who fought in the war. show the war itself. That would get big ratings, Im sure of it.
It is different but then Folye's War worked
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Old August 26 2012, 03:18 PM   #29
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There's nothing realistic about a gunfight scene where almost every shot is instantly lethal. In real life (at least, based on what I've read -- I mercifully have no direct knowledge of the subject and hope I never do), it's possible to survive most gunshot wounds if you get the bleeding stopped in time. Generally it takes a trained sniper with an accurate rifle and a clear shot to guarantee an instant kill shot. In a running gun battle where you're shooting wildly, it's far less likely to happen. Some people have even survived being shot by dozens of bullets in a single battle. Between that, the inaccuracy of 19th-century firearms, and the limited medical science of the era, the majority of shooting deaths would result from infection days after the gunfight.
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Old August 26 2012, 06:21 PM   #30
the G-man
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Re: Copper

Christopher wrote: View Post
Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
I don't think that was the point of the scene. I took it as more of a Robin Hood type thing. They took the money to support their community.
The "coppers" didn't just take the money. They pre-emptively shot to kill, before the robbers began firing back, before they even gave the robbers a chance to surrender. That means they murdered the robbers in cold blood, as if they were no more than just another gang of thugs.
The thing is: the police were pretty much thugs back then
  • Police corruption became widespread shortly after the formation of the first American police departments in the mid 1800’s. During this time, political parties ran the municipal government and agencies. Employment could be assured if you followed the directives of the political parties which often required protecting illicit activities conducted by members of the political elite. This environment of accepted corruption further led to practices that monetarily benefited individual officers or their departments. Officers accepted bribes to ignore criminal activity, such as prostitution and demanded money to not report criminals such as pickpockets and con men. Reform efforts began towards the end of the 19th century. The Progressives, upper-middle class educated Protestants who opposed the political control of police agencies instigated the establishment of police commissions, the use of civil service exams and legislative reforms. Though wide-spread corruption declined, it was still a large problem.
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