December 4, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Non-Geek TV From The Geek Perspective: Bosch

Gabbing Geek What We're Watching

There’s a lot of TV out there, and some of it isn’t part of a cable package.  Streaming services have original programming too to entice viewers into subscribing to their respective systems.

And so, here’s a cop show called Bosch from Amazon Prime.

He's a giant who fights crime in a tiny city!
He’s a giant who fights crime in a tiny city!

What’s the premise?

Based off the best-selling novel series by Michael Connelly, Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch is a Los Angeles police detective working out of Hollywood.  Bosch is the son of a prostitute that was murdered when he was a kid, and he grew up in a brutal city orphanage.  An Afghan vet (changed from a Vietnam vet as he is in Connelly’s novels), Bosch has a strong drive for justice and occasionally breaks rules to bring in suspects, though he does so more out of that strong sense of justice.

The ten episode first season takes three of Connelly’s novels and adapts them into a pair of cases Bosch is working simultaneously.

What’s the appeal?

Connelly’s books are really popular.  It’s somewhat amazing this hasn’t happened earlier.  His other series did get a movie, that one featuring Harry’s half-brother “The Lincoln Lawyer”.  The show has a built-in audience.  Heck, I spotted a woman reading one on the train on the way home after having a day with Watson in New York City, and after seeing a few episodes of this myself, I started to read the first one on my own.

The cast is made up largely of familiar faces, most of whom could play these roles in their sleep and do a decent job, including 24‘s Sarah Clarke as Bosch’s ex-wife Eleanor, and The Wire‘s Lance Reddick as a deputy police chief.  Executive producer Eric Overmyer worked under David Simon for years on shows like HomicideThe Wire, and Treme.  He knows how to put a cop show together.

Anything stand out?

In the lead role as Harry Bosch is actor Titus Welliver, probably best known for being the original human form of the smoke monster from Ryan’s favorite show (to hate on) Lost.  Welliver actually does a really good job in the lead role.  He has “world weary cop” stamped all over him, and his presence alone makes for a decent show.

The show also makes good use of the Los Angeles locations, as fitting for Connelly’s own use of the location.  Connelly is serving as an executive producer and wrote a script or two.

Any downsides?

It’s a good thing Welliver does such a good job with the role, because the story itself is a mass of cop show cliches.  Bosch has an ex-wife who doesn’t like him, a daughter he barely sees, and a superior who really hates him.  He’s a lone wolf at times, though most of the other detectives and his immediate supervisor seem to think pretty well of him.  He drinks a bit and listens to jazz.  There’s a serial killer taunting him over the phone.  He’s not good with technology.  You’ve probably seen it all before.

If that sort of thing doesn’t bother you, you’ll probably like Bosch.

The season did end with an episode that could have marked an ending for Harry Bosch as a detective, but Amazon has already renewed the show for a second season.