The Binge | Amazon’s ‘Bosch’
One of the benefits of Amazon Prime is that Amazon has been steadily building up its library of original series over the last few years. While The Binge has previously covered The Man in the High Castle and Goliath, this week’s installment is taking a look at Bosch, another Amazon original that has our attention. On the surface, Bosch may appear to be just another detective series/crime drama. But it’s far more than that, and it’s one of the few shows that really captures the feel of a novel across its two seasons.
Calling Bosch a “novel for television” is actually very appropriate, since it’s based upon the Harry Bosch novels by Michael Connelly. Unlike some TV adaptations, Connelly is very actively involved with this show as the creator, executive producer, and occasional writer as well, with veteran producer Eric Overmyer running the show. Together, they’ve set the tone for the series, and Amazon’s freedom from cable or broadcast oversight has allowed them to deliver a harder edge procedural than other outlets might allow.
Rather than simply adapt one of the nearly 20 Harry Bosch novels for this series, Connelly and Overmyer have chosen to use multiple novels as the inspiration for the first two seasons. Season 1 used plot elements and characters from City of Bones, Echo Park, and The Concrete Blonde; while the second season dived into Trunk Music, The Drop, and The Last Coyote. This has turned out to be a very gripping approach to the material, while offering a few surprises as well. The writing team on this series knows how to handle multiple mysteries at once while making sure that Bosch and the supporting characters always have interesting material to play off of in the show.
As for the title character, long-time TV bad guy, Titus Welliver has the role of a lifetime as LAPD detective Harry Bosch. And it’s easy to see why Welliver got the part, as he commands attention whenever he’s onscreen. It’s incredibly difficult to make a detective stand out in a medium where they’re everywhere, but Welliver makes it look easy as he shows off Bosch’s rough side, his heart, and even flashes of vulnerability. He may share a lot in common with previous fictional police detectives who bend the law in their favor, but Bosch comes off as a more genuinely human creation. He’s skilled, but not so impossibly talented that he isn’t challenged by the events of the show.
Welliver may get most of the attention for this series, he’s also surrounded by a very talented cast. Jamie Hector is solid as Bosch’s partner, Jerry Edgar; but it’s the women of the show who have the most interesting relationships with Harry himself. Sarah Clarke plays Eleanor Wish, Bosch’s ex-wife, who remains his fairly loyal friend despite ongoing tension between them. Welliver and Clarke play into the shared history of their characters in a way that appears effortless. However, it’s Bosch’s relationship with his daughter, Maddie Bosch (Madison Lintz) that brings out the best in him. Amy Aquino also has a major role as Lieutenant Grace Billets, Bosch’s best friend in the department and also his immediate boss. Sometimes it feels like we’re not getting enough screentime with Billets to really flesh her out, but Aquino has made the most of her scenes on the show.
So far, Amazon has released two full seasons of ten episodes, while a third season of Bosch has already been filmed. There’s even a fourth season lined up, so we’ll be following Bosch’s adventures for at least the next two years and possibly beyond that. Because each of the first two seasons has been so tightly plotted as chapters in the story, there’s really no point in skipping around on this show. Without the context of the earlier episodes, the narrative threads could easily get lost. But if you’re looking for a good series to watch over a few nights, this may be the one for you. Bosch is a very Bingable show and it’s one that we’ve immensely enjoyed.
What was your favorite episode from Bosch? Let us know in the comment section below!