I’m still not sure why I turned on an episode of Bosch a few months ago, but I did and I’m so thankful for it. I’m not a fan of police procedurals and those hideous sideburns turned me off, but once I put all of that aside I found myself on a wonderful journey into the world of the LAPD and Hieronymus Bosch.
This week, I finally finished the final episode of Bosch Legacy, a spin-off/continuation of the Bosch series that exists as season eight for the show. Last week, Bosch Legacy was announced to return this upcoming fall, with a follow up season to come after that. I got to say, I’m excited, because I just can’t get enough of these stories.
Bosch is based on a series of books by Michael Connelly. The character is a Detective for the LAPD who treats his job as a mission, and for him, “Everybody counts, or nobody counts.” Having grown up in foster care after his mother, a prostitute, was murdered and no one seemed to care, Harry took it upon himself to become the voice for those who had no one to speak for them. He’s not always the most pleasant man, but he’s good at what he does, and he is fueled by his desire to help.
Over the first seven seasons, we see Harry take on several cases while surrounded by a flat-out fantastic cast of co-stars. Jamie Hector (The Wire) plays his partner J. Edgar, who is a good man trying to balance a difficult job and a family. Amy Aquino (ER) who quickly became my favorite, is the Lieutenant of the Hollywood Detective Division and is honorable and fair. The always great Lance Reddick (Fringe) plays Chief of Police Irvin Irving, and well… Lance was always amazing in everything he did, especially in Bosch. Mimi Rogers, plays a civil rights attorney, Honey “Money” Chandler, and steals almost every scene she is in.
Other cast members include Annie Wersching, Madison Lintz, Jeri Ryan, Steven Culp, Gregory Scott Cummings, Troy Evans, Scott Klace, DaJuan Johnson… and the list goes on and on. This is one of those shows, that is a character show at its core, and the casting is 100% spot on. Every character has a purpose, and every actor is perfect for the role.
With only a few exceptions in seasons three and four, the pacing is very solid. The mysteries unravel with little wasted time, and the show establishes a feeling of authenticity. I’m not a police officer, but it feels like the show has done its homework.
It’s hard to talk about Bosch and not mention the city of Los Angeles. Like how Taxi Driver utilized New York as a character, Los Angeles is a character of its own in Bosch. It’s beautiful and hideous at the same time. Bosch’s amazing view of the city, from his home, makes you want to sit on his porch and just stare out at the lights and the sea of chaos that exists below.
With the use of Los Angeles as a setting and Bosch’s personal love of jazz, the show has a noir vibe to it. Harry is not a particularly happy man, and he has his own demons (obsession with the job, inability to maintain relationships) but is good at what he does, which is usually the traits you find in a noir protagonist. The jazz selection is so good, it inspired me to download some jazz myself, which is something I rarely listen to.
There was a quality drop between the original series and Legacy, but the show was filmed during COVID and also transitioned from Amazon Prime to Amazon FreeVee. It was created with a much smaller budget, and while there were some shortcomings, I’m hoping the upcoming seasons will be a bit better. Two spin-off series were also announced, but with the writer’s strike I’m wondering if they will ever come to pass.
I wish I had given Bosch a watch sooner, but I’m glad I eventually stumbled upon it. Right now, I’ve begun the book series, which began in 1992. It’s different, being that Harry has a mustache and is a Vietnam vet, but so far, I’m enjoying the mystery. I hear the books really pick up around book three or four.
I’m not sure if it’s an age thing, or I just appreciate mystery stories a bit more these days, but characters like Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, and Joe Pickett really do it for me. I just can’t get enough of these great characters.
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